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Seen & Heard Around the Conference

SOY19 Backstage

Early Rising Comes With His Crown

On Day 1 of his reign as National Superintendent of the Year®, David Schuler of Arlington Heights, Ill., discovered there will be unusual demands on his time. By 5:20 a.m. Friday, he was enroute to the ABC-TV affiliate in Nashville, WKRN, for a live chit-chat on “Good Morning Nashville.”

Schuler, accorded the national honor only 12 hours earlier at the AASA national conference, spent all of three minutes on air with two co-hosts at 6:16 a.m., responding to questions about the nature of the AASA conference, school safety and his advice for local schools. (You can watch his brief segment here.)

The interview ended with one host standing beside Schuler to compare their matching striped suit jackets, blue shirts and red ties. It probably won’t qualify as Schuler’s toughest encounter with the news media during his career.


Visual Depictions of Equity

Kate Morales, a graphic recorder and note taker, visually captured key concepts of two events at AASA’s national conference in Nashville: A Thought Leader session on equity and justice in education on Thursday and the Dr. Effie H. Jones Memorial Luncheon on Friday.

In real time, as each event was happening, Morales, who lives in Atlanta, captured the main points through drawn images, a bit of text and quotes. She incorporated the Lorax mentioned by Nashville’s superintendent, Shawn Joseph, when he discussed the role of the superintendent in relation to race and equity.

On Friday, she included images of turtles, something associated with the Effie Jones luncheon based on Jones’ quote — “The turtle is a sign of a risk taker … you can only make progress when you are willing to stick your neck out and put your tail on the line.”


Bookstore’s Route to Self-Help

Larry Putnam, superintendent in Morganton N.C., picked up a few books from AASA’s bookstore on Friday.

Crammed into his shopping bag were several titles related to leadership, happiness in the workplace and how to build healthy relationships with school board members.

Putnam said he finds it helpful to bone up on these topics because of how much time he spends working with others in his field. “I try to stay on top of my craft because I’m always trying to improve,” Putnam stated.


At Least He Got to Work Out

In the middle of a discussion about personal learning, attendees at a Friday morning session titled “Hot Tips for Digital Superintendent,” watched Phil Hickman, superintendent of the Columbus Municipal School District in Mississippi, dashing up the aisle.

Out of breath, he approached the panelist table. “I apologize,” he said to his fellow presenters. “I’m bouncing between two sessions!”

(Jay P. Goldman is editor of AASA’s Conference Daily Online.)

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