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The Journey Begins: #NCE2020

Some may cringe when they hear the words “everything is bigger in Texas.” (Don’t tell my Texas colleagues, but having spent the first half of my life in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, I have cringed at that comment a few times myself.) But when it comes to professional learning, the TASA Midwinter Conference is up there with the best!

From hearing Kindra Hall talk about the power of storytelling to the opportunity to facilitate learning for 175 aspiring leaders at our week-long Aspiring Superintendents Academy, to the women’s leadership conference that happens the weekend before that had nearly 500 inspiring women attending, the conference was just incredible!

But in talking with my school board, whom I’ve had the privilege to serve for the last eight years, I shared with them that while I love learning from my colleagues from Texas, I would love to learn from superintendents from all across the country! I asked if I could add a national conference to my learning, and they absolutely agreed. And there was no question that AASA was the place to start!

It just so happened that earlier this year I also began to blog about leadership and AASA’s Jay Goldman saw one of my pieces on LinkedIn. I had the incredible opportunity to share that article in the November issue of  School Administrator! And I was incredibly honored when asked to be one of the conference bloggers for #NCE2020.

This is my first AASA Conference and while I don’t know what to expect, I couldn’t be more excited! I have pushed myself to engage in some ways that are a bit outside my comfort zone. I’m scheduled to sit down with all three superintendents nominated for the Women in School Leadership Awards; I am attending the GiANT Leader Summit pre-conference event; I will be writing about my experience at the Bold Women Networking Breakfast; and I’m even taking part in the AASA Singing Superintendents.

Looking through the Conference Program, I was elated to see that Linda Darling-Hammond would be speaking about personalization in learning and I can’t wait to hear Mawi Asgedom share his amazing journey from a refugee camp to Harvard. And I was excited to see David Brooks as the opening keynote as I am currently in the middle of reading The Second Mountain.

Whether you are attending this year’s conference or not, I hope you will follow along with all of the conference bloggers as we experience the power of personalized learning in San Diego next week! You can keep up with me on most social media platforms at @jillmsiler.

Jill Siler, Gunter ISD Superintendent I I

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