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While my arrival in Nashville is slightly delayed from the start of the festivities, the AASA NCE 2022 Conference is underway with their final preparations for the opening of the General Sessions, exhibits, and events tomorrow. Taking a quick look at the conference program, it is clear that there are several opportunities for us all to engage in thoughtful and meaningful dialogue with colleagues, friends, and mentors. There is no doubt that the superintendency can be one of the most fulfilling positions in all of the education profession, but at times it can also be the most lonely.

It was two years ago that superintendents throughout the country were gathering for similar conferences, either nationally or locally, when concerns and news of the Coronavirus spread like a wildfire. I can remember at our New York State conference having the entire conference agenda shuffled around during the event for superintendents to hear from State health officials and have round table conversations about what impact Coronovirus could have on our schools. Four days later, we were all closed for what was thought to be a brief moment but turned out to be the remainder of the school year.

Now we are here, two years later, having learned so much from everything that has occurred. Having been reminded so many times over this span just how isolating and lonesome the position can be, we have also seen the value of collaboration, conversation, and support for one another. Events like the AASA NCE Conference and so many others are vital for our continued growth as leaders and at times sanity as humans. As I watch the current events of the conference unfold on social media through #NCE2022, there is a renewed sense of positivity and energy as I prepare to learn from and hear from the greatest leaders and scholars in our profession. Time to get the weekend underway… enjoy everyone!!

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” ~ Will Rogers

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