Last week, I attended the President-Elect Orientation and Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) under my duties as the President-Elect for the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA). This conference provided me with three great opportunities I am able to bring back to my district and colleagues throughout the State of Ohio.
At the Conference, I networked with national educational leaders and legislators from across Ohio. From other state leaders across the nation, I exchanged ideas on innovation and integrating technology in the classroom.
Through the President-Elect Orientation, I, along with all the other President-Elects from various states, traveled to the NASSP Headquarters and was provided an overview of the departments and responsibilities of the staff. I had severely misjudged the size and scope of work at NASSP. What I thought would be a staff of 30 was in fact more than 80! While I thought NASSP had some work in conferences, publications, Student Council, and National Honor Society, I did not realize the many offerings in conferences and publications not the fact that NASSP covers ALL responsibilities with NHS and Student Council! Dod you know there was even a National Junior High and Elementary School Society?
The highlight of the conference was going to Capitol Hill and meeting with our State Legislators to share our concerns with education and a call for action. Due to lack of time and needing to prioritize our needs, we focused our efforts on broadband access through the eRate fund and increased federal title funding, with a set-aside in Title IIA for Principal Professional Development. I met with Senator Portman, a legislative assistant in Senator Brown’s office, Congressman Tiberi, and Congressman Gibbs to share our points. I appreciated the time they took and attention in understanding our needs. I was pleasantly surprised by their response to how teaching and learning has changed in the past fews years seeing the opportunity in providing students to digital access.
This was a great conference for me to feel re-energized and re-engaged with the need to advocate for education. As President-Elect, I have a better picture of my role in being a leader in the state to support our Principals to lead their schools. I also gained a great appreciation for our educational organizations in “fighting the good fight” to provide a better educational experience and resource for our students.