Two years ago, when we said goodbye following the conclusion of our National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif., no one could have ever imagined the topsy-turvy world that we were heading into. That seems like a lifetime ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to go on lockdown and school buildings to empty, followed by a flurry of trials and tribulations surrounding the challenges of virtual learning.
Though we’re still battling the effects of the pandemic, I am proud of the superintendents—America’s “Champions for Children”—who are working tirelessly every day to fight for equity and the social and emotional well-being of our young learners.
I am so pleased to be heading to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2022 edition of our National Conference on Education, a place where record-breaking numbers of superintendents and other school system leaders attending our event will have ample opportunities to listen, grow and learn with each other on behalf of the students, families and communities they serve.At our opening general session, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is joining us for a discussion focusing on the American Rescue Plan investment and implementation, the role of data collection, teacher and staffing shortages, and the critical need to ensure public education support.
We will also announce the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year®. Our finalists are:
- Curtis Cain, Wentzville School District, Wentzville, Mo.
- Quincy Natay, Chinle Unified School District No. 24, Chinle, Ariz.
- Kamela Patton, Collier County Public Schools, Naples, Fla.
- Noris Price, Baldwin County Schools, Milledgeville, Ga.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I would invite you to watch the video: “AASA’s 2022 National Superintendent of the Year® Finalists,” capturing January’s press briefing that featured these outstanding school district leaders.
New this year, as part of AASA’s Live Well. Lead Well. initiative, is the Live Well. Lead Well. Health & Wellness Center. Conference goers can recharge and relax in a special area of the exhibit hall dedicated to mental, physical and emotional well-being.
AASA’s ever-popular Social Media Lounge is part of the program for the eighth consecutive year. All conference attendees can engage with their peers online by using the hashtag #NCE2022 in social media posts. I also encourage you to check out Conference Daily Online which will be updated each evening and contain wall-to-wall coverage of our event plus a conference blog that shares the experiences of four participating superintendents.
Finally, let me assure you that AASA is committed to ensuring proper health and that safety measures are in place. Click here for more information.
Thank you for the work you’re doing under the most challenging conditions imaginable. I hope I get a chance to speak with as many of you as possible while we’re in Nashville.