I had the opportunity to attend the Wisconsin State Education Convention for the third time. Every year I attend, I enjoy learning from other school districts and their leaders. Even in a virtual format this year, the learning and convention continued from the comfort of my living room.
One statement from Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the National School Board Association that stood out to me was:
It’s important to listen to the ultimate beneficiary of the decisions you make.Anna Maria Chavez, National School Board Association
Similarly, in another session, the presenter shared these wise words from Simon Sinek:
Leadership is not about being in charge.
Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.Simon Sinek
I’m inspired by these statements of servant leadership and am reminded how important it is to listen. I’m proud that our district uses frequent surveys to check-in with students and caregivers to help guide decision-making.
In addition to the general sessions, I attended breakout sessions on:
- COVID-19: Where are we now? update from DPI School Nurse
- Opportunities through the trades – Brown Deer High School
- Intentionally Aligning Goals to Action – New Berlin School District
- Act 31: American Indian Studies
- Community Engagement: Howard Suamico School District and Elm Brook School District
The Howard Suamico School District leads annual meetings with 8 different groups as a way to share information and inform school board policies. The board members and staff help facilitate group discussions with a series of questions and topics for each group. These stakeholder groups include:
- Clergy Community Groups
- Active Older Adults
- Community government
- Faculty / Staff
- Students at Middle School and High School
- Post-secondary Schools
- Business, workforce development
This sounds like a well-organized approach to listen to many voices throughout the community and establish strong working partnerships. I look forward to reporting on my convention experience and sharing great ideas that we may want to consider in Menomonee Falls.
As part of our school district’s mission, I know we can continue to Engage. Learn. Improve. and continuously learning and sharing ideas is part of making our schools even stronger.