This year’s conference was the best Network conference I have attended and I have attended almost all 10 of them. The organization couldn’t have been better and Rick Wormeli was an outstanding speaker and we all learned so much from him. His topics ranged from homework, grading, metaphors and analogies, and unlocking potential. The breakout sessions were numerous and it was hard to choose from so many wonderful topics and session leaders.
As a charter member and officer, I have knowledge of how the network started and how hard we worked to get it started. I’ll share a little of that with you. The charter officers just happened to meet each other in Washington, D.C. at the NBPTS Conference when we were all asked to sit at the “Alabama” table. A few of the people knew each other. Jefferson Co. School System had sent several people. Included in that group was Sally Price, a big supporter of National Board Certification. She was a huge help in getting us organized, obtaining a lawyer, and writing by-laws. Sherry Baltsheit was our first president and she wanted us to have a big conference and invite every NBCT in the state. Merri Beth Bass and I were working with NBPTS as a liaison with State Farm. We were able to obtain a grant through State Farm to fund that first conference which was held at the Wynfrey Hotel. We had a huge attendance that year and we were not prepared. People stood in line out the door just to get to registration. We had a speaker from NBPTS and also the State Superintendent was there. I think we had 2 breakout sessions including one led by Becky Dobelstein. Since we were at the Galleria, the attendees ate lunch in the food court. So as you can see, we have come a long way from that first meeting when we were struggling to get started until the smoothly run conference we all just participated in.
The one thing I’m disappointed in is the attendance after that first conference. We have 2,242 NBCTs in our State. We should have more participating in this Network. If you attended the conference and went away feeling renewed, please spread the word to other NBCTs about the Network and the annual conference and encourage them to participate.
I hope that you will express your appreciation to the current board members for keeping the Network going and for organizing such a wonderful professional development opportunity.
Ellen Stubblefield, NBCT