Chilton County educators attend CLAS conference

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Class may be out for the summer, but for Chilton County Schools administrators the work continues.

Approximately 18 of these administrators from schools and central office.  recently attended the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools conference for professional development toward their required professional learning units to remain certified.

The conference was June 10 to June 13. The two-and-a-half-day conference is attended by educational leaders throughout the state.

“It is an opportunity to go and reflect on what you do as an administrator in your school and get ideas from other administrators,” Ron Pinson, interim principal at Chilton County High School, said.

Isabella High School Principal Ricky Porter said attending the conference helps him stay aware of changes and potential changes in education.

Nichelle Bulger-Johnson, CCS professional development supervisor, said it was important to her to attend the conference because it “highlights many aspects of legal issues for Alabama Educators, changing trends that are important to be aware of … and how to lead in a way that is going to help our students.”

Three general sessions and numerous breakout sessions were available. Pinson said he liked the choices and flexibility offered by the breakout sessions.

Pinson’s favorite breakout session focused on “traits of extraordinary leader.”

“He talked about how administrators today are more than managers, you are an actual school leader, you are an instructional leader because the instruction that goes on today … the principal is in charge of that,” Pinson said.

Vision, courage and passion were some of the traits highlighted.

Another session Pinson enjoyed talked about “empowering staff to increase the achievement for all students” and getting input from them before making decision.

Bulger enjoyed the session talking about the changing nature of communication.

“Emphasis was placed in the fact that relationships matter and there was discussion regarding the social and emotional learning and what that looks like in action,” Bulger-Johnson said.

She also enjoyed session on parental involvement.

Porter attended a session by State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance where he talked about the Alabama Aspiring Strategic Plan. Porter said the superintendent, “gave an update on his new vision for where he sees education going in Alabama.”

“That has been a big question mark amongst a lot of administrators as to what changes he plans to implement,” Porter said.

He also attended a session about a clarification decision released by the Federal Supreme Court in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District which is expected to change special education.

Many of the speakers at the conference are school administrators from other parts of the country.