CCS administrators attend CLAS conference

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

School is out for the summer, and Chilton County administrators are already focusing on next school year.

Some attended the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Conference from June 11 to 13.

Jemison Elementary School Principal D.J. Nix said this was his sixth year attending the conference.

“Every year I go, I learn something I can bring back and be a better administrator and a better leader,” Nix said.

Isabella High School Principal Ricky Porter said attending the conference helps administrators fulfill required professional learning units.

“It’s an opportunity to network with other administrators and talk to others about what is going on in their school systems,” Nichelle Bulger-Johnson, Chilton County Schools curriculum coordinator/ professional development coordinator, said.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Leadership: Powered by What Matters.”

“This was probably the best one ever,” Nix said.

Featured speakers included Rehema Ellis on “Managing the Message to Maximize the Impact” and Will Bowen on “Positive Leadership in a Negative World.”

Porter said Bowen gave the education administrators tips on negativity and creating a cohesive team.

Porter said the conference focused on making a difference for students and putting students first.

Nix said a number of breakout sessions were also offered, covering topics from time management to managing disruptive students. One of the breakout sessions, “What Connected Educators Do Differently” by Jimmy Casas focused on the importance of relationships. Based on the title, Porter said he thought the session would be about social media, but found it to be “very interesting.”

Bulger-Johnson said she enjoyed this breakout session, as well as Casas’ other sessions

“He provided a lot of strategies we could actually use,” Bulger-Johnson said.

The speaker emphasized that students will remember how a teacher made them feel more than they will remember what they taught them.

“In this world of social media, we tend to forget how important the human element, the face to face is … (and) just how important those relationships are to learning,” Porter said.

Nix said he will apply what he learned at the conference and continue to focus on what is best for students.

“This year the keynote speakers did a great job talking about school culture and building relationships with the community,” Bulger-Johnson said.

She said she enjoyed the emphasis on the Fair-Care approach of being fair and showing that the school system cares about students and the community.

Other breakout sessions Bulger-Johnson addressed focused on school culture, making connections with the community and dealing with challenging people.

“A lot of them focused around communication,” Bulger-Johnson said.

Jemison Elementary School Principal Kendall Jackson, PASS Academy Principal Kelvin Boulware, Chilton County High School Assistant Principal Jason Deason and Clanton Intermediate School Assistant Principal Roger Sheffield also attended.