While waiting for a flight home after this year's American Association of School Administrators conference in Tampa, I happened to notice a traveler reading the current issue of DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION. I tried not to be obvious as I invaded his privacy, but I was fascinated to see which features caught his attention. After he put the magazine away, I opened a conversation with, "So how did you like the AASA conference?" I then let him know my relationship to DA. It turns out that he was Lynn Vlasman, superintendent of the Tripp- Delmont School District in South Dakota, and we talked about AASA, his district, education initiatives in South Dakota, the state's annual Technology & Innovation in Education conference (TIE) - which, by coincidence I keynoted while he was in the audience - and, of course, the design and content of DA. We exchanged a lot of information in a short period of time, and continued the conversation by e-mail.
In fact, I get some of our best stories through such chance meetings in airports and planes going to and from the professional conferences we cover. For example, I met Patricia Green, superintendent of Pennsylvania's North Allegheny School District, while standing in line for a flight, and discussed how her administration collaborates effectively with the teachers union. This led to an Administrator Profile last June. Similarly, on the way to another AASA conference, I flew with William Singleton, superintendent of South Carolina's Jasper County School District, who explained how he travels each year to distant states-armed with signing bonuses - to find teachers for his rural schools. That prompted me to write the column "Web-Powered Job Recruiting" for July 2006.
DA Conference Calendars
Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association, has said, "Attending an annual conference is one of the most worthwhile things an administrator can do." Opportunities abound for hearing world-famous speakers, gaining practical knowledge and networking with colleagues. And collegial learning can also take place in planes, trains and automobiles. This issue of DA magazine includes a conference calendar through the end of the year, which is also on our Web site (www.DistrictAdministration.com), so you can make choices and plan ahead. We would also like to include your state and regional conferences on our Web site as an additional service for our readers, so please send those listings to our news editor Zach Miners (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Odvard Egil Dyrli, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,email@example.com