Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Assistant Principals' Leadership Conference

Washington is one of the few states that offers its own conference designed just for assistant principals.

This year's event is being held at the beautiful Hilton Vancouver Washington, and about 160 APs, deans of students, principal interns and associate principals made the trip down, despite some nasty winter weather. For two days, conference-goers will participate in large and small group sessions around issues like dealing with gangs and gang-related issues; student management; discipline; school law; and interviewing for APs going into the principalship and interns going into assistant principalships.

This morning, attendees were treated to a keynote update on the revised math standards (think deeper, not broader). Bergeson said the urgency over math in this state and country is "like Sputnik times 10" and that we all owe it to students to develop new attitudes about the importance and value of mathematics.

Today's portion of the conference is also a time to honor the state Assistant Principal of the Year. This year, the award went to Granite Falls Middle School Assistant Principal David Bianchini, who, it was announced today, will be moving up in the ranks next year to assume the principalship at the same school. (Dr. Richard Panagos is retiring at the end of the 2008 school year.) Bianchini (at left, with AP Conference Chair Mary Lou Bissett) is credited with increasing the personalization at his school -- helping teachers zero in on 127 students who were just drifitng through the educational process Bianchini's honor is one of several garnered by the district, which also includes the 2007 National Teacher of the Year (music teacher Andrea Peterson) and the 2007 National Science to Service Award. Good things are happening in Granite Falls!

After two more rounds of breakout sessions and a fun dessert social with exhibitors, the day ended with relaxed social where attendees could chat with one another in a cabaret-style atmosphere, enjoying music from the Portland-area group Tall Jazz.

Tomorrow: more breakout sessions and a special presentation at lunch by 2007 Assistant Principal of the Year James Hester from Washington High in the Franklin Pierce School District.

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