Last weekend, over 6,000 school board members, superintendents, and school administrators came to Boston, MA to experience the workshops, networking, knowledge sharing and excitement of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2016 Annual Conference. At the conference for our second consecutive year, the Penn Foster team proudly attended as both exhibitor and sponsor, having the opportunity to meet with hundreds of new and old faces at the conference. Below, I share with you the top three moments that stood out at this year's conference.

1) NSBA Executive Director, Thomas Gentzel, Calls for Action in Federal Education Policy

Beginning the conference Saturday with opening remarks, Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of the NSBA, reiterated that the people in attendance "help shape federal education policy, and that public education is the new frontier." He also remarked that the conference attendees had committed themselves to making their communities and public schools the best they can by staying active with the association. In closing, Thomas acknowledged that "we do have work to do" and gave the audience a call to action to "insist that the presidential candidates talk about public education...and where they stand."1

2) Dan Rather & Robin Roberts Inspire the Crowd in Keynote Speeches

Dan Rather, award-winning broadcast journalist and Robin Roberts, anchor of Good Morning America, both joined NSBA 2016 as keynote speakers to share their own personal experiences in the education space. In particular, Robin's energizing and motivational speech encouraged attendees to overcome fear and step out of their comfort zones to accomplish their goals.

3) Blended Learning as a Key Theme for 2016

A hot topic for the 2016 conference, blended learning was the focus of several educational sessions and workshops. Our team joined the conversation during our own Study Hall on Saturday, presenting recent findings from a new Center for Promise report, Blended Learning Offers Promise as a Strategy for Re-engaging Students. The session served as the first presentation of the new report and welcomed over 100 people in attendance.

Read more about the findings from the new report in our month-long series: The Time is Now for Blended Learning.

Resources: (1) NSBA Video Gallery