School Board Members attend School Board and Superintendent Conference

School Board Members attend School Board and Superintendent Conference
Posted on 06/13/2024
School Board Members attend School Board and Superintendent Conference

School Board of Lee County Chair Sam Fisher, and members Melisa Giovannelli, Chris Patricca, Debbie Jordan, and Armor Persons recently joined more than 375 school board members, superintendents, and education leaders at the Florida School Board Association/Florida Association of District School Superintendents Annual Summer Conference for three days of leadership development, networking, and training. The theme of the conference, Unleashing Your Superpowers, featured Gregory Offner, Author, Workforce Strategist, and Award-winning Keynote Speaker. The outcome is highly inspired district leaders, who are better prepared to navigate the changes and challenges of today’s districts, with a renewed sense of passion and excitement for their responsibilities.

"Attending the FSBA meeting was a productive and educational experience for our board,” said School Board Chair Sam Fisher. “It provided an opportunity to interact with board members from across the state, allowing us to compare approaches to common district challenges. Additionally, we gained valuable insights from speakers on topics such as legal updates, charter schools, and safety and security.”

The conference also included an important panel discussion, Decades of Dedication: Insights and Wisdom from our Veteran School Board Superheroes. This session featured an impressive panel of veteran school board members, each with over two decades of experience. They shared their invaluable insights, reflecting on past experiences, and discussed current challenges facing Florida's school boards. Panelists included Andy Griffiths (Monroe), Patty Hightower (Escambia), Bev Slough (St. Johns), and Jerry Taylor (Suwannee.)

As CEO of Florida School Boards Association, Andrea Messina emphasizes the benefits of the Annual Summer Conference, saying, “The FSBA/FADSS Annual Summer Conference stands as a cornerstone for empowering school board members. It's a unique opportunity for them to gain insights, share best practices, and collaborate on innovative solutions. This conference is more than just a meeting; it's a vital resource that equips our members to effectively guide their districts in meeting the evolving challenges of education today."

The conference also featured a legislative session review and legislator Q&A with Representative Alex Rizo, Representative Susan Valdés, and Senator Travis Hutson. The conversation during this session was moderated by Dr. Danielle Thomas, FSBA Director of Advocacy & Legislative Services, and focused on the biggest education topics coming out of the 2024 Legislative Session including deregulation and other impactful legislation.

In addition to the keynote presentations, legislative session review, and breakout sessions, the associations also conducted annual business meetings.

During the FSBA General Membership Meeting, Okaloosa County School Board Member Tim Bryant was elected President of the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) and was sworn in with three other school board members. Angie Gallo (Orange) will serve as President-Elect, while Kim Amontree (Charlotte) will serve as Vice President and Terry Castillo (Osceola) will serve as Treasurer.

In addition to these four officers, Tina Certain (Alachua) having served as President last year will serve as Immediate Past President. The 2024-2025 Executive Officers will lead the Association’s effort in meeting its mission to increase student achievement through the development of effective school board leadership and advocacy for public education.