California County Boards of Education annual conference starts tomorrow

By Janet Wohlgemuth, CCBE President-elect

The 2019 CCBE Annual Conference  in Monterey at the Hyatt Regency begins tomorrow, Sept. 13 and runs through Sept 13-15. This year’s theme is “Educational Changes on the Horizon: What and How to Prepare for them.”

The Conference Committee looked at what has happened in the past year with the devastating fires in Northern Callfornia and the impact on our students, as well as how we move forward. We also realized that we had a new Governor coming in with a different view of charter schools then the past Governor and what impacts that might bring. With all that information, the committee felt that it was important to recognize those changes on the horizon to help better prepare our students and board members orf what could be coming soon.

We looked at the recommendations from last year’s conference and realized that many that attended wished that we could have more time and bring back the “Latest Trends” speaker to talk about issues our students are faced with. For example, vaping, electronic apps that parents aren’t aware of, and other latest trends that are showing up in schools. We were pleased when Clark Morrow, crime prevention program coordinator at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office, agreed to come back and be our main session speaker at lunch. He will give attendees the bird’s-eye view of the world that your youth face in the 21st century and how young people are using and misusing social media.

Our other main session is “Coping with Natural Disasters —Lessons Learned.” This session came about from the experiences of staff during fires that devastated Butte, Sonoma and Santa Barbara in the past two years. We wanted to bring information to board members so they can prepare for not only disasters, but the recovery that needs to happen. The speakers will share how their communities and schools were affected, how they responded and how all education leaders need to prepare for these possibilities. The session features Gerry Shelton from Capitol Advisors Group; Mike Walsh, CSBA Immediate Past President and Butte Courty office of Education trustee; and Steve Herrington, superintendent from Sonoma COE.

The committee tried to bring many topics to this year’s conference to meet everyone’s needs. We looked at budgets, safety, charter schools, new board members toolbox kits, civic education, foster and homeless youth and many more. The committee starts this process in February and concludes in September when the conference ends.

I hope that everyone was able to gain new information and take it back to their COEs. I would like to thank everyone that is attending and will make this conference a success.