NAPSA’s 56th Annual Conference was held from October 16-19, 2022 at the Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown. The conference was presented in a hybrid format, with opportunities to attend both in person or via virtual means.
The conference led off with Dr. Mary Margaret Kerr, who delivered an excellent presentation on the handling the aftermath of school violence. Dr. Kerr’s expertise was on full display as she provided valuable insight gleaned from years of providing crisis response services, training, and policy consultation to school districts and agencies across Pennsylvania and the country.
Next up was a terrific session on legal issues impacting pupil services featuring nationally recognized Super Lawyer Ira Weiss, Esq. and his outstanding associate, Annemarie Harr, Esq. The presentation focused on legal issues in areas salient to pupil services administration, including special education, and was, as always, extremely informative.
The legal session was followed by NJAPSA’s Dr. Danielle Hamblin, Dr. Suzan Radwan, and Tania Symmons, who adroitly addressed the issue of school avoidance in light of emotionally fragile students. The trio of highly knowledgeable educators examined the diverse nature of student need, precipitating factors, and barriers that must be addressed for students to be comfortable in the learning environment.
The first full conference day concluded with a powerful presentation from members of the Cocalico (PA) School District Aevidum student club. Students and club advisors explained how the Aevidum program empowers youth to shatter the silence surrounding depression, suicide, and other issues facing teens. Attendees were truly appreciative of the insight provided in this session, which included stirring personal accounts from students.
The second full day of presentations began on Tuesday with Attorney Harr’s highly informative presentation on Title IX issues. Presenting in her area of expertise, Attorney Harr provided an in-depth view of the complexities of Title IX as it impacts schools.
Tuesday’s second presenter was Madison Branham, RN, who serves as the School Nurse Coordinator for Oak Ridge (TN) Schools. Focusing on the unprecedented, rapidly-evolving, and diverse health needs of students, both physically and mentally, her presentation on the “The Effective Delivery of School Health Services” was extremely informative, providing invaluable perspectives and strategies in this regard.
The Tuesday keynote presentation featured WhyTry’s Christian Moore, the internationally renowned speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and advocate for youth. Christian’s powerful presentation focused on developing resilience in a world of increasing instability and narrowing opportunity. During the session, Christian explained how to increase resilience, lower dropout rates, improve school climate, prevent bullying, lessen the achievement gap, and improve academics through teaching social and emotional education to all students.
Tuesday concluded with a “Haunted Walk” through Pittsburgh provided by new NAPSA sponsor TeachTown. Led by TeachTown’s Jeremy Klipple, participants enjoyed a spooky night of fun, team building, and networking!
In addition, conference sessions on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday morning, led by NAPSA President Dr. Larrissa Henderson, focused on addressing the needs of pupil services administrators and discussing potential solutions to problems those in the field are facing.
The Numbers Are In
Conference evaluation results show that the 2022 NAPSA conference was a terrific success. In fact, evaluation data reveal that attendees were quite pleased with sessions offered, seeing them as timely and on point with regard to the current state of affairs in the field. In addition, NAPSA’s initial efforts in providing a “hybrid” conference were deemed quite successful, with comments praising the seamlessness and quality of the online component and an average rating comfortably above 90%.
With regard to presenters, combined ratings were again over 90%.
Overall conference ratings showed the vast majority of respondents giving marks above 90%, with all but one saying they or another person from their educational entity will be returning for future conferences either in person or by virtual means.
Of course, the conference would never have come off as well as it did without the efforts of our executive board and our corporate partners.
Certainly, all constructive criticism garnered through the evaluation process will be taken into consideration as the NAPSA Executive Board begins preparations for our 2023 Annual Conference to be held from October 15- 18, 2023 at the Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown and via virtual means.
For additional information, please contact NAPSA Executive Director Dr. Douglas Arnold, at email@example.com or call (570) 656-4286.