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2023 Summer Leadership Institute

Safe Schools, Healthy Students

Friday and Saturday, July 14-15

Hyatt Regency, Green Bay

Join us in Green Bay this July for the Summer Leadership Institute. This year’s two-day conference features a dual focus on the wellness and safety of students and school board governance.

The first day, Friday, July 14, will focus on school safety and student health topics including youth mental health, designing safe schools, preventing student injury, cybersecurity and more. The next day, Saturday, July 15, will feature governance tracks for new and experienced board members. Topics will include school finance, onboarding new school board members, governance for continuous improvement, a legislative update and more.

Take advantage of this unique two-day training opportunity to learn from experts, become a more informed school board member and network with colleagues from across the state.

Registration Information

Registration: $255 per member (includes meals except for Friday dinner)
Friday Dinner: $48

Deadline for registration: Friday, July 7

Refunds will be given for cancellations received by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 7. To cancel, call toll-free 877-705-4422. Casual attire in layers recommended.

Friday, July 14 Agenda
8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9 a.m. Welcome, Rosanne Hahn, WASB President, Burlington School Board
9:15 a.m.

Keynote: Relationships as Reason and Route: Understanding Brain Development and Relational Health

Dr. Dipesh Navsaria will discuss the critical importance of the first thousand days of life and the key role human relationships and interactions play during that time. Using practical examples and research, he will review the concepts of toxic stress and how early adversity can lead to lifelong issues. The newer concept of relational health will be covered as a strengths-based concept.  Broad policy and programmatic principles that may help address the issue will also be discussed. Listen to this recent episode of the WASB Connection Podcast to preview Dr. Navsaria’s keynote.

Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Associate Professor, Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

10 a.m.  Break
10:15 a.m.
(Select one session)

Youth Mental Health Post-Pandemic: A Focus on Anxiety and Depression

Rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders have risen quickly since the pandemic. In this presentation, attendees will learn about the data regarding the increase in anxiety and depression among youth during and after the pandemic. We will also describe how anxiety and depression manifests in young people, discuss treatment and explain how schools can help. Finally, we’ll provide suggestions to increase access to evidence-based mental health services.

David M. Jacobi, Clinical Director, Rogers Behavioral Health

10:15 a.m.
(Select one session)

Designing Safe and Welcoming Schools: A Panel Discussion

In this session, architects will explore the critical topic of school safety and discuss how design can play a vital role in creating secure educational environments. They will share insights into current best practices, including design strategies that support everyday safety and wellness. The session will delve into topics such as security measures, building access controls and layouts that promote visibility and clear sightlines. Attendees will learn about the latest design trends and solutions aimed at enhancing school safety while promoting a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

Bray Architects, Eppstein Uhen Architects, JP Cullen, Plunkett Raysich Architects

11:15 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m.
(Select one session)

Best Practices in Communicating in Times of Crisis

No district is immune to a crisis, and there is no one-size-fits-all communications response. However, there are basic steps that all school leaders should follow in their crisis response. This session will cover best practices in dealing with a crisis by providing real-life examples and tips all attendees can take away to be better prepared the next time your district faces a challenging situation.

Jim Strick, Communications Director, Neenah Joint School District; Board of Directors, Wisconsin School Public Relations Association

11:30 a.m.
(Select one session) 

Cultivating Your District’s Relationship With the School Resource Officer

The relationship between school resource officers and school districts has been a hot-button topic over the last couple of years. Cultivating this relationship with open conversations, clear directives and documentation are vital for districts looking to maintain an SRO program. Lt. Jack Taschner of the Appleton Police Department and Appleton Area School District Assistant Superintendent Mike Hernandez will speak on Appleton’s relationship and how it directly correlates to school safety and student wellness.

Lt. Jack Taschner, SRO Coordinator, Appleton Police Department

Michael Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Appleton Area School District

12:30 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 p.m.
(Select one session)  

Preventing Student Injury: What School Board Members Should Know About Liability

Keeping students safe from injury is a primary concern of education leaders. This session will inform education leaders about the school’s role in protecting students and minimizing liability. Some districts also have policies regarding the use of school facilities by outside groups, whether during emergencies or other events. Presenters will discuss best practices regarding these facility use agreements.

Ted Hayes, Senior Risk Manager, M3 Insurance 

Scott Mikesh, WASB Staff Counsel

1:30 p.m. 

The Power of Proactive and Preventive Emotional Well-Being Skill Development

Which students need the most intense services in our schools, and how can we support them?  Attend this session to learn how schools can use data and needs assessments to determine what levels of support and services students need. Data from the Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows over 50% of students are reporting anxiety; there are not enough school-employed mental health staff or community mental health providers to meet these needs on an individual basis. Learn how school counselors deliver proactive and preventive school counseling programs that integrate with school-based Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to address these needs.

Stacy Eslick, Executive Director, Wisconsin School Counselors Association
Cindy Bourget, Counselor, Elk Mound Middle School, Elk Mound Area School District and 2023 Wisconsin School Counselor of the Year

2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m.
(Select one session)

Understanding Your District’s School Safety Plan: What Should I Know as a Board Member

Creating and sustaining a culture of safety in your schools and school district starts at the top — school boards and administrators have a critical role. State law requires school boards to annually review and approve their district’s safety plan. This session will review the key elements and critical components of a comprehensive school safety plan; provide strategies/best practices for developing and implementing a plan in your district with a focus on threat assessment, response protocols and reunification; and discuss the roles/involvement of school boards and administrators in their plan.




Scott Johnson, Buildings & Grounds Manager/ Safety Coordinator, La Crosse School District; President, Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association

2:45 p.m.
(Select one session)

Cybersecurity and Citizenship: Keeping Kids Safe and Districts Secure in Online Era

Is your district prepared to handle the threats to student safety and data security exacerbated by the pandemic? Attendees will learn how districts are using hands-on lessons to teach cybersecurity and digital citizenship. They will also learn how policies regarding internal controls and the use of copyrighted material in the classroom can help protect districts from legal liability.

John Gahan, Assistant Superintendent/CFO, Pewaukee School District
Rachel Yurk, Chief Information And Technology Officer, Pewaukee School District

3:45 p.m. Break
4 p.m.

A Preview of the WASB Essential Elements of Governance

The WASB has created a new framework to help school boards govern in a way that leads to quality outcomes for children. In this 30-minute session, we will provide an overview of this framework, including its five key elements.




Ben Niehaus, WASB Member Services Director
Dan Nerad, WASB Search and Governance Consultant

Optional Dinner Agenda
Friday, July 14


6 p.m. Dinner
7-7:45 p.m.

Our Innovative Past Can Help Bridge Today’s Gaps, Phil Hauck

In “The Golden Age of Brown County Enterprise,” author Phil Hauck chronicles how, 25 years ago or so, five Green Bay-area companies used innovative strategies to transform their industries and create growth in the thousands of employees. What did they do, and what’s changed?

Phil will explain how those companies succeeded, what their CEOs were like and how they used mission and personality to bond their teams to create that growth. He’ll also talk about why this doesn’t seem to be happening today. Finally, he will also describe a unique initiative in Green Bay to stimulate organizations to look at emerging trends, analyze their plausibility, and then act on their thinking. Sounds heavy, but it’ll be light and fun!

Phil is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who spent 30 years facilitating CEO groups. His career-long interest has been understanding the impact of culture on an organization’s success as well as what it takes for a CEO to be successful in leading an organization.

Saturday, July 15 Agenda
8 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome
8:45 a.m.
(Select one session)

Governing for Continuous Improvement

School boards often seek to pursue the goal of continuous improvement, but they may be unsure where to start. This session will walk board members and superintendents through the stages of planning for continuous improvement. Attendees will leave understanding how to examine their current reality, the steps needed to plan for improvement and the importance of successfully implementing their plan.

Fran Finco and Cheryl Gullicksrud, WASB Search and Governance Consultants

8:45 a.m.
(Select one session)

Onboarding New School Board Members

A well-defined onboarding plan will provide new members with the knowledge, training and support they need to be successful members of the leadership team. In this session, attendees will understand how a comprehensive onboarding process differs from an orientation, discover teambuilding strategies and determine best practices to improve their current process for welcoming and integrating new members to their leadership team.

Pat Mans and George Steffen, WASB Search and Governance Consultants

9:45 a.m.  Break
10 a.m.
(Select one session) 

Fundamentals of School Finance

This session will provide an overview of the state funding system, including revenue limits, aid factors and other basic influences. We will discuss how school boards can ask questions and be accountable to external stakeholders of the district’s finances, with respect to entrusting the superintendent and other district- and building-level administrators to effectively administer the budget.

Roger Price, WASB Governance Consultant
Ben Niehaus, WASB Member Services Director

10 a.m.
(Select one session)

Communication and Engagement for Excellence

Effective boards recognize that engaging the community helps strengthen the school system by building a stronger relationship between you and your public. Attendees will learn how both effective governance and their unique role as liaisons can help can help with stakeholder engagement. A variety of effective two-way constructive communication and feedback strategies will be shared to help attendees strengthen their strategic engagement of others with the district’s needs and plans.

Cheryl Stinski, WASB Governance Consultant
Patti Vickman, WASB Search and Governance Consultant

11 a.m.  Break
11:15 a.m.
(Select one session)

Governing for High Levels of Learning for All Children

How do quality school districts focus on excellence for all children? School boards make numerous decisions to provide necessary resources to schools, so it is imperative that their work aligns with best educational practices for all children. This workshop will focus on a range of practices that should be found in our classrooms today, including discipline and grading methods.

Dan Nerad and Cheryl Gullicksrud, WASB Search and Governance Consultants

11:15 a.m.
(Select one session)

Public Record Laws and Public Comment Periods

Communication today takes many forms, especially with the variety of options technology offers. Attendees will learn how to retain appropriate records of correspondence and communication. In addition to communication via technology, have you considered other opportunities to engage with the stakeholders of the district? Attendees will also learn about public forums and how to address common stumbling blocks.

Scott Mikesh, WASB Staff Counsel

12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m.

WASB Legislative Update

Did the recently passed state budget meet the needs of our students and schools? We’ll answer that question and examine the legislative landscape going forward, including a look at early literacy and curricular mandates that may be discussed over the summer.

Dan Rossmiller, WASB Government Relations Director

2:30 p.m. Adjourn
Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Green Bay
333 Main Street
Green Bay, WI 54301

Hotel Rate: Double $132 / King $142

Reservations: 920-432-1234

Online Reservations

Attendees must mention “Wisconsin Association of School Boards” rate when making their reservation.

Cut-off Date for Hotel Rooms: Friday, June 23

Cancellations: To be eligible for a refund, cancellations must be made more than 48 hours prior to arrival. There will be no refunds for cancellations less than 48 hours prior to arrival.

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