More than 1,200 school superintendents, school board members and business managers will be attending the Iowa Association of School Boards conference in Des Moines this week. Marti Kline is the association’s communications director and says this year’s gathering is especially important.

“Nearly 25% of school board members are brand new to the job this fall after elections in September,” Kline says. “That makes many challenges and a steep learning curve because there’s a lot that goes on in a school district, but the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of Iowa’s students has never been greater.”

The theme of this year’s conference is The Power of Focus. Kline says, “We’re here to offer appropriate education and training and skills development and help boards focus in on what’s really important to support student learning and achievement across the state.” Kline says featured speakers include: Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Department of Education director Jason Glass.

She says, “They’re going to be talking about the governor’s education reform proposition, the Blueprint for Education Reform, and why it’s important to the state that we look at education in a different light.” Those attending the 66th annual conference will be taking part in several workshops, ranging from school dress codes to wind turbines powering schools.

The event will be held Wednesday and Thursday at Hy-Vee Hall. Learn more at: “

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City