Joint Annual Conference

November 22-24, 2024

Friday Focus Workshops

IASB Friday Focus Workshops are designed to give school board members knowledge, skills, and resources to provide effective board leadership.

Date and Location

Friday, November 22 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago

Additional Registration Required

$175 Half Day Workshop Fee
$350 Full Day Workshop Fee

Friday Focus Workshops are only available to those who have registered for the 2024 Joint Annual Conference. For additional information contact Haylie Noltensmeier at (217) 528-9688, ext. 1103.

Targeted School Board Member Training

Participants can mix and match two half-day sessions (morning/afternoon) or choose one full-day workshop.

All workshops earn participants credit in IASB’s Board Leader Recognition Program.


Schedule Overview

8-9 a.m. Continental Breakfast and Registration – Full Day and Morning (a.m.) Workshops only
9 a.m. Full Day and Morning (a.m.) Workshops Begin
11-11:30 a.m. Registration – Afternoon (p.m.) Workshops only
11:30 a.m. Morning Workshops Adjourn
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch – Full Day and Afternoon (p.m.) Workshops Only
12:30 p.m. Full Day Workshops resume, Afternoon Workshops begin
3 p.m. Adjournment – Full Day and Afternoon (p.m.) Workshops

Full Day Workshops

The Job of the Board President in Leading Leaders
The board president, as a leader, has the influence and ability to impact the quality and success of the board’s work, which ultimately affects the entire education system. An effective president does far more than run the meeting. Setting the tone and expectations of the governance team is an essential role and a board president is expected to keep the board focused on district goals; provide the opportunity for airing points of view without acrimony or favoritism; maintain open lines of communication with the superintendent, fellow board members, and the public; be knowledgeable of legal requirements; inspire collaboration and successful leadership; and much more. This interactive workshop will explore the board president’s crucial role and responsibilities in leading the board.

Breaking Down the Walls: Bringing Student Voice to the Board Table
Developed by Phil Boyte, the Breaking Down the Walls program is a unique opportunity for student leaders and board members to connect, share stories, and realize “it's hard to hate someone whose story you know." Board members are encouraged to invite student board members, ambassadors, or representatives for a day of team and culture building. The workshop will include a breakout session where students will connect with fellow student leaders from across the state, as board members develop governance best practices to give students a voice at the table. At the end of the day, registered student leaders are invited to attend the Joint Annual Conference Opening Session.

Special registration for this event: Capacity is limited. Student leaders must be accompanied by at least one board member or administrator from their district. If student(s) will be attending the entire Conference, they must register through the normal process (as listed on the IASB website) and pay the full Conference fee. If student(s) will only be attending the Friday Focus Workshop and Opening Session, the fee is $100 per student, and they can be registered by emailing

Half Day Workshops

Note: Some workshops are offered twice, as morning (a.m.) and afternoon (p.m.) sessions.

Superintendent Evaluation: The Essential Work of the Board (a.m.)
The board employs and evaluates one person — the superintendent — and holds that person accountable for district performance and compliance with written board policy. In this age of accountability, good governance requires a superintendent evaluation process that promotes district improvement and provides professional development and growth opportunities.

Equity: An Educational Imperative (a.m.)
Have you ever felt as if you just don’t know what to say to someone with whom you are culturally different? And you’re not sure if you’re doing something to offend or demean others, when you have the best of intentions? In this fast-paced, interactive seminar, you will receive greater confidence and skill practice in valuing and working across racial and cultural differences and support to identify unconscious and exclusive behaviors, which we all exhibit at times. Discover how to contribute to the school district’s mission and strategic focus on student preparedness and excellence for all students and understand the important and central role you play in creating an equitable school environment that leads to greater student success.

LeaderSHIFT - Today's Challenges Require a Different Type of Leader (a.m./p.m.)
As the landscape of public education continues to evolve, the need for adaptable, empathetic, and visionary leaders becomes increasingly vital, particularly for school board governance. Workshop participants will learn the competencies required to lead with vision, empathy, and strategic insight, as well as strategies to foster personal growth, increased self-awareness, and enhanced confidence. This workshop will highlight the transformative power of leadership.

Creating Peak Team Performance Through Self-Awareness and Personal Growth (a.m./p.m.)
The first step to being a member of a great team is to be a great teammate. This workshop will help board members, administrators, and all leaders grow their self-awareness by leveraging the Enneagram Personality Profile to understand how they are both positively and negatively impacting their school governance team. This workshop will help to identify positive and problematic behaviors associated with each personality archetype and will help all teammates understand how their unique behaviors impact the overall performance of the team. Participants will leave with a greater sense of awareness and a renewed commitment to being a world-class teammate.

School Finance for Board Members (a.m./p.m.)
Explore the future of Illinois school finance with Ann Williams, Ed. D. Gain valuable insights into your pivotal role and how it influences property taxes, school debt, budgeting procedures, and fiscal equity within your school district.  Elevate your impact, drive meaningful change, and set a course for a brighter financial future for your school community.

School Safety and Violent Event Incident Management and Reunification Overview (a.m./p.m.)
Learn the concepts of Operations (Incident Command and Reunification) that are taught to first responders and school administrators statewide by the Illinois Fire Service Institute. This year will include the interactive demonstration of both the ASIM & SSAVEIM training curriculum as well as the integration of other crisis response mutual aid assets and concepts including the National Crisis Response Canines. These performance-level, direct delivery courses are designed to improve incident management and response integration to violent events in schools. The courses provide a model framework for use by schools, law enforcement, fire, and emergency management to manage response to improve time to threat neutralization, medical intervention, survivability of victims, and reunification of students with parents. Additionally, board members and school leaders will be able to ask critical questions of the team of expert presenters.

Gaining the Trust Edge (p.m.) TRUST

When organizations have a high-trust culture, they experience highly efficient teams, achieving maximum results with incredible morale.”
— David Horsager, CEO, Trust Edge Leadership Institute

The Trust Edge Experience builds high-performing teams and creates a common language to build connections, improve clarity, and increase productivity. Led by a certified Trust Edge coach, participants will explore the 8-Pillar Framework™ for building trust and identify how trust impacts every area of their work and life. Participants will practice methods to clarify expectations, improve relationships, and reduce interpersonal conflict, as well as methods for appreciating others, building an accountable culture, and recognizing how to rebuild trust when it has been broken.

Beginning, Enhancing, and Sustaining Your District's Educational Equity Journey (p.m.)
This interactive workshop is designed to provide participants with the “How To’s” of recognizing and addressing inequities at all levels of the district. Information and tools for your learning community will be provided to examine how racial and cultural perspectives can positively impact the achievement of all students. An examination of options and paths intended to dissolve racial, cultural, and opportunity divides will be provided.  Participants will leave with the ability to shed light on the need for equity accountabilities along with the structural and cultural changes needed to lead a sustainable Equity Journey.