This year, our annual MEMSPA Summer Leadership Institute was held on beautiful Mackinac Island. Once again, I was fortunate to be able to bring my family and turn the conference into both a learning experience and a vacation. While I spent my days connecting with and learning from leaders across the state, my family hiked and biked around the island. Our evenings were spent together enjoying ice cream, fudge and ghost tours.
The conference kicked off with a keynote address from the inspirational Kristin Anderson and continued with a session on Social Emotional Learning from Dina Rocheleau. The first day ended with tips on how to retain and grow professional staff by Rebekah Emmerling from the Michigan Department of Education.
The learning continued the next day with a session on “Staff Meeting Upgrades” by Andy Fuehr. I was fortunate to be able to facilitate sessions on “Blogging for Educators” and “Toolkit for Early Career Principals“. The conference concluded with a call to “Uncommon Leadership” by my friend and mentor Dr. Debbie McFalone.
I’ve had people tell me I’m crazy for “giving up” my summer days to attend conferences. That might be true if this were strictly work. The truth is, the work we do is more than a profession, it’s a calling and the people that I’ve had the privilege to connect with in MEMSPA are more than colleagues, they are friends. Simon Sinek said that working hard for something we love is called passion. I’m fortunate to be able to do what I love with so many incredible friends and share the experience with my family.