Administrators' Days - Kearney

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (All day) to Friday, August 1, 2014 (All day)

Wednesday July 30 - Friday August 1, 2014

Younes Conference Center - Kearney, NE

Click here to register!!

Keynote Speakers


 Manny Scott           An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized over a million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring message of hope. Speaking to over 125 groups a year for the past decade, he is the speaker of choice for conferences, conventions, schools, fundraisers, and banquets. Manny has a gift: the ability to connect with, hold the attention of, and energize all kinds of audiences. From inner-city youth to business executives, Manny has learned to speak, and command, the language of his audiences with relevant, riveting, and compelling messages, moving them from cheers to laughter, to tears, and go-forward determinations. 


John Crudele         John Crudele is an educational specialist who speaks from experience! For 25 years he has motivated educators, students and parents to deal successfully with life’s tough issues while creating tomorrow’s leaders. With humor and hard-hitting facts, John inspires, enlightens, energizes and entertains audiences by magically weaving his powerful stories with proven insightful beliefs delivering a call to action to step out of the comfort zone and discover genuine fulfillment professionally and personally.


Dave Weber            For over 25 years Dave Weber's fun, high energy, and entertaining style have made him one of the country's most sought after speakers. Presenting well over 160 times each year to tens of thousands all across the country, he is often described as a "Chihuahua on caffeine" and is always a crowd favorite. From the most well respected corporations in the world, to middle schoolers, and everyone in between. As a captivating presenter and phenomenal story teller, Dave has discovered that laughter opens the head and the heart to consider internalizing new principles... and humor is a big part of all of his presentations. Dave strongly identifies with the challenges other professionals face. His goal with every presentation is to motivate, challenge, and inspire everyone who hears him... and have a lot of fun along the way. 




Conference at a Glance


Wednesday, July 30


7:30am - 4:00pm          Registration Opens

8:30am - 4:00pm          NDE Program

3:30pm – 5:00pm         NARSA Reception

4:00pm - 6:30pm          Exhibitors' Reception

6:30pm                         Hospitality Suites Open


Thursday, July 31


7:00am - 8:00am           Registration Open

8:00am - 8:30am           Welcome - Presentation of NCSA Distinguished Service Award

8:30am - 9:30am           General Session I - Keynote speaker Manny Scott "How to R.E.A.C.H. Youth Today

9:30am - 10:00am         Break

10:00am - 10:45am       Select-a-Session I

10:45am - 11:15am       Break

11:15am - 12:00pm       Select-a-Session II

12:00pm - 12:15pm       Break

12:15pm - 1:00pm         Lunch

1:00pm - 1:45pm           Break/Ice Cream Social

1:45pm - 2:15pm           Affiliate Award Presentation

2:15pm - 3:00pm           General Session II - Keynote speaker John Crudele "Difference Makers"

3:00pm - 3:15pm           Break

3:15pm - 4:00pm           Select-a-Session III

4:00pm                           Jostens Reception

6:30pm                           Thunderhead Brewery Event
*Join us at Thunderhead Brewery located in downtown Kearney! Space is limited to 85 people for this event. Trolley will leave at 6:30pm from the Holiday Inn (West Entrance). Pre-registration is required at $25 per person and will include transportation to and from the brewery, hors d'oeuvres, 5 beer tastings, and a commemorative beer glass*

6:30pm                           Big Apple Fun Center Event
*Please join us for Family Fun Night which will take place at the Big Apple Fun Center on Thursday evening beginning at 6:30pm. With your registration you will receive unlimited activity passes for bowling, billiards, black light miniature golf, and (ballocity). In addition, each family will receive a coupon good for one large single topping pizza and one drink for each person in the family. Pre-registration is required at $10 per family*

8:00pm                           Dance
*Please join us from 8:00pm to 11:30pm in the Holiday Inn Ballroom for music and dancing*


Friday, August 1


8:15am - 9:15am          New Member Breakfast

8:15am - 9:30am          Breakfast Buffet

9:30am - 11:00am        General Session III - Keynote speaker Dave Weber "Sticks and Stones Exposed: The Truth Behind Words and Relationships"


Any cancellation request must be received no later than Friday July 25, 2014.


*A 48 hour (2 business day) cancellation policy is in place for all events. To avoid being charged the full registration fee, please submit any requests to cancel your registration before the cancellation deadline. Please contact Michelle,, with all cancellation questions and inquiries.





 10:00 am – 10:45 am – Session I


Implementing a Common Language of Instruction: Lessons Learned – Stateroom A & B

Toby Boss

ESU #6

Laura Kroll

Exeter-Milligan Public Schools

Mark Olson

Milford Public Schools

Establishing and using a common language of instruction has become an important strategy for improvement of both teacher efficiency and student achievement. This session will allow you to learn the steps these school leaders took to implement the model, including teacher self-assessment, video self-reflection, and goal setting.


The Superintendent Pay Transparency Act (LB 470) – Stateroom C

Jim Gessford

Perry, Guthery, Haase, and Gessford

In this session, Jim Gessford will review this new law and some immediate steps that must be taken to assure compliance its various requirements in order to assure there is no withholding of your school’s State funds.


Going with Google Chromebooks – Stateroom D

Jay Dostal, Aaron Svoboda, Troy DeHaven, Judy Henning

Kearney Public Schools

Dick Meyer

University of Nebraska - Kearney

Kearney High School deployed over 1400 Chromebooks to students in December of 2013. Learn the process that led up to this deployment and what we have learned about the devices in the first half-year. Additionally, learn how teachers are using the devices in their classrooms.


Mail-In Bond Elections: What You Need to Know! – Stateroom E

Liz Standish

Lincoln Public Schools

Scott Keene


Lincoln Public Schools passed a $153 million bond issue on February 11, 2014, by a 2 to 1 margin.  The LPS Board worked through a lengthy public process to develop the bond question and called a special election.  Consequently, the decision was made by the Election Commissioner to conduct the election through tht email-in process in order to increase voter turnout.  Facin the largest mail-in election in the state, LPS took on a major communication effort to inform a voting base that exceeds 160,000.  This mail-in election resulted in an election day that lasted 19 days!  Come learn about the key strategies, major take-aways, and interesting things we learned along the way.


“RESPECT” – Stateroom F

Vern Fisher, Danielle Panowicz, Tom Luxford

South Sioux City Community Schools

Beginning as a school improvement presentation, students have partnered with district administration to address appropriate and respectful behaviors between adults. Through their efforts, “RESPECT” has turned into a community-wide campaign that includes participation by city government, local businesses, community colleges, and the school district. Come see how students can impact the quality of life for an entire community.


Q & A With the Commissioner – Loper North

Dr. Matt Blomstedt

Nebraska Department of Education

Join Dr. Matt Blomstedt as he hosts a Question & Answer session on educational topics.


Off the Pyramid: Intensive Behavior Programming for K-8 Students – Ruby 7

Beth Ericson

York Public School

Nancy Meyer

ESU #6

York Public Schools and ESU #6 have collaborated to create a special program (Students Engaged in Learning for their Future) for students with severe emotional and behavioral needs. SELF is based on the Response to Intervention model and work of Diana Browning-Wright and Dr. Clayton Cook. York Public Schools and ESU #6 have utilized Browning-Wright and Cook’s publication RTI in Restrictive Settings published by LRP Publications. Participants will learn how to utilize the Response to Intervention model to create and operate a specialized program like SELF with the ultimate goal of students returning to a less restrictive environment full-time.


Middle School Roundtable – Diamond 1

Brian Tonniges

York Middle School

Brett Cudly

Fremont Public Schools

Dr. Chris Stogdill

Blair Community Schools

Randy Schlueter

Tri County Public Schools

Mary Jo Rupert

Norris School District 160

Nebraska Association for Middle Level Education will lead an informal discussion on various mid-level topics. This session has proved to be a great time to connect with other administrators who have interest in mid-level education. Members of the NAMLE board will also give a preview of their upcoming fall Professional Development Institute to be held in October at York Middle School.


Midlands Superintendent Academy – Is It For You? – Diamond 2

Keith Lutz

Midlands Superintendent Academy

After completing the inaugural year, the University of Nebraska-Omaha has selected a second group of participants. Come hear the requirements, structure, guest speakers (local, regional, national), and see if it will provide the tools necessary for success in the early part of your career. The experience is meant for first year superintendents and those who aspire to a superintendent in the near future. The academy is not intended to be another graduate course, but to expose participants to people and experiences not available in other venues.


Behavior: The Invisible Disability – Diamond 6

Jane Byers, MaKayla LaBorde, Tammy Voisin, Kristy Feden

Papillion-LaVista School District

This session will provide strategies for working with children/students who have a verification of Emotional Disturbance and/or demonstrate internalizing behaviors that interfere with their ability to access learning opportunities. This session will focus on strategies for children/students in early childhood settings, elementary/secondary settings, and young adult programs.


Upcoming Changes to the ACT and SAT – Diamond 7

John Baylor

John Baylor Test Prep

Changes to the ACT and SAT – what’s causing them, when they’ll arrive, and how they’ll affect your students?


The “Kitchen Sink” on Student Safety:  School Security, Tornado Preparation, Suicide Prevention, Concussion Prevention and Transgender Student Issues in Activities

Rex Schultze

Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford

Brian Halstead

Nebraska Department of Education

Rex and Brian will discuss the legal requirements under state and federal law and regulations and legal precedent relating to school security and student and staff safety measures, including a discussion of minimum school security requirements, weather related disaster prevention, educational programs to address student suicide, and student safety issues related to concussion prevention and transgender student participation in activities.


11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Session II

Helping Students Whether They Want It or Not – Stateroom A & B

Bill McAllister

West Holt Public Schools

This session will review West Holt Public School’s process of creating SMART goals for students and Achievement Centers via teacher collaboration teams.  This process begin by addressing the following questions:

—  What do we want students to learn?

—  How will we know if they have learned?

—  What will we do if they don’t learn?

—  What will we do if they already know it?


Implementing A District Leadership Academy – Stateroom C

Mike Rupprecht

Ralston Public Schools

Effective leadership is what separates a good school district from a great one. In a time where talented leaders are in short supply, what steps can districts take to ensure their future success? This session will focus on the leadership development program currently offered by the Ralston Public Schools. The presenter will address issues facing school officials in regards to the planning, content, and administration of these programs. Special emphasis will also be given to the research that has been conducted on the overall effectiveness of Ralston’s program.


Create a Google+ Community for Your School! – Stateroom D

Charlie Hutzler

Norris School Dist 160

Laura Kroll

Exeter-Milligan Public Schools

Creating a Google+ Community is a simple and effective way to set up an online, private forum for you to communicate and share resources with your staff. Use it for professional growth, sharing best practices, or to celebrate school events together. During the presentation, you’ll see examples of Google+ Communities that are being used at schools and be led through the steps of setting up a Community of your own. Bring your digital device and start your Google+ Community! NOTE: This session will be most useful to those schools who utilize Google Apps for Education.


Identifying and Overcoming Relative Weaknesses Using NWEA’s Map Assessments – Stateroom E

Derek Ippensen

Shickley Public School

In this session, Derek Ippensen will discuss how NWEA’s MAP assessments can be used to identify areas of relative weakness in a student’s knowledge, and direct the differentiated instruction process to overcome those areas of relative weakness.


Staff Evaluation in Early Childhood Settings – Connecting Observation to Professional Goals and Child Outcomes - Stateroom F

Kristy Feden

Papillion-LaVista Public Schools

Jean Ubbelohde

Millard Public Schools

This session will drill down to what to “look for” during walk-through and less formal staff observations in early childhood settings (community childcare/preschools, family homes, center-based preschool, IEP/IFSP meetings). Participants can also expect to learn how to support early childhood staff with developing professional goals that align with district-wide purpose and direction, and connect to infant/toddler/child outcomes, as well as discover post observation conversations that will yield meaningful discussion between early childhood staff and administrators.



Criminal Background Checks: Legal and Practical Update – Loper North

Karen Haase, Kelley Baker

Harding & Shultz

Most administrators are familiar with the provisions of LB 907, also known as the “ban the box” legislation which prevents school districts from asking about criminal history until the district determines that the applicant meets “minimum employment qualifications.” Karen and Kelley will discuss the changes to the law, updating employment applications, and other practical considerations of the hiring process.


School Improvement Best Practices – Ruby 6

Dr. Kent Mann, Dr. Jody Isernhagen

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Graduate students in EDAD 948 Instructional Leadership at UNL will present innovative strategies and program overviews related to school improvement initiatives. This session is a gallery walk where participants will have the opportunity to review a variety of school improvement initiatives developed by the UNL students and talk about implementation strategies and program outcomes with emerging school leaders.


How to Survive Your First 30 Days as a Special Education Director – Ruby 7

Peggy Romshek

Mitchell Public School

Dr. Jenny Piening

Norris School District 160

Members of the NASES Executive board will host a session for those new to their position as a Special Education Director. NASES has a new member program. Highlights of this program will be given along with other tips for surviving the first few weeks on the job. A question and answer session with experienced special education administrators will also be a part of this session.


Grade Level Teams at the Secondary Level – Diamond 1

Aaron Plas, Mitch Bartholomew

York Public Schools

See how York High School has successfully implemented grade level teams to help improve student achievement. These teams have allowed York High School to begin an RTI process while focusing on improving student achievement by discussing research-based teaching strategies, and academic and behavior interventions. These changes have improved the York High School failure rate by 25% in the last two years.


Educators Health Alliance Benefit Update – Diamond 2

Kent Trelford Thompson

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska

Greg Long


Kent and Greg will be speaking about current EHA issues and giving a detailed update of benefit options for the 2014-2015 year.  They will also be talking about new dual-option plans for future health benefit planning.



Building Teacher Capacity & Leadership: A District-Wide Approach to Professional Learning – Diamond 6

Scott Blum, Michelle Rezek, Craig Patzel, Dottie Heusman, Ross Ricenbaw, Ryan Ricenbaw

School District 145-Waverly

In the climate of accountability and continued reductions in budgets/resources, it is easy for policy-makers and decision-makers to focus on saving money by eliminating professional development opportunities while focusing daily routines on preparation for testing. However, it is imperative that we in education stay focused on our beliefs about teaching and learning and create ways to provide intentional, on-going professional development that values all students and teachers. This session will show how one district, grounded in common beliefs, utilize a systemic approach to on-going professional learning that values teachers as leaders, learners, decision-makers, individuals, and teammates. From district-level professional development “class” to building-level learning teams, teachers are actively involved and engaged in being and becoming master teachers and leaders.


An “Obamacare” Update You’ll Care About – Crystal 1

Karen Haase, Bobby Truhe

Harding & Shultz

Most districts have been working with the new PPACA regulations released in February, including transition relief provided to schools. Karen and Bobby will review these changes and take you through a step-by-step discussion of the implementation timelines and the decisions your district will have to make along the way.



3:15 pm – 4:00 pm– Session III


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: Necessary versus Nice – Stateroom A & B

Keri Applebee, Erin Stutzman, Mitch Vernon

Lincoln Public Schools

The presenters of this session will show how PBiS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) has been implemented in a large comprehensive high school. The benefits of being a school where PBiS is a part of the culture will be shared. In addition, the presentation will include information in regards to the 6 key components of PBiS, and examples of what these look like in this comprehensive high school setting. The presenters will point out what they believe to be “necessary” to fully implement PBiS versus what is “nice” to have. Attendees will be given the change to ask questions at the end of the session.


Can SCHOOL PRIDE be a School Improvement Goal? – Stateroom C

Jason Heitz , Jerad Wulf

Wakefield Community School

As is the case in most schools, Wakefield Community Schools consistently has one or two academic goals for their School Improvement Process. This year, we added an affective goal to our list. “Increase Student Pride.” Come visit with us to find out how a small elementary and high school worked to increase student PRIDE, for the betterment of the school as a whole.



Nebraska BlendEd Project – Stateroom D

Craig Hicks

ESU #13

Beth Kabes

ESU #7

Linda Dickeson

Lincoln Public Schools

David Ludwig

ESU #2, ESU Coordinating Council

Nebraska BlendEd has made significant progress in the first year of the project. The goal of Nebraska’s BlendEd eLearning System is to implement instructional and content technologies to enhance teaching and learning to improve learning outcomes for students of all ages. The tools that have already been deployed as well as next steps of the project will be shared.


A Community Approach to Career Academies –Stateroom E

Jimmy Feeney III, Lynne Webster, Erik Kravig, Cory Worrell

Boone Central Schools

Boone Central Schools has taken a different approach to Career Academies. Our goal is to develop a program that gives students experiences that gain them an advantage when applying for college and/or jobs.  Our program is flexible enough to fulfill individual needs, based in our school community, includes local businesses within each career field, and will hopefully attract students back to the community.  In our first two years, we have over 40 businesses and 45% of our high school students participating.  We are developing middle school components focused on first-hand experiences in the six career fields for all students.  We will share information about our how we got community buy-in, how we wrote the curriculum with teachers and businesses, how we coordinate observations and internships with businesses, our course offering requirements, capstone course development, and changes that were necessary to establish the structures for this 6th-12th grade program. 


The Power of Feedback and Value of Student & Staff Engagement Surveys – Stateroom F

Brad Black, Katie Lechner

HUMANeX Ventures

Wahoo Administrative Team

Wahoo Public Schools

In the results-based, data-driven world we live in today, many are missing a key measurement critical to success for all…engagement. Join us as we explore Wahoo Public Schools’ use of Student & Staff Engagement Surveys, and how this data, combine with feedback, has impacted both stakeholder groups. Shared will be the innovative model in place since 2011, and the focused plan for next steps.



So You Want to Go Into Closed Session? – Loper North

Karen Haase, Bobby Truhe

Harding & Shultz

It’s the most common question we get on board meeting Mondays: “Can we go into closed session?” When we attend board meetings, we cringe when we personally observe school boards violating the law when they enter closed session. Most importantly, closed session issues have been the cause of the majority of Open Meeting complaints to the Attorney General involving schools. This fast-paced show will focus exclusively on closed sessions: when boards can go into closed session, how to get there, and how to get out.


The Science of Early Childhood Development and Strategies for Implementing Quality Early Childhood Programs – Ruby 7

Becky Veak, Jen Goettemoeller

First Five Nebraska

This session will provide administrators an overview regarding the science of brain development and why it’s so critical to invest in children prior to school entrance. Examples will be given of what quality early childhood looks like in an infant-toddler and a pre-school classroom and how they differ. The session will also touch on ideas for strengthening partnerships in your community that will help close the achievement gap.


 There’s Only Two Ways to Improve Your School … - Diamond 1

Chad Dumas

Hastings Public Schools & Learning Forward Nebraska

There's only two ways to improve your school: 1) Hire better teachers, or 2) Improve the ones you’ve got. There isn’t any other way. Hiring better teachers will take a lifetime, so you’re left with improving what you’ve got. Increase your effectiveness in leading improvement through the “Standards of Professional Learning.” Find out how to maximize your improvement efforts through improving educator effectiveness!


Special Education Update – Diamond 2

Lee Frye

Elkhorn Public Schools

Ellen Stokebrand

ESU #4

Jane Byers

Papillion LaVista Public Schools

Jane Moody

ESU #11

This session will be an update on the latest legislation in Washington, DC relating to Special Education.


Growing as Instructional Leaders with Administrator Rounds – Diamond 6

Jen Madison, Suzanne Whisler

ESU #4

Ernie Valentine, J.P. Holys, Rick Johnson, Gale Dunkhas, Tim Heckenlively

Falls City Public Schools

Instructional Rounds have been gaining momentum as a way for teachers to build a common language of instruction, learn from their colleagues, and reflect on their own professional practice. Falls City Public School principals partnered with ESU #4 to use a similar model. They observed classrooms together to deepen their understanding of their instructional framework and practice providing effective feedback. Learn how one district implemented the rounds model with principals.


The NSAA, The Other Half of Education

Nebraska School Activities Association

The NSAA staff will talk about the newest trends in Interscholastic Activity, including risk management, bylaw proposals, and educational outreach.


The New Attendance Law – Crystal 1

Dr. Terry Haack

Bennington Public Schools

Dr. Kevin Riley

Gretna Public Schools

Greg Perry

Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford

Dr. Haack and Dr. Riley were intricately involved in the development of LB 464. They will describe the changes made to Nebraska’s excessive absenteeism law and the purposes of those changes. Greg Perry will give legal input.



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