2022 Elementary Principals Convention

October 12-14, 2022 | Hyatt Regency | KI Center, Green Bay

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Photo of elementary aged school childrenGeneral Information

The 2022 Elementary Principals Convention will take place from October 12-14, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency | KI Center in Green Bay. This year's convention features sessions from schools that have demonstrated strong growth in student learning. 

Teams are welcome! Simply "add guest" for each team member you would like to include during registration. 

For any questions about the convention please contact Kathy Gilbertson at [email protected] 


Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency (connected to the KI Center)
333 Main St, Green Bay, WI 54301
Overnight: $132 single/double 
Block will expire on: 9/20/22
Call: (920) 432-1234
Ask for: AWSA Elementary Principals Convention
Click here to book online

Cost of Registration

Pre-Con Sessions $39 or $69   
AWSA Member Registration $249*
Non-Member Registration $399

*You must be logged in to see member pricing

Cancellation Policy: Full refund of fees will be made on cancellations received 10 working days prior to the start of the convention. Following that date, a 40% administrative fee will be retained. There will be no refund for no-shows or cancellations during the event.

If you have any questions about registration please contact Kathy Gilbertson at [email protected] 

COVID Mitigation: Keeping Each Other Safe and Healthy

AWSA is working with conference facilities related to food service, ventilation, cleaning, and other key mitigation strategies. We all do our part by washing our hands frequently, wearing a mask where it is requested, staying home when we are sick, and following guidance provided for the event.  

Information for Vendors coming this summer.

 Wednesday | October 12, 2022

11:30                       Pre-Convention Registration

12:30-4:00 PM        Pre-Convention Session

1. Elementary Principals Legal Seminar

Malina PiontekAWSA Retained Counsel
Jina Jonen, Legal Counsel
and Human Resources DirectorOregon School District
Melissa Thiel
Collar, Legal Counsel, Green Bay Area School District

This  session is designed to inform elementary principals on legal issues most commonly at stake in their day-to-day work. Malina, Jina and Melissa are three experienced school law  attorneys who will lead an interactive discussion and answer your burning questions on: the open records law  as it relates to video footage and which types of paperless communication, such as text messages and Google docs, constitute official records; the expansion of open enrollment over the past few years; social media and parent communication; custody issues; and an update on student seclusion and restraint.

2:00-4:00 PM          Pre-Convention Sessions 

2. Restorative Practices: Developing a School-wide Plan

Mark Supa, Principal, Wauwatosa School District
Jean Hoffmann, Wauwatosa School District

Interactive Idea-Sharing Workshop: Moving from a system that punishes and shames to a system that supports social-emotional growth and empowers students and staff. Explore ways to shift knowledge, attitudes, skills, aspirations, and behaviors to promote safe and emotionally healthy responses to discord.

3. Building High-Performing Teacher Learning Teams

Jayne Holck, Principal, Cedarburg School District
Barbara Donaldson, Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist, Cedarburg School District

This session will provide strategies to develop highly collaborative professional learning teams who do the right work to improve student learning. Learn how to coach team leaders to put structures in place that will facilitate teacher collaboration that allows for honest data analysis, collegial support, and teacher growth.

4. Planning for Your Retirement

Joel Craven, OwnerAstrais Financial LLC (Horace Mann)

This  session will  provide information on the three legs of  a solid retirement: the WI  Retirement System, Social Security and personal savings (e.g. Roth, 403(b) plans, etc.).  The session will also cover what educators should know about putting savings to good use and public service loan forgiveness. Come with your questions and leave better prepared for your future. 

5:00-6:00 PM   Welcome Reception (Sponsored by Zaner-Bloser | Superkids)

Thursday | October 13, 2022

7:30 AM                    Registration

7:45-8:15 AM           New Principal’s Breakfast

If you are a new elementary principal please come to this informal breakfast to meet AWSA staff and other new and experienced leaders. 

8:30 AM        Welcome & Opening Keynote

 Sure Footing in a Shaky World: Best Practices in Today’s Classrooms that Stand the Test of Time

 Rick Wormeli

Decades in the future, what in teaching will we look back to today and declare, “Wow, we had that right,” or, “Whoa, how could  we have been so blind to students’ learning?”. Join us as the advanced-age version of Rick Wormeli in the year 2075 travels  through a time vortex back to the current year. As his older and younger selves, Rick reminisces on the teaching and learning  practices of today’s classrooms that will stand the test of time to his contemporary world in 2075. With wigged out hair and  an ever young and creative mind, Rick rifts on educational salience, lifting those teaching/learning elements in modern  practice that are sure to last into the decades ahead.


AM        Break and Opening of Expo Hall 

10:00-11:15 AM        Concurrent Session Round One 

1. Culture, Collaboration and Content

Jolene Hussong, Principal, Luxemburg-Casco School District

Is there a positive culture in your school or do you wish there was? Do you have collaborative teams, or do you wish you did? Do you have a schedule that provides collaboration opportunities, or do you wish you did? Does your staff dig into your content data without hesitation, or do you wish they did? Wishing isn’t a viable strategy; however, I’d like to present some success-based strategies and ideas that you could consider implementing within your school. As a school, we’ve steadily improved on the State Report Card with 2021 being our best year with a score of 95.1. We were in the top 10% of elementary schools in Wisconsin. Our team will share some of the strategies and schedules that we’ve put together over the past five years to be impactful on our students’ success and staff growth.

2. Filling the Jar: A Principal’s Guide to Teacher Resilience

Mary Garcia-Valez, Principal, Waukesha School District
Melissa Horn, Principal, Waukesha School District

Caring for your staff using tried and true tested examples as well as ideas from Aguilar. Principals will walk away with various ways activities and ideas to fill your staff’s buckets. Practical ideas to take back and use with your staff. This will include modeling activities that will be good for your soul.

3. Growing Staff Capacity in Collaboration Through the Adaptive Schools Framework

Dan Carter, Principal, Waunakee School District
Dean Kaminski, Principal, Waunakee School District 

Adaptive Schools training builds skills in communication, problem-solving, and collaboration within adult learning and meetings. Participants will learn a) about the overall purpose of Adaptive Schools, b) about communication styles and purposes (dialogue vs discussion), c) about protocols that can help guide communication, decision making, etc., d) how dissonance and disagreement can be valued, and e) how teams/groups can develop. We invite you to join this session to learn practical tools and strategies to improve collaboration and student learning. 

4.  Winning the “Reading Wars” for All Students

Yaribel Rodriguez, Director of Urban Leadership, AWSA

Having solid reading and writing skills is at the heart of student achievement and therefore must be part of the solution to achieving equity in Wisconsin. To achieve equity, every student in our schools must receive the high-quality curriculum and evidence-based instruction they need and deserve. Unfortunately, some of this message has been drowned out by the “Reading Wars.” In this session, we will explore persistent achievement gaps and share the key components of a strong literacy framework. 

5. Improving Learning in Every Classroom:  Getting Implementation “Unstuck” Across the School

Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

Time and again, our work with school leaders and teams across Wisconsin show that most concerns in student learning are deeply rooted within the school’s adult culture. An especially common and thorny problem is how a thoughtful leader might ensure implementation of improved teaching practices across the entire faculty, particularly with staff who seem regularly opposed to changing the status quo. This session will leverage the work of Anthony Muhammad and Luis Cruz with findings from our AWSA experiences to provide answers. By the end of this session, participants will leave with a progression of skills and approaches for effectively moving change forward across the school. 

6.  High Expectations Messages

Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

Who receives High Expectations Messages in your school? Do all students hear and believe that they are capable of more? That challenges are opportunities? Does your school have the collective efficacy to help all kids engage and achieve at high levels? The Opportunity Myth, 2018, suggests that “The system doesn’t send the message that teacher mindset matters nearly as much as the material they teach or the practices they employ in their classrooms. Yet teacher expectations had a stronger effect on student achievement growth than any other factor we studied.” In this session, we’ll explore the differences between high expectations and high standards and how we support and coach educators to see the difference. Participants will also practice how this feedback may sound to generate teacher reflection.

11:15 AM         Lunch and Principal of the Year

12:00 PM         Dessert with Exhibitors

12:30-1:45 PM          Concurrent Session Round Two

1. The Traveling Administrator

Chase Gildenzoph, Principal, Westfield School District

How to avoid becoming a jack of all trades and master of none as an administrator between two roles within your district. In this session we cover some tips, tricks, ideas, and strategies to help you be an effective leader when your time is limited. Whether you are split between two roles or not, the goal of this session is for you to walk out with some strategies to help you feel more efficient and confident within your role.  

2. Developing Responsive, Data-Driven Teacher Teams

Brian Stuckey, Principal, Oconomowoc School District
Stacy Yearling, Principal, Oconomowoc School District

Responsive teaching is challenging work. We know that teachers’ effectiveness can be strengthened when they engage in the work together. This session focuses on how two principals work to create school-wide structures that prioritize teacher collaboration to foster a results-oriented environment for all students. Learn how teachers in two schools are empowered to reflect on standardized assessment data and authentic artifacts of student learning. Learn how teacher teams reflect, reteach, and plan more precise large and small group lessons to engage students deeply in their work. By regularly discussing data, teacher teams leverage their collective knowledge to collaboratively and strategically move the needle for all students. Examples will be shared in elementary reading, writing, and math.

3. Supporting, Nurturing and Creating Expert Teachers in Every Classroom

Michele Trawick, Principal, Hamilton School District
Katie Ritchie, Principal, Hamilton School District
Brian Balfany, Principal, Hamilton School District

Teachers and administrators alike want the evaluation model in a district to be a model of growth and inspiration. In Hamilton School District we have implemented the Teacher Expertise model to help teachers be more reflective, set more meaningful goals and grow in identified areas. This teacher designed opportunity allows for teachers to form cohort groups of educators within their building. Each cohort completes a 6-week cycle of video self-reflection, peer observation, reflective journaling, and collaborative conversations. The teachers in the Hamilton School District have embraced this model! It has allowed them to have a voice in not only their evaluation but more importantly in their growth and professional development. This session will layout the components of the teacher expertise model which is based on the Nicholas Stronge evaluation system. We will share their experience and insight into this successful model!

4. Impactful Coaching

Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

“Practice isn’t the thing you do when you’re good, it’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Malcolm Gladwell Scenario practice is a proven strategy to hone a school leader’s impact. The way in which we deliver feedback significantly impacts school culture and the conditions for improvement. In this session, participants will be practicing coaching conversations that generate an action orientation in schools.

5.  In the Arena, Daring to Lead with a Whole Heart

Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

Leading a school has always been very hard and very meaningful work. But in recent years, the context where we conduct such challenging and noble effort has gotten much more divisive, scornful, and uncivil, which makes developing resilience in leaders more important than ever. This session will mesh helpful concepts from Brene Brown and others with thoughtful applications from Wisconsin administrators who are bravely, humbly, persistently meeting the challenges of this unique time and demonstrating the leadership resilience required.  The session’s overall goal is to influence how intentionally and consistently you bring forward a resilient leadership mindset and stance to your own leadership arena, so that you can regularly show up daring to lead, “unarmored and wholehearted.”

6.  Leveraging the Master Schedule to Advance Equity

Yaribel Rodriguez, Director of Urban Leadership, AWSA

Each day we have a finite number of minutes for teaching and learning. Time is one of our most valuable resources in education, but unfortunately not many educators understand how to leverage time to support our most marginalized learners and support your school improvement plan. In this session, we will share tools and resources to create a master schedule that is learner centered and aligned to strategic school goals.

1:45-2:05 PM           Break with Exhibitors

2:05-3:20 PM          Keynote Session

Time For Laughing Out Loud - This is a Great Profession

Rick Wormeli

From its humorous opening to its closing video “mockumentary” of teaching, this address shares funny, real-life situations that have occurred in schools that help us laugh at ourselves. Woven through the stories are practical tips about students and teaching that make the address more than just entertaining. Laughter is great way to create camaraderie as an education community, and it helps all of us manage the stress of teaching when we see the humor in our daily professional lives. Participants leave smiling, glad to be teachers and packing a few new perspectives and practical ideas for accomplished teaching. 

3:30 PM                       Personal Time:  Catch Up On Communication From Home

5:00-6:00 PM         Reception (Sponsored by Lifetouch)

Friday | October 14, 2022

7:00 AM               Fellowship Breakfast (Optional) 

School administrators support the boundless needs of those they lead and serve. But who supports them -- especially in ways tending to the heart and spirit? Join AWSA’s Associate Executive Director, Joe Schroeder, and administrative colleagues from across the state in this Christian fellowship breakfast option that, now in its third year, is proving for many to be an annual highlight of encouragement and assistance for the next leg of the leadership and life journey. 

8:00 AM                 Breakfast 

8:30-9:45 AM         Concurrent Sessions Round Three 

1. Presuming Competence in Our Students and Each Other

Shaunna LaPlant, Principal, Franklin School District

As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are always working to close gaps in our system both in achievement and in opportunity. Eliminating inequities both as individuals and as a collective school community is hard work and cannot be done in isolation. In this session, participants will learn how to lead a school towards “presuming competence” in order to increase student independence while leveraging the expertise of all staff members. Participants will leave this session with three areas to focus on while leading change. Attention will be brought to Mindsets & Beliefs, Services & Supports, and High Leverage Practices.

2. Leveraging Collective Efficacy within Educator Effectiveness

Amy Ashton, Principal, Oshkosh School District

Teaching young minds is challenging work. Does your school staff do this work in isolation, or in collaboration? Dr. John Hattie’s work shows ‘off the charts’ gains in student achievement (1.57 effect size) when staff believe that planning together and using data to drive student instruction together- teacher collective efficacy- are put in motion in a school. Our leadership inquiry is: How do we become more effective systematically to improve teacher efficacy? In this session, administrators will learn how to leverage collective efficacy strategies within the Educator Effectiveness Model, and use discussion and reflection protocols to help staff improve their understanding of collective efficacy. Sprinkled into the session will be ideas for promoting a school family, where relationships and learning are the focus for all learners, students and adults.

3. Leadership GPS: Five Tools for Finding Your Pathway Forward

Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

COVID was an unprecedented series of gut punches, with leaders often struggling just to keep the lid on the place. So how do we now help our schools and communities emerge to a better future? In short, how do we reclaim and deepen our identities as leaders of transformation through all the trials and complexity? This session will highlight five tools that you and your teams can use as a sort of Leadership GPS to promote reflection, find focus, build coherence, identify leverage points, and grow commitment to a better pathway forward. You will have the opportunity to try out multiple tools and leave with at least one or two in hand that can help you better engage others and lead the change needed.

4. Whose Responsibility, is it? Minimizing Barriers to Achieve Excellence for All

Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

What is the primary role of a PLC? The primary role of a PLC is job-embedded learning for the adults. How do we support teams to move beyond creating units and analyzing assessment data and focus on what matters most…instruction? What does it look like when a team has assumed full responsibility for the learning and engagement of their students? This session will provide clarity about what high-impact teams do in each phase of the collaborative process. What do PLC’s who don’t teach the same course focus on? We’ll explore that, too!

5. Where Are They? Understanding Our Teacher Shortage

Yaribel Rodriguez, Director of Urban Leadership, AWSA

The reasons for teacher shortages are complex and predate the pandemic. In this session, leaders will gain a deeper understanding of the teacher shortage in our state and what leaders can do to attract and retain talent.

10:15 AM        Break

10:30 AM      Closing Keynote

Academic Thriving Begins with Belonging: Promoting Whole Child Equity

Zaretta Hammond

 Zaretta Hammond, M.A. is a national consultant and author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (Corwin, 2015). 

Ms. Hammond is a strong literacy advocate who sits on the Board of Trustees for the Center for the Collaborative Classroom. She is also a member of the advisory board for the Consortium for Reading Education (CORE). She is a former high school and community college expository writing instructor. For the past 20 years, she has supported schools and other institutions in deepening their understanding and application of culturally responsive practices. She currently runs the Culturally Responsive Education by Design Online PLC, a 6-month intensive, inquiry-based professional learning experience to build instructional capacity to use culturally responsive tools and practices effectively.

12:00               Adjourn

Vendor Information 

Photo of Part of Vendor HallBooths for the 2022 Elementary Principals Convention 

Booths for this year's convention will be available in the summer. To be put on a waitlist, find sponsorship information, or to find out about exhibit opportunities at upcoming conventions please contact Kathy Gilbertson at [email protected] 

Each year AWSA's Elementary Principals Convention brings in hundreds of administrators from across the state of Wisconsin. Vendors will have the opportunity to engage in unique face-to-face interactions throughout the convention.