2019 Associate Principals Conference 

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AWSA AP Conference: The program will run as scheduled, including this afternoon's pre conference sessions. If any changes are made they will be posted on this page. 

Please review road conditions from your area to Green Bay before you leave.  If you plan on attending today's pre-conference sessions please leave extra time to travel safely.

Registration is open for the 2019 Associate Principals Conference taking place January 23-25, 2019 in Green Bay. 

Member Registration: $199 Non-Member Registration: $348

Pre-Conference Sessions: $39 or $69 

Full refund of fees will be made on cancellations received 10 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.  

Booking Information:  

Hyatt Regency Green Bay
(920) 432-1234
Ask for: Association of WI School Administrators AWSA 2019 AP Conference
Single/Double $132
Room Discount Expires* 1/4/19

Parking $7 overnight guest or $1 an hour

Click here to review the program


Pre-Convention Sessions

12:30 - 4:30 Associate Principals Legal Seminar ($69)

This session will focus on critical topics and the practical legal implications of student cell phone use at school, searches and seizures of student and staff cell phones, and an Associate Principal’s own use of cell phones. The presentation will explore the legal principles in a practical application to issues that Associate Principals encounter on a daily basis.  

12:30-1:30 Caller Are You There? Mobile Phones and Students, Staff and the Associate Principal - Melissa Thiel Collar, Legal Counsel, Green Bay Area School District


A)  Transgender Student Issues - Abby Busler, Attorney, Davis & Kuelthau  

B) Student Discipline and Administrator Contracts and Liability - Malina Piontek, Attorney, Piontek Law 

3:00-4:15 Avoiding Legal Pitfalls and Traps: What Every AP Should Know - Mike Julka, Attorney, Boardman & Clark 

12:30 - 4:30  Trauma-Sensitive School Practices:  What? Who? Why? How? ($69)

Pam Black, Consultant, National Council for Behavioral Health 

Over 60% of students across the country have been exposed to trauma(s) before they reach the age of 18. Committed educators see symptoms of these students’ brokenness in all areas of their school life. Schools and districts across the country are addressing these issues in a variety of ways from In-School Mental Health Clinics to Universal Trauma-Sensitive Schools. In this session participants will learn about developmental trauma, it’s prevalence as reported in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and its impact on life and learning. Implementing trauma-sensitive school principles and practices within the multi-tiered system of supports will be explored. The role of the administrator in supporting and adopting these practices will be addressed especially in the areas of behavior, discipline and staff self-care. Participants will leave the four-hour session with resources to support their work in the schools as well as knowledge about the trauma-sensitive school movement nationally and in Wisconsin. 

Session Objectives:

  • Understand the prevalence of developmental trauma in the school population 
  • Identify trauma-sensitive school principles, practices and strategies that can be implemented within the multi-tiered system of support.
  • Become aware of the national and state-wide move toward trauma-sensitive schools and resources available to all schools.  

2:30 - 4:30 Maximizing the Administrative Team - SRO Relationship ($39)

Kristen Devitt, Office of School Safety, WI Department of Justice, Kelly DeJonge, School Resource Officer, Glendale Police Department, Jerim DesJarlais, Associate Principal, Chippewa Falls Middle School, and Jim Heinke, Associate Principal, West DePere High School 

This session will highlight best practices to maximize the benefits of School Resource Officer programs in our schools.  We will discuss the role of the resource officer and how SROs and school administrators can improve communication and take advantage of training and other resources available to Wisconsin schools.



7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00  New Associate Principals Breakfast Sponsored by Meemic

New associate principals are invited to attend this informal breakfast to visit with veteran colleagues and AWSA staff.

8:30 - 8:45  Welcome

8:45-10:15 Opening Keynote: Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: Fostering the Better Side of Human Nature in Classrooms and Families 

Dr. Ross Greene, Director, Lives in the Balance

Dr. Ross Greene’s evidence-based Collaborative & Proactive Solutions model – as described in his books The Explosive Child and Lost at School – has transformed the understanding of treatment of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in countless families, school, and therapeutic facilities. With the release of his most recent book, Raising Human Beings, Dr. Greene has turned his attention to all kids, with a particularly focus on teaching the skills that define the better side of human nature: empathy, appreciating how one’s behavior is affecting others, resolving disagreements without conflict, taking another’s perspective, and honesty. These skills have never been more important, and research indicates that solving problems collaboratively and proactivity teaches these skills with any kid. Any – despite academic initiatives that have made it harder for educators to be the socialization agents they’ve always been – that’s something that parents and educators have boundless opportunities to teach, model, and practice every day.

10:30 - 11:30 Concurrent Sessions: Round One 

1. Solving Problems Collaboratively and Proactively
Dr. Ross Greene, Director, Lives in the Balance

Once a child’s unsolved problems have been identified – and prioritized – it’s time for caregivers and kids to solve those problems together. In this breakout, Dr. Greene will describe the three steps involved in doing so.

2. Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High—Crucial Conversations
Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

Holding conversations that need to be held require thoughtful preparation, skill, compassion and much more. In this session, attendees will be able to see and hear how others hold these important conversations. Equip yourself with a few “go to” moves for your next conversation. 

3. Leaders Shaping Cultures that Deeply Impact Students
Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

John Hattie (Donohoo 2016) cites collective efficacy as the variable with the highest effect size on student achievement. This makes sense because, in such a case, we have a whole faculty feeling effective—able to actually accomplish better student achievement and equitable conditions for all.  But collective efficacy does not happen on its own. It is the product of a certain sort of school culture that is cultivated over time through specific leadership qualities. This session will break down what our field is learning about impactful leadership and culture in simple and accessible terms so that participants are equipped with specific approaches they can implement back home to lead their organization to the next level.

11:30 - 12:35 Lunch and Associate Principal of the Year Award 

12:40 - 1:40 Concurrent Sessions: Round Two

1. Trauma-Sensitive Practices:  Helping Students Achieve Personal and School Success
Al Brant, Principal, Kaleidoscope Academy, Appleton

This presentation will provide school leaders with an overview of what becoming a trauma sensitive schools is, what it looks like, and how it feels to be a Trauma sensitive school with successful implementation practices at the school and district level. 

2.  There’s No I in TEAM
Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

This session will focus on the conditions and practices for effectively coaching a team and further define the principal’s role as a coach in helping teams function at high levels. Participants will engage in a consultancy protocol to experience how a team can develop collaborative problem solving skills. 

3. The Adult Learning Framework: Articulating What Good Looks Like
Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director, AWSA

A common root cause problem in improvement efforts is that leaders have not yet articulated what good, better, and best practice look like in one or more area of instructional priority for their school/system. And our work with dozens of Wisconsin school/district teams to date indicate that, until teams address this root cause problem, their improvement efforts are essentially “stuck.” Adult Learning Frameworks are a solution to this common dilemma in ways that deepen learning, focus support, cultivate collaborative culture, and instill internal accountability. This session will help you understand the components and benefits of Adult Learning Frameworks, how to build them, and how to effectively roll them out to accelerate your school’s improvement journey.

4. Supporting Student Mental Health Through the WI School Mental Health Framework
Gregg Curtis, Education Consultant, Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team, DPI

Given that up to 1 in 5 school-aged youth will experience a mental health disorder during any given school year, schools play an increasingly important role in promoting mental wellness and developing social/emotional skills for all students.  Wisconsin has answered this call by developing the Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework. The goals of the framework are to help reduce barriers to students, families and staff by promoting mental health at all tiers of a MLSS, linking with systems of care, promoting trauma sensitive practices, and collaborating with communities, families, and students. Knowing DPI has requested more funding for student mental health for the 2019-2021 biennium, we will explore Wisconsin’s model, discuss how to use this model in your district, and learn strategies you can take back and immediately use in your setting to improve the focus on positive mental health in your school. 

1:50 - 3:00 Roundtable Sessions

1.  State Supports for Meeting Students’ Mental      Health Needs

2. Continuum of Reflection: Coaching Points of Entry

3. Crisis Communications and Overview of AWSA     Communication Services

4.  Transition to the Principalship

5.  Taking the Temperature of Your Staff

6.  Best Practices in Grading and Assessment

7.  School Safety Resources

8.  Elementary AP Discussion 

9.  Cultivating Student Leadership

10.  Successful PBIS at High School Level

11.  The Evolving Role of the K-12 Dean of Students

12. Supporting Special Education Para Professionals

3:05 - 4:05 Unconference

Whereas the other conference sessions are prepared ahead of time, this block of time will allow members to share information on any topics that are identified through the unconference survey. We encourage you to attend the unconference, recommend a topic and volunteer to host one of the topical discussions. 

4:30  Reception by Jostens


7:30 - 8:30  Optional Fellowship Breakfast

Joe Schroeder, Associate Executive Director and author of Labor of  Love: A Spiritual Companion for Servant Leaders

As a school leader, you are a well for others. People come to you because they are thirsty. They thirst for knowledge, they thirst for wisdom, they thirst for resolution and justice. And that makes sense, because giving to others is what servant leaders do. But in facing nearly unceasing demands, where does one who serves others replenish his/her personal leadership well©before the well goes dry? Addressing this critical issue and equipping leaders with means for managing it is the core purpose of the Fellowship Breakfast, which we first offered in 2017-18 to AWSA Convention participants and to overwhelmingly positive feedback. So if you are interested in exploring how timeless lessons from a Christian perspective can encourage, equip, and sustain your heart, spirit, and mind along your leadership journey, please join us for this optional breakfast breakout session in order to powerfully and peacefully launch your Friday and beyond! 

8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast Program

8:30 - 9:00 Legislative Update

John Forester will provide an update on the Legislative issues of most importance to associate principals.

9:15 - 10:15 Concurrent Sessions: Round Three

1. Using Assessment Quality as a Lever for Engagement and Achievement
Tammy Gibbons, Director of Professional Learning, AWSA

Teachers make many instructional and assessment decisions in a given day. How do you know if the assessments teachers are choosing to inform instruction and are used to communicate progress are valid and reliable, and demonstrate student understanding? As a leader, what role do you play in ensuring assessment quality? In this session, leaders will hear about the criteria for high quality assessment and how to use an assessment audit process with staff to ensure quality and consistency in determining student understanding.

2. Collaboration in Attendance Improvement: You Don’t Need to Fly Solo
Justin Szews, Associate Principal, Lakeland Union High School, Wisconsin 2018 Associate Principal of the Year

In the 2010-11 school year, the LUHS absenteeism rate was 23.2%. Currently the three-year rolling average absenteeism rate is 7.7%. The improved student attendance has contributed to decreased discipline referrals and increased graduation rates. These positive outcomes were made possible due to a multi-faceted approach that includes high levels of collaboration with numerous stakeholders in school and in the larger community outside the school walls. 

10:30 - 11:45  Closing Keynote: The Power of Integrity
Colonel Art Athens

Integrity is essential for living lives of purpose and impact and building teams founded on trust and commitment. This presentation answers four key questions: (1) What do we mean by integrity? (2) What does integrity look like in action? (3) How does a leader maintain his or her integrity, particularly in challenging circumstances? and (4) How does a leader create an organizational climate of integrity? 

11:45 Adjourn