Home arrow COSA Blogs arrow 33rd COSA Seaside Conference draws record crowd, zany keynoter adventures
33rd COSA Seaside Conference draws record crowd, zany keynoter adventures Print E-mail

by Craig Hawkins, Communications Director

More than 900 school leaders shoehorned their way into First General Session of the 33rd Annual COSA Seaside Conference Thursday morning to hear Dr. Jennifer James expand on the conference theme, "Finding Opportunity in a Changing World."

The standing-room-only crowd that filled the main conference floor and balcony to overflowing heard James say that we are experiencing "a learning curve unprecedented in human history" as we adapt, adjust and help to weave a new "tapestry" for society and our schools.

cover2 Speaking of adapting and adjusting, COSA Professional Development Director Colin Cameron had some of each to do Thursday morning when conference time arrived, but James hadn't.  That's because she was circling the Seaside Airport in her Cessna 172, unable to land due to low clouds and drizzle.  James had flown in the private plane because she needed to return quickly to Bellevue after her keynote address -- it seems that Thursday was also her wedding day.  Giving a keynote address at 8 a.m. in Seaside, then getting married at 6 p.m. in Bellevue -- now, that's a full day.

Cameron had more adjusting and adapting to do for the Second General Session Thursday afternoon, when keynoter Dr. Robin Fogarty came down with laryngitis.  Fortunately, her partner, Brian Peete, was on hand to fill in.  Cameron has his fingers crossed that things go smoother for Third General Session keynote speaker Dr. Pedro Noguera -- although he is scheduled to arrive from New York only a couple of hours prior to his 8 a.m. keynote address.  Did I mention that Colin's fingers are crossed?

Record attendance for conference

scott-perry All told, nearly 1,400 school leaders are attending the three-day event, which began Wednesday with the traditional Pre Conference focusing on special education issues and several other events.  Thursday and Friday feature four general sessions and nearly 70 breakout sessions.

COSA's 2007-08 president, Scott Perry, served as the keynote speaker for the Pre Conference.  His messages about initiative synergy, leadership and trust -- not to mention his Tom Petty impersonation -- drew rave reviews.

Award winners credit others

 National superintendent of the year Krista Parent of South Lane, high school principal of the year Randy Trani of Corbett, central office administrator of the year Penny Grotting of Malheur ESD and Bev Gladder Mentorship Award winner Carlos Perez of Hillsboro were honored Thursday.  To a person, they credited others for the recognition they received.  They said they would not have won the awards without the efforts of their colleagues, teachers, community members and mentors.

Their comments reminded me why, and Executive Director Kent Hunsaker often says, working for school administrators is rewarding work.  School leaders understand that success isn't really an "I" thing -- it's a "we" thing -- and that achieving success collectively is a lot more meaningful and rewarding and sustainable than achieving success individually.

Congratulations to Krista, Randy, Penny and Carlos -- and to all who have contributed to your successes.  Your honors are well earned and much deserved.

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 .