Lillian Brinkley, who started her career as a principal 40 years ago in Virginia, has attended every NAESP annual conference since, and even though she’s retired now, she keeps coming. Why? Just listen to Lillian:

1. It’s like going to a spa. Without fail, these few days refocused, energized, and encouraged me to continue to look for ways to improve my practice, my school, and my teachers.

2. I gained new ideas for every area of the principalship from the best and the brightest nationwide.

3. I learn what works and what doesn’t. The opportunities to share and get ideas from fellow principals are endless. It’s professional development—in real time!

4. I became involved in NAESP’s governance and decision-making structure of the organization. These experiences fueled my desire to become an officer in the Association and so serve the entire profession, a goal fulfilled when I was elected president of the Association!

5. I have received over 40 years of the best leadership development available anywhere.

6. Through opportunities to interact with my colleagues nationwide and from other countries, I have broadened my horizons. The networking opportunities are tremendous.

7. The time away from my school gave me a chance to step back and reflect on my job—invaluable in staying focused, informed, and committed!

8. The conference gave me a conduit for me to make presentations, serve as a facilitator and evaluator, and participate in many focus groups.

9. I have listened to some of the greatest, most knowledgeable speakers in the world and interacted with some of the best researchers and authors. These career- and life-changing experiences are priceless.

10. The conference is a reunion of kindred spirits—friends and colleagues who share my passion for the profession and more importantly, for the children of this nation. I gained an extended family I relied on every day of my career—and still do!

Take it from me—you’ll invest two days, but you’ll reap rewards that last your whole career!

See you in Seattle!