Meet Conference Blogger Kathy Melton

Illinois principal Kathy Melton is one of two official bloggers for the 2014 NAESP Annual Conference. Here's her first post. Check the Principals' Office Blog this week for her updates from Nashville.

Greetings! My name is Kathy Melton, and I’m excited to be one of the official conference bloggers for the NAESP 2014 Annual Conference.

I am the proud principal of Lowell Elementary School in Community Unit School District 200, based in the Chicago suburbs of Wheaton and Warrenville. In the days ahead, I look forward to connecting through blog posts, on Twitter (@kathymelton) and in person at the Social Media Lounge as part of the Social Media Ambassador team.

This is my first NAESP conference, so I can relate to those of you who are avidly reading the program book or devouring the conference app to make tentative plans. I do both with a flexible mind, though, knowing that my learning may take me in directions I haven’t planned, both within and beyond the next few days.

While discussing our travel plans, my friend and fellow principal, Heidi, asked me if I knew anyone else who was going. My response was an emphatic yes—though I haven’t met many of these principals face to face! This group includes friends and colleagues that I’ve met through being a connected leader. Twitter, blogging, and co-founding and moderating #iledchat has connected me with more principals both locally and across the country. My connections to my local affiliate, the Illinois Principals Association, have been enhanced by the ongoing, real-time connectivity that comes from using social media and its spirit of sharing. These connections have left tangible impacts in many arenas in my school—from parent engagement to authentic student writing through blogging to video chats with other countries to learning about standards-based grading.

It is these relationships that will help you to maximize your time in Nashville, ensure your learning continues beyond the conference, and help you as a leader to bring the very best to your students, staff, and families. It is these relationships that amplify what we as school principals can accomplish together.

Be sure to visit the Social Media Lounge in the Expo Center right next to NAESP Central. If you’re new to social media, our Social Media Ambassadors are passionate about helping you get connected. Have some experience? We’d love to chat with and learn from you, too. Click here to check out the current schedule of sessions and connect with the rest of the team. This is a fluid document that will be updated over the course of the week, so be sure to check back! Plan to join us at the Tweet Up at the Opening Reception on Thursday, July 10 at 8 p.m.

See you in Nashville, everyone!

Kathy Melton


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