Where Principals Go to Learn

Find information to help your teachers, forward-thinking ideas in education, and a network of principals at the NAESP Pre-K-8 Principals Conference.
By Gracie Branch

I am writing to you as a veteran administrator who knows and understands the value of quality professional development. I am also extremely honored to be on the staff of NAESP as the associate executive director of Professional Learning. It is exciting to know that now I will play a lead role in organizing a conference that will provide exemplary educational experiences for elementary and middle-level principals. Please know that I realize the importance of providing relevant and practical strategies for principals who are eager to return to their buildings and put them into practice immediately. 

When I was an elementary school principal, I made it a priority to look for opportunities to grow professionally and stay informed on best practices. The NAESP Pre K–8 Principals Conference is an event where I knew I could always get information to help my teachers, listen to prominent leaders in the field of education discuss forward-thinking ideas, and network with principals nationwide experiencing similar issues. At one time, I had to make the difficult decision to leave my building during the school year to attend, but now the NAESP Pre K–8 Principals Conference is in July, which is perfect timing for principals to get energized for the new school year ahead. 

The 2020 conference will feature top experts in the education world like principal Baruti Kafele. A highly regarded urban public school educator in New Jersey for over 20 years, Kafele distinguishes himself in the classroom and as a school leader. One of the most sought-after school leadership experts and education speakers in the U.S., Kafele’s message of inspiring school and classroom excellence is vastly impacting the nation's school leaders and teachers!

This year, our venue is Louisville in the beautiful bluegrass state of Kentucky. The conference is also very affordable, and I encourage you to compare it to other multiday professional learning opportunities you might be considering, because you will not find a better value in 2020! You are only one click away from registering online.

I am proud of my 39 years in education, and now I am equally proud to be part of an organization dedicated to advancing a profession that I love. Being a principal can be a very lonely job, but one place to connect with individuals that face the same pressures, deal with the same issues and work hard to make this world a better place for kids will be the 2020 NAESP Pre K–8 Principals Conference in Louisville.

Gracie Branch is associate executive director of Professional Learning at NAESP.