2019 National Leaders Conference

National Leaders Conference - March 26-29, 2017 - Washington, DC

NAESP’s National Leaders Conference (NLC) gathers nearly 200 elementary and middle-level principal leaders from across the country in the nation’s capital to sharpen their leadership skills and advocate for schools on Capitol Hill. The 2019 meeting will be held March 17-20 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.

NAESP will introduce its Advocacy Agenda, which includes a toolkit and action plan to help principals understand and engage on both their state and national level.

Principals will also have the opportunity to meet with their Congressional representatives regarding federal education policy.

While meeting participation is by invite-only, you can follow the program and messaging on Twitter at #naespNLC and #PrincipalsAdvocate.

*For inquiries, please contact Nikki Sparks, Manager, Professional Learning Projects, at nsparks@naesp.org.

Tentative Agenda

Sunday, March 17

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

General Assembly

  • State of the Association
  • Vice President Candidate Speeches
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception


Monday, March 18

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

NAESP State Representatives Meeting

(NAESP State Representatives only)

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

NAESP / State Relations Meetings

(NAESP State Executive Directors only)

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.


9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Session – PDK Poll: Public Opinion About K-12 Education

Presenter: Dr. Joshua Starr, Chief Executive Officer, PDK International

10:00 – 10:20 a.m.


10:20 – 11:05 a.m.

NAESP Service Areas Update/Focus Group Session

Presenters: NAESP Staff
11:05 – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

NAESP Service Areas Update/Focus Group Session

Presenters: NAESP Staff

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Leadership Session – Aspen Institute

Presenter: John Bridgeland, Commissioner, National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

2:15 – 2:25 p.m.


2:25 – 3:10 p.m.

Zone Meetings

3:10 – 3:30 p.m.


3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

2019 Political Landscape: What Does it Mean for Education?

Alyson Klein, Assistant Editor, Education Week
Andrew Ujifusa, Assistant Editor, Education Week

Moderator: Reg Leighty, Founder and Partner, Foresight Law + Policy

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

State Editors Meeting

5:30 p.m.

Evening on your own


Tuesday, March 19

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

State Education Policy Perspective

Presenter: Jeremy Anderson, President, Education Commission of the States

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

NAESP Federal Policy & Advocacy Update

Presenter: Danny Carlson, NAESP Assistant Executive Director, Policy & Advocacy

10:00 – 10:20 a.m.


10:20 – 11:45 a.m.

Building Relationships with Members of Congress

Presenters: Bob Wise, Former West Virginia Governor and Member of Congress

11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 – 3:45 p.m.

NAESP-NASSP Advocacy Program

Session 1: Crossfire Debate: 
Carmel Martin, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Rick Hess, Resident Scholar & Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Moderator: Denise Forte, Director of Public Affairs, The Century Foundation

Session 2: Table Discussions

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.


4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

State Team Time for Hill Meeting Prep

5:00 p.m.

Evening on your own


Wednesday, March 20

8:15 a.m.

Board Buses

8:30 a.m.

Buses Depart for Capitol Hill

9:00 a.m.

NAESP and NASSP Buses Arrive at Garfield Circle

9:15 a.m.

Group Photo at Union Square

  • NAESP Attendees
  • NASSP Attendees
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

Capitol Hill Visits

  • NAESP Attendees
  • NASSP Attendees
5:00 p.m.

NLC Program Concludes


Candidates for NAESP Vice President

Dwight Cooper Dave Wick Dave Wick
Julie Bloss
Grove Early Childhood Center
Grove, OK
Sharon McNary
Richland Elementary
Memphis, TN
Paul Wenger
Jordan Creek Elementary
West Des Moines, IA


A Big Thanks to Our Event Sponsors!