2020 National Leaders Conference

National Leaders Conference - March 22-25, 2020 - Arlington, VA

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.

Update: Due to developments associated with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the NAESP National Leaders Conference scheduled to take place March 22-25 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, is cancelled as of March 11, 2020.

For information about registration refunds and travel reimbursements, please contact Katie Earley, Manager of Professional Learning Projects, at kearley@naesp.org.

Tentative Agenda

Sunday, March 22

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

General Assembly

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

Welcome Reception


Monday, March 23

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

NAESP State Representatives Meeting

(NAESP State Representatives only)

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

NAESP / State Relations Meeting

(NAESP State Executive Directors only)

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Opening Session - "Leading in Times of Change" 

Presenter: Dr. Tim Hodges, Executive Director, University of Nebraska Clifton Strengths Institute; Professor at the College of Business

10:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.


10:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Trends in School Finance

Presenter: Dr. Marguerite Roza, Director, Edunomics Lab; Research Associate Professor at Georgetown University

12:00 p.m.– 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Research and Policy to Improve School Mental Health

Presenter: Dr. Sharon Hoover, Director, Naitonal Center for School Mental Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine

2:20 p.m.– 2:30 p.m.


2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Zone Meetings

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Education and the 2020 Political Landscape

Presenters: Evie Blad, Reporter, Education Week and Daarel Burnette, Reporter, Education Week

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

State Editors Meeting

4:30 p.m.

Evening on your own


Tuesday, March 24

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

State Education Policy Perspective

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

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Federal Policy & NAESP Advocacy Update

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

10:00 – 10:20 a.m.


10:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Morning Session

Presenter: Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Interviewed  by Erica Green, Education Reporter, New York Times

11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

NAESP-NASSP Advocacy Program

  • Presenter: Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report, Columnist for the National Journal
  • Hill Day Messaging and Training Session
  • State Team Time Prep
5:00 p.m.

Evening on your own

8:00 p.m.

Twitter Chat: Principals and Advocacy


Wednesday, March 25

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