Julie Blaine, 2014 board president  for Learning Forward and former president of Learning Forward Missouri, shares why Learning Forward has been her most important resource throughout her career. This blog is part of a series celebrating our 50th anniversary.


Please share a favorite memory of Learning Forward/NSDC and why it is special to you.  

Learning Forward (formerly NSDC) was and continues to be my most important resource to learn about professional learning.  When I got my first job as assistant director at the Central RPDC I was told, “Go to their conference. It will help you learn about professional learning.”  That person was correct.  Learning Forward/NSDC laid my foundation as a staff developer and leader.


Why has the organization been important to the field?

Learning Forward’s work on the Standards for Professional Learning and the Innovation Configuration books helped establish the standards for high-quality professional learning national and internationally.  The advocacy work with Congress/legislators has helped to elevate the organization to a new level.


Why do you think Learning Forward will continue to be important to professional learning in the future?

Learning Forward will continue to be important to the future as the organization works to stay on the cutting edge of innovation but holds true to the mission of the organization, which is to build the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. There will always be a need for high-quality professional learning.


Julie Blaine is Learning Forward’s 2014 board president and former president of Learning Forward Missouri. She previously received the Distinguished Staff Developer and New Staff Developer Awards from Learning Forward.  Blaine currently serves as director of the Central Regional Professional Development Center in Warrensburg, MO, and is serving on the Learning Forward 2019 St. Louis Conference Committee. Come celebrate Learning Forward’s 50th anniversary with her at our Annual Conference in St. Louis, Dec. 7-11, 2019.


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