Florida affiliate fall conference recap

By Learning Forward
October 2023

Learning Forward’s Florida affiliate held its annual fall conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, in September, choosing the theme Anchored in Excellence to underscore its commitment to supporting professional learning leaders in delivering outstanding educational experiences.

The goal of the event was to enhance the capacity of state leaders in professional learning, empowering them to design and advocate for high-quality professional learning experiences that align with Florida’s Professional Learning Standards.

A session featuring Michelle Bowman, Learning Forward’s senior vice president of networks and continuous improvement, delved into Joellen Killion’s book, Assessing Impact: Evaluating Professional Learning (Corwin/Learning Forward, 2018, 3rd ed.). Participants gained valuable insights and practical skills to apply a process for creating comprehensive evaluation plans for their professional learning programs. Each participant received a copy of Killion’s book.

One of the conference highlights was a tribute to Debbie Cooke, who is retiring after 26 years of service to Learning Forward, with 17 of those years as executive director of the Florida affiliate. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, the board honored Cooke with a lifetime achievement award. In addition, participants heard a keynote presentation from Frederick Brown, Learning Forward president/CEO.

The conference wrapped up with a presentation and panel on guiding leaders in developing their district professional learning systems, featuring the Florida Department of Education and other prominent state leaders. The panel’s goal was to assist leaders in comprehending the implications of the new Florida Educational Leadership Standards as well as how to construct and align highly effective professional learning initiatives in the context of these standards.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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