Governor announces annual teacher leadership conference

Governor announces annual teacher leadership conference This fall, Pierre will be host to 500 South Dakota teachers from public schools across the state as they gather for Gov. Mike Rounds' first annual Teacher Leadership Conference.

"I want this conference to be an annual event that educators look forward to as a valuable resource," said Gov. Rounds. "My goal is to maintain communication between myself and educators that will encourage the sharing of ideas, insight and support."

The conference, facilitated by the state Department of Education, is intended to help educators and school districts implement No Child Left Behind Act legislation requirements. In addition, it will give teachers the opportunity to network with each other and share skills, knowledge and techniques.

"Teachers, parents, school districts, and school boards have a lot of questions about what the new requirements set by the No Child Left Behind Act mean for them," Gov. Rounds said. "These conferences will help clarify things and provide essential support and information to districts so they can continue to grow and be successful and meet the new requirements."

Among the issues that will be discussed during the conference are state education standards, state testing and assessment systems, the statewide accountability system, scientifically based instructional strategies, and requirements regarding highly qualified teachers. Conference attendees will gain understanding of the state's education and academic excellence agenda.

Following the conference, attendees will return to their districts and share their new knowledge with their colleagues through collaboration and professional development.

In preparation for the conference, Gov. Rounds will meet with all South Dakota school superintendents in Pierre to plan and discuss the content of the fall conference. The meeting will also give superintendents the opportunity to learn about the governor's educational initiatives first-hand and play a part in their implementation. During the meeting, each district superintendent will nominate teachers teams to attend the conference.

Teams of two or more teachers from each district in South Dakota will be invited to attend the conference, which will be held at the Ramkota RiverCenter in Pierre, Sept. 2-4.

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