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Annual Gathering of FSBA and FADSS in Tampa: Empowering School Board Members and Superintendents through Inspiration and Professional Development

Over 375 school board members, superintendents, and education leaders attended the FSBA/FADSS Annual Summer Conference for three days of leadership development, networking, and training.


The theme of the conference, Unleashing Your Superpowers, featured Gregory Offner, Author, Workforce Strategist, and Award-winning Keynote Speaker. In Mr. Offner’s keynote, he shared how School Board Members and Superintendents can create a new culture that will enable their teams to deliver exceptional results while feeling more fulfilled in the process. The outcome is highly inspired district leaders, who are better prepared to navigate the changes and challenges of today’s districts, with a renewed sense of passion and excitement for their responsibilities.


The conference also included an important panel discussion, Decades of Dedication: Insights and Wisdom from our Veteran School Board Superheroes. This session featured an impressive panel of veteran school board members, each with over two decades of experience. They shared their invaluable insights, reflecting on past experiences, and discussed current challenges facing Florida's school boards. Panelists included Andy Griffiths (Monroe), Patty Hightower (Escambia), Bev Slough (St. Johns), and Jerry Taylor (Suwannee.)


As CEO of Florida School Boards Association, Andrea Messina emphasizes the benefits of the Annual Summer Conference, saying, “The FSBA/FADSS Annual Summer Conference stands as a cornerstone for empowering school board members. It's a unique opportunity for them to gain insights, share best practices, and collaborate on innovative solutions. This conference is more than just a meeting; it's a vital resource that equips our members to effectively guide their districts in meeting the evolving challenges of education today."


The conference also featured a legislative session review and legislator Q&A with Representative Alex Rizo, Representative Susan Valdés, and Senator Travis Hutson. The conversation during this session was moderated by Dr. Danielle Thomas, FSBA Director of Advocacy & Legislative Services, and focused on the biggest education topics coming out of the 2024 Legislative Session including deregulation and other impactful legislation.


During the FSBA General Membership Meeting, Okaloosa County School Board Member Tim Bryant was elected President of the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) and was sworn in with three other school board members. Angie Gallo (Orange) will serve as President-Elect, while Kim Amontree (Charlotte) will serve as Vice President and Terry Castillo (Osceola) will serve as Treasurer.


"As the newly appointed Vice President of the Florida School Boards Association, I am thrilled to represent Charlotte County at the state level. This opportunity allows me to advocate passionately for our students, ensuring their needs and voices are heard. I am committed to working collaboratively with educators, parents, and policymakers to enhance the educational experience for all Florida students and to drive positive change in our schools. Together, we can build a brighter future for our children," stated School Board member Kim Amontree.


The 2024-2025 Executive Officers will lead the Association’s effort in meeting its mission to increase student achievement through the development of effective school board leadership and advocacy for public education.


School board and Superintendent

(From left: School Board Chair Cara Reynolds, School Board member Kim Amontree, Superintendent Mark Vianello, School Board member Wendy Atkinson, and School Board Vice Chair John LeClair)