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Illinois Principals Association to host Education Leaders Conference in October

Springfield,Illinois (PR MediaRelease) October 1, 2018

The Illinois Principals Association will host its 47th annual Education Leaders Fall Conference and Exhibition, “Lead the Way,” October 21-23, 2018 in Springfield, IL. The annual conference provides an opportunity for principals and other administrators to learn from leaders in the education field and participate in sessions to better serve their schools.

“We are extremely excited to be offering such a high-level conference to every administrator in the state of Illinois,” said Jeff Knapp, IPA President and principal at Rockland School in Libertyville. “On behalf of the Illinois Principals Association, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome those from around the state from October 21-23 to the capital city of Springfield.  Much time has been devoted over this past year by a committee that will offer nationally renowned keynote speakers, small group sessions, and opportunities for leaders to network at receptions through the conference.  As principals, we are embracing the conference theme to “Lead the Way” for our students, staff, and communities in which we serve during the 2018-19 school year.  It truly is going to be a conference not to miss and I cannot wait to see our leaders in Springfield this October.”

The “Lead the Way” conference will begin Sunday morning with a 5K Fun Run/Walk at Washington Park in Springfield and a golf tournament at The Rail Golf Course in Sherman. Sunday concludes with an evening reception at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, sponsored by Association Member Benefits Advisors, and will honor IPA Past Presidents.

The conference will include presentations from keynote speakers Kim Bearden, Illinois State Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith, and Dr. Joe Sanfelippo.  The first general session on Monday morning will feature Kim Bearden, co-founder and executive director of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA and her presentation “Creating a Climate and Culture for Success.” Bearden seeks to remind school leaders of the powerful impact they can have, despite the pressures and challenges of their profession. Kim will also share the importance of building relationships among staff, families, and students that will motivate, engage, empower, and create success for all.

Speakers at the second general session on Monday afternoon include Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Schools, and Jeff Knapp, IPA President. IPA Principal of the Year awards, the Reaching Out & Building Bridges Award, and the Mr. John Ourth & Dr. Fred W. Singleton Professional Development Scholarships will also be presented at this session.

Monday evening’s reception, “A Night of Stars,” will take place at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree Hotel ballroom and is sponsored by Clubs Choice Fundraising.

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI will close the conference Tuesday afternoon with “Hacking Leadership,” a motivational message about finding innovative solutions to issues that have plagued the system for years and implementing them tomorrow. Sanfelippo focuses on practical application and tools to allow leaders to find the openings and create space for those you lead to learn, teach, and thrive.

Small group sessions and Learning Labs at the conference include timely topics such as: Community Engagement through Student Service Learning, Trauma-Informed Inventions for Truancy, Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies and Learning Opportunities, Leading with Literacy, and legislative and legal updates. Conference attendees can also explore the Education Marketplace for focused talks, student technology demonstrations, the latest in educational products and services, and resource materials available at the IPA Bookstore.

The Illinois Principals Association is a leadership organization which serves over 5,000 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois and whose mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. For more information about the IPA or to register to attend, please visit

Alison Maley
Illinois Principals Association
Governmental Relations/Public Relations Director
Dr. Jason Leahy
Illinois Principals Association
Executive Director
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