Governing Effectively in Difficult and Challenging Times

Governing boards continue to face unprecedented challenges in their schools, districts, county offices of education, communities and in their boardrooms. Many governance teams are challenged to effectively manage their meetings as tensions boil over on COVID-19 mitigation strategies and other topics. Come learn how to strengthen your leadership skills and utilize effective governance and legal practices to help you manage contentious board meetings. Hear about the experiences of other school districts during this challenging time and learn how they dealt with disruption during their board meetings.


Keith Bray, General Counsel and Chief of Staff, CSBA

Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff, Board President, Poway USD

Rosanna Mucetti, Ed. D., Superintendent, Napa Valley USD

Luan Burman Rivera, Governance Educator/Consultant, CSBA

It Starts with You: How Prioritizing Board Member Mental Health Benefits Every LEA

The world has changed at an unprecedented pace and educations leaders must help guide their local educational agencies through the tough times to establish a new normal in which students, staff and board members thrive  This workshop will focus on how tending to one’s own wellness and well-being lends itself to productivity, effective governance and a growth mindset. FranklinCovey, a world leader in helping organizations achieve results that require lasting changes in human behavior, spent more than two years learning what organizations need from their leaders today and in the future. They found that leaders who prioritize their mental wellness are able to build collaborative teams who feel connected to each other and can develop cohesive organizational goals and plans. This session will provide board members with  tools and practices that can help lead the way forward.


Dr. Marty Schafer, FranklinCovey Education

Khieem Jackson, CEO, Mission Strategy Group

Steady through the Storm: Financing an Equitable Education During Turbulent Times:

Navigating the current school finance landscape was difficult before the pandemic, and board members and superintendents see even more fiscal challenges on the horizon. Between declining enrollment, inflation, the end of many COVID-19 relief packages and the state budget, governance teams will be making difficult decisions about how to meet the needs of their students, especially low-income, English learner, and foster youth students. How can governance teams make choices that are fiscally responsible and equitable? This session will focus on the mindsets, strategies and tools to support local educational agencies in their efforts to plan for more equitable allocation of resources across their schools. Drawing from on-the-ground, practical examples, this session will create the opportunity for participants to dig into research and strategies to understand how this plays


Mary Briggs, Director, Research and Education Policy Development, CSBA

Jeremy Anderson, Education Policy Analyst, Research and Education Policy Development, CSBA

Jason Willis, Director, Strategic Resource Planning & Implementation, WestEd

Gabriela Mafi, Ed.D., Superintendent, Garden Grove Unified School District

Kennon Mitchell, Ph.D., Superintendent, Adelanto ESD

Crisis Communications Begin BEFORE the Crisis

Technology, politics and the pandemic have combined to increase scrutiny of public schools. Sometimes, it can seem like a new crisis is lurking around every corner. Unsurprisingly, school districts and county offices of education are demonstrating an increased interest in crisis communications. That’s appropriate, but it doesn’t capture the whole picture of crisis response. If you wait until there’s a disaster, a scandal, an accident or an uprising to develop the capacity for crisis communications, you’ve already lost the battle. Good crisis communications stem from ample preparation and consistent implementation of best practices before crisis arrives — and intense focus, urgency and alignment after the storm hits.

In this session, you’ll learn the fundamentals of crisis communications, how to develop a crisis comms team, how to craft a message for your defined audience, what communications channels to use, the value of partnerships, and the importance of two-way communication in a time of crisis.


Kindra Britt, Director, Communications & Strategy, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association

Joe Donovan, President and Founder, The Donovan Group School Communications

Jessica Hull, President, California School Public Relations Association and Director of Communications & Community Relations, Carmel USD

Darshana Patel, Trustee, Poway USD; President San Diego County School Boards Association, and CSBA Delegate and Legislative Committee member



Troy Flint, Chief Information Officer, California School Boards Association