Thought Leaders

The National Principals Conference is your time to pause and focus on your professional growth, and there’s no better way to truly reflect on your leadership than with our lineup of inspiring and knowledgeable thought leaders. Hear from bestselling authors, award-winning principals, and trailblazing educators who will share groundbreaking insights and inspiration to fuel your practice.

Tuesday, July 7

Digital Transformation: Design Your Future

We don’t have a choice on whether we digitally transform, the choice is how well we do it. Leaders in this digital decade are made—not born. The key is not only understanding social media, but more importantly, understanding how they work together and the balance of offline and online. Using profound and practical research, Qualman showcases the five habits that drive success and happiness for faculty, students, and parents in a Wi-Fi world. Qualman reveals new techniques and insights to positively impact and transform your school community.


  • Erik Qualman
    Bestselling author and motivational speaker

Wednesday, July 8

Creating a Climate and Culture for Success

Kim Bearden will motivate, inspire, and remind school leaders of the powerful impact they can have, despite the pressures and challenges of their profession. An emphasis will be placed on ways to support staff and teachers while ensuring that they are creating classrooms that promote student engagement, increase rigor, and develop meaningful relationships. Bearden will also share the importance of building relationships among staff, families, and students that will motivate, engage, empower, and create success for all. Participants will learn proven tools and techniques for creating a school climate that will cultivate the optimal environment.


  • Kim Bearden
    Co-founder, executive director, and language arts teacher
    Ron Clark Academy, Atlanta, GA

Thursday, July 9

Leaders Matter: Power Up With Passion

For these thought leaders, passion isn’t just what drives their leadership—it’s a way of life. Akil Ross, 2018 NASSP National Principal of the Year, builds a culture of wellness through the purposeful care of his stakeholders and by providing them a voice. Beth Houf, 2019 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year, leads learning for today by modeling the immediate importance of relationship-building and professional learning network empowerment. Finally, 2018 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year Brian McCann leads learning for tomorrow through the question, “What if?” What can educators do to disrupt the status quo and lead change? These three practicing principals will help you see tomorrow’s possibilities.


  • Beth Houf
    2019 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year
    Principal of Fulton Middle School, Fulton, MO
  • Brian McCann
    2018 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year
    Principal of Joseph Case High School, Swansea, MA
  • Akil Ross
    2018 NASSP National Principal of the Year
    Principal of Chapin High School, Chapin, SC

This is your moment, your practice, your motivation.

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