AFSA Conference Energizes School Leaders

Contract Maintenance and Cyberbullying Workshops Give Members Insight on Latest Education and Labor Issues

Originally posted in the fall 2011 edition of The Leader

AFSA members and guests convened in San Francisco in October for the third and final AFSA Leadership Conference in the series: “Leaders in the Mirror: Embracing the Implementation of Reform.”

Similar to the first two leadership conferences in Mashantucket and New Orleans, the West Coast Regional Leadership Conference had a variety of speakers and workshops designed to engage and inform school leaders on issues they face both as educators and union members.

Fiona Ma, Speaker Pro Tempore for the California State Assembly, spoke at AFSA’s conference and presented AFSA with a certificate of recognition for their work in education

Attendees heard from experienced contract negotiators and attorneys on how to form, uphold and maintain a contract. Salvatore Sedita, the grievance director at the Buffalo Council of Supervisors and Administrators (BCSA), AFSA Local 10, told attendees that a union could have the best collective bargaining agreement in the world, but if it’s not enforced, it’s worthless.

“If you had to say what two things are the most important things to do as a union, they are defining the relationship with the employer, called negotiations, and enforcing that collective bargaining agreement, called grievance,” said Sedita.

Play-Well TEKnologies, a company whose unique teaching techniques engage both students and adults in leadership building and management exercises, passed out LEGO®s to help demonstrate the building blocks of teamwork. Attendees enjoyed building bridges with LEGO®s while learning leadership concepts they could bring back to the classroom and work environment.

Play-Well TEKnologies engaged attendees in hands-on leadership building

Conference attendees also heard from Dr. Matthew Clifford about the latest research on principal effectiveness. Clifford, a senior research scientist at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), is co-authoring a report on principal effectiveness that AFSA commissioned AIR to produce. More information about the report can be found at

With intermittent performances by Oakland student musicians and San Francisco student dancers, the conference wrapped up with a presentation on social media and cyberbullying. Attendees received an introduction to social media from Molly Fuhs, a social media and communications consultant at Tricom Associates, and heard the latest research and tips on how to handle cyberbullying from Rebecca Randall, vice president of education programs at Common Sense Media, and Namita S. Brown, a partner at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost law firm.

In addition to the workshops, conference attendees heard addresses from California elected and labor officials, including Fiona Ma, the speaker pro tempore for the California State Assembly, Tim Paulson, the executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, and a video address from U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier. Art Pulaski, the executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, addressed attendees during the PAC luncheon.

AFSA’s 13th Triennial Constitutional Convention is being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 26–28, 2012. Check the website and your mailbox for more information on the convention.

For more photos, visit AFSA’s Flickr page,

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee issued a proclamation making Oct. 28 American Federation of School Administrators Day in San Francisco. AFSA officers pictured left to right: Executive Vice President Jim Dierke, President Diann Woodard, Secretary Wendi Caporicci and Treasurer Ernest Logan

Members from the United Administrators of San Francisco, AFSA Local 3, pose for a shot with their president, Jim Dierke (center left).

Conference attendees raised money at the PAC luncheon, where they heard an address from California Rep. Jackie Speier and Art Pulaski, the secretary treasurer of the California Labor Federation.

Members from around the U.S. attended the conference. From left to right: Paulette White, Detroit Organization of School Administrators & Supervisors, AFSA Local 28; Crystal Boling-Barton, President, Buffalo Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, AFSA Local 10; Deborah LouisAke, President, AFSA Local 28.

AFSA members pose with the lion dancers from San Francisco and Oakland school districts.