Two area school divisions recently attended a national conference in Phoenix.

During the week of Sept. 24-28, Shenandoah County Public Schools sent 19 staff members to EdLeader 21, a national conference in the Arizona state capital.

The cost to the division was approximately $32,000, or about $1,700 per person with $380 per person paid for by a grant, said Superintendent Mark Johnston. That covered conference registration, accommodation for the four-night conference, airfare and transportation costs.

Those attending were Johnston, principals, teachers and district-level administrators.

“For school systems to achieve excellence, we need to look outward as well as inward,” Johnston said.

The conference, he said, focused on a range of topics that included what he called the “five C’s”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, citizenship (both global and local), and creativity.


The information that they learned from professionals and educators leading the sessions will be implemented as best practices in the schools, he added.

The Frederick County Public Schools division is also part of the EdLeader 21 and participants attended the same meetings and seminars, said division spokesman Steve Edwards.

Frederick County did not use any grant funding to offset the cost and spent $11,500 to send five people to the conference, at $2,300 per person.

Edwards said four of the participants they sent are on the Frederick County Public Schools Strategic Planning Team and will help establish their portrait of a graduate.

“They will bring their learning experience from this conference to that process,” Edwards said.

The Warren County Public Schools division is not a part of EdLeader 21 and did not attend the conference, Superintendent Greg Drescher said.