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Conference Report

October 18-21, 2012 - InterContinental, Festival City, Dubai, UAE

This year’s FLC attendance broke a NESA record with almost 500 delegates partaking in a variety of opportunities for professional learning and personal connections at the InterContinental Festival City in glittering Dubai. NESA superintendents, principals, business managers, curriculum directors, trustees and other leaders last gathered in Dubai eight years ago!

After welcome remarks by US Ambassador Michael H. Corbin, Bea Cameron - Regional Education Officer from the Office of Overseas Schools, American School of Dubai Superintendent Brent Mutsch, and NESA Executive Director David Chojnacki, Thomas Guskey opened the conference with his keynote, “On Becoming a True Leader in Assessment, Grading and Reporting Reform”. Dr Guskey outlined key elements of successful leadership in efforts to reform assessment, grading and reporting, including the change process, priorities and challenges. On Saturday, NAIS President Pat Bassett in his keynote, “Schools of the Future: The Big Shifts”, examined seven major changes in education priorities and approaches to learning impacting schools.

During the conference, delegates took advantage of in-depth training during four-hour specialist workshops Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Three-day strands for Business Managers and Teacher Leaders also took place, and NESA members presented more than 15 General Interest Workshops. The following awards were given: NEASC and MSA Accreditation Awards, NESA Virtual Science Fair Awards, and NESA’s Finis Engleman Award, which was bestowed on Carolyn Brunner, Director of International Graduate Programs at Buffalo State, State University of New York, who for decades has worked tirelessly in service of schools and teachers throughout the world.

NESA conferences combine professional learning with personal renewal. In that spirit, delegates had opportunities to re-connect during Thursday’s Welcome Reception at the InterContinental’s Creekside Promenade, and during Saturday evening’s Gala at the Al Badia Golf Club, where they enjoyed dinner, dancing and a traditional music and dance performance.