Alabama ASCD

Alabama ASCD Attends #LILA17 in D.C.

Educators from 30 states convened in Washington, D.C. on January 22nd to attend the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA), one of the annual conferences and training opportunities of ASCD.  Representing Alabama ASCD were:  Ashley Catrett, President; Brenda Rickett, President-elect; Jane Cobia, Executive Director; and Mitchie Neel, Secretary.  The three day conference was a whirl wind of sessions, meetings, networking, and opportunities to be advocates for education.  Understanding education policy, use of social media to share positive stories about educators and students, the new ASCD legislative agenda, ESSA updates and information, changes ahead in federal education policy, and networking opportunities to discuss important issues facing educators were are all included in the conference agenda.

Alabama ASCD meets with Representative Michael Rogers during #LILA17

Alabama ASCD meets with Representative Michael Rogers during #LILA17

The 2017 ASCD legislative agenda focuses on three key points.  The first is “Ensuring Equity”, which features that “all children deserve to develop to their fullest potential… to ensure that they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.”  Meeting the needs of each student in the five areas identified ensure the whole child is the focus of educator efforts.  The second tenet in the agenda is “Promoting Excellence” which maintains that “no matter where they attend school, all students must be provided a safe, healthy, and accepting learning environment and a rigorous, high-quality, and personalized academic program.”  The last component of the 2017 agenda is “Promoting Educators.” “As the most significant in-school factors for student achievement, teachers and school leaders deserve the support and resources to maximize student learning outcomes and prepare our young people for the future.”  Educators must be equipped to deliver the best educational experience possible for our students.   They must be acknowledged and appreciated for the work they do.  They need the appropriate support to provide outstanding teaching and learning experiences.

Alabama ASCD meets with aid to Representative Bradley Byrne during #LILA17

Alabama ASCD meets with aid to Representative Bradley Byrne during #LILA17

The highlight of the conference was the last day when members of Congress were visited.  Your Alabama ASCD delegation worked to schedule appointments with all of the offices of our Alabama Representatives and Senators.  Ashley, Brenda, Jane, and Mitchie visited the offices and shared with our Congressional members key issues relating to Alabama educators, focusing on the importance of curriculum and instruction to positively impact our students.  Congressional offices visited included Robert Aderholt, Bradley Byrne, Morris Brooks, Gary Palmer,  Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, and Terri Sewell.  A special thank you goes to Congressman Mike Rogers, who met personally with the delegation!  Legislative assistants conducted the rest of the meetings and all were very interested to hear from us.  The group also met with the legislative assistant for Senator Richard Shelby.  The meeting scheduled with Senator Sessions was cancelled due to the impending confirmation of him as the nation’s Attorney General.  The group was thrilled and pleased to have met with all of our active Congressional representatives during the day so we could share with them important issues facing Alabama educators.

Alabama ASCD meet with with Ronn Nozoe and Ben Shuldiner of ASCD during #LILA17

Alabama ASCD meet with with Ronn Nozoe and Ben Shuldiner of ASCD during #LILA17

There are many ways to advocate for education and impact our students!  Your Alabama ASCD is working to be a part of the conversation of the future of education in Alabama and our nation to ensure we remain focused on our students.  As educators we have no mission to deliver without our students.  Share your success stories, challenges, and concerns.  We plan to in the coming months and hope you will be a part of this effort!  Keep informed by following Alabama ASCD through our social medial platforms!  Like us on Facebook:  Alabama ASCD.  Follow us on Twitter:  @AlabamaASCD.  Join us on Instagram:  alabamaascd.  Our website address is  We are currently exploring various aspects of leadership using #leadandadvocate.  Join this conversation and be a part of advocating for our students!

Mitchie Neel, Alabama ASCD Secretary

Alabama ASCD meets with Deb Delise and David Griffith of ASCD during #LILA17

Alabama ASCD meets with Deb Delise and David Griffith of ASCD during #LILA17

A Recap of #ASCDL2L

Recently, @ASCD Emerging Leader Meghan Everette (@bamameghan) attended the Leader to Leader Conference (#ASCDL2L). Several of the @AlabamaASCD board memebers also attended this annual event. Below is Meghan’s recap of her experiences. Enjoy!

ASCD’s Leader to Leader Conference, held this past week in Arlington, VA, was focused on the topic of growth mindset; the idea that we are not fixed in our cognitive world and can adapt, change, and influence the world around us through our respective roles in education. Sound like preaching to the choir? Maybe, but the weekend, as always, challenged my thinking, my relationships, and strengthened my belief in the ASCD organization.


It was refreshing to hear new Executive Director Deb Delisle not only describe her hope and vision for the future of the ASCD program, but to hear her speak about students. She said, rightly, that at the end of the day, no matter our position in the education world, we are there to better students’ lives and do what’s right for them. As a classroom teacher I appreciate this message and reminder of why we do this every day and it inspires me as I ready my classroom for the learning that will happen in the next few weeks.

Embracing their own message, ASCD has adapted and changed the face of the Emerging Leader program and L2L each year. It’s not usual that an organization engrained in pedagogy, best practices, the power of writing, and policy are adept at bending to their constituents. Attempting an un-conference format of sorts and embracing social media like never before helped the weekend feel refreshed and offered many opportunities for collaboration and connection.


Past Emerging and ASCD leaders shared stories of their personal journeys in leadership and growth within ASCD. Two fault-filled projects that I participated in this past year were highlighted, not as failures, but as a chance to improve and adapt.

Identifying our top personality traits and using those as a starting point for ongoing mentoring relationships brought personal reflection to the growth mindset process. The peer-coaching model around a topic of choice helped attendees identify key missions for the upcoming year and begin laying strategic planning in place.

My cohort of writing friends has a renewed sense of purpose for our ongoing writing project and hope to make it a vital part of the Emerging Leader program to help support future ELs in the upcoming years. In a word, we’re pumped!


The strength of ASCD, and specifically the L2L experience, is all about connection. Just one year in, my network has grown and bonds forged. I talk daily with a core group of educators in six states (and now two countries!) that connected through my EL experience. My paths are crossing as Hope Street Group Fellows, NNSTOY members, ISTE attendees, ECET2 participants, and more cross paths with the common ground of ASCD. What does that say? That this eclectic group of amazing educators finds a crossroads with an organization that has grown from one fun weekend a year ago, to a powerful part of my professional, and yes, personal, life. That speaks to the power of the ASCD network and the potential for the future. That’s my growth mindset.

-Meghan Everette (@bamameghan)

Blog Posts from ASCD Emerging Leader Meghan Everette


During the 2014-2015 school year, Alabama ASCD (@AlabamaASCD) will be sharing blog posts from 2014 @ASCD Emerging Leader, Meghan Everette (@bamameghan). Check back often for updates!

Redesigning a Classroom: From Painting to Personal Style (08/20/2014)

Dear Teacher: Hang in There (09/09/2014)

50 Fun Ways to Group Learners (09/16/2014)

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and How to Use Them (09/23/2014)

Open a World of Possible: Teaching Through Memorable Books (9/30/2014)

3 Classroom Management Tips That Changed My Life (12/4/2014)

10 Uses for Digital Cameras in the Classroom (2/2/2015)

What to Wear: Dressing for the Classroom (3/3/2015)

8 Essential Elements of Project Based Learning (3/11/2015)

Connecting With Coworkers: Simple Ways to Share the Love (3/31/2015)

Be an Education Advocate: Learn, Connect, and Speak Up (04/13/2015)