Tri-Association's 34th Annual Educators' Conference in Bogotá, Colombia, October 5-9th, was an unforgettable experience. More than 800 participants, including five Search Associates, Founder John Magagna, Senior Consultant Gunther Brandt, and Senior Associates Bob Barlas, Diana Kerry, and Bridget McNamer, landed in a city rejoicing in Colombia's win over Peru in the World Cup qualifying match.
The Tri-Association draws administrators and teachers from 90 schools in the region of northern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as education professionals from North America, for five days of in-depth professional development sessions, workshops, and keynote presentations. This year's event was topped off by a grand celebration of Colombian music and dance, an evening of lively entertainment and socializing, sponsored by Search Associates.
Keynote Speakers gave informational presentations each day. Wednesday's speaker was Robyn Conrad Hansen, President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) representing 65,000 principals in the U.S. and worldwide. On Thursday, Dr. Joanne Robinson, Director of Professional Learning for Educational Leadership Canada (ELC) and Chief Executive Officer of International School Leadership, spoke on the changing role of school leadership. On Friday, Dr. Tom Gusky and Dr. Lee Ann Jung, two experts from the University of Kentucky, led an interactive panel on effective grading policies. They outlined strategies for reporting student learning progress, which included standards-based grading as well as policies for ensuring fairness and honesty in grading exceptional learners.
In addition to sponsoring Colombia Night for this event, Search Associates had an exhibitor booth where Associates engaged in conversations with educators while promoting our comprehensive services. The Search Associates staff also attended workshops in order to keep up on trends and developments in international education and to network with the educators the organization serves.