June 6, 2023: Conference Countdown — 6 weeks until the USDLA National Conference, July 17-20

Hello USDLA Friends! We hope you are as excited as we are about the upcoming national conference in Orlando, FL July 17-20. If you haven’t already done so, click here to register for the conference!

Each week until the big event: We will be sharing some of the events you won’t want to miss, including this week’s feature about the Bill Jackson Memorial Run that we’ll be hosting Wednesday, July 19, from 6:30-7:30 am.

About the Run: More than a decade ago, USDLA started a Sunrise Run at our annual conference to exercise our bodies as we feed our minds with workshops and high-powered speakers. In 2012, we dedicated the annual tradition to our friend Bill Jackson who was the Association’s president at the time of his passing in December 2011. The run has a physical element to it, though most of the participants regard it as more of a social event than an athletic event — certainly not a contest!  We typically jog (or walk) about three miles and try, when possible, to include scenery or local points of interest.  This year we will have a virtual option so you can choose your own route for 15 minutes worth of healthy exercise in your neck of the woods. Please join us!

About our friend Bill: William “Bill” Jackson (pictured above) was the assistant principal at Big Cypress Elementary when he died of a sudden heart attack two days after Christmas. He was 55. “He loved the field of education,” his wife Margaret Jackson said in his obituary. “He just had a way with children.”

Margaret said her husband felt sick with flu-like symptoms Monday — the day after Christmas. That morning, they went shopping at Target. He had wanted to take his daughter’s car to the mechanic’s shop before she drove it to Gainesville to start school at the University of Florida. “He said, ‘Let’s take the car over, and then I’ll lay down for a couple of hours. I’m going to kick this thing,” Margaret Jackson said. He went up to the second floor of the house to rest. When she went upstairs to check on him later, he was unresponsive.

“He was fiercely loyal. A fantastic father from the day our two daughters were born,” said Margaret, noting that Jackson was meticulous about his health. “His parents both died early from heart complications. He kept an updated Excel spreadsheet detailing his medications and changes in health from year to year. “He believed you had to be an advocate of your health.”

Margaret shared that she and Bill worked out every day together. Margaret said her 6-foot-4-inch husband recently started doing yoga at his doctor’s advice. “He wouldn’t let us see him do it. He was afraid we would make fun of him.”

Family friend and North Naples Middle School counselor Andrea Kirk said Bill Jackson was a dedicated family man and educator. “He took great pride in his career and his job,” she said. “Bill was well-liked by his staff and supportive of whatever principal was in place. He made a very positive mark.”

Help us honor Bill: Share in his determination to keep fit and healthy when you run, jog or walk with us on July 19 at 6:30 am.

Also in today’s newsletter: 

We’ll talk again on Thursday when we bring you our USDLA Brief! — Pat Cassella, executive director, USDLA

RESEARCH: The Column

In celebration of USDLA’s 2023 National Conference we decided to craft a new column that shares distance learning and education research that will provide valuable insights for you and your team.

This week we feature: How to help high school seniors cope with milestones missed due to coronavirus — by Associate Professor of Psychology and Clinical Director, Regional Assessment & Resource Centre, Queen’s University, Ontario

Change is stressful for all of us. It is therefore no surprise to find that, in general, people are finding it difficult to cope with the COVID-19 restrictions. None of us knows exactly how to cope with the fallout from this unprecedented situation. While adults find this forced confinement difficult, young adults who were about to embark on a new chapter in their lives are finding the disruption in normal life events particularly stressful. Not only are they missing things such as proms or a graduation ceremony, but they’re also missing other potentially life-altering events: the track and field championship for which they’d worked hard all year just so they could compete; the Royal Conservatory exam to evaluate just how much they’d improved their musical skills; the summer job that would help them earn money and build a resume for future employment. Click here to read more in TheConversation.com.

Click here to read more Research in Education!

June 9, 2023, 1-2pm ET: Onboarding — It’s more than 1-n-done for success

Presenter: Bill Ryan, Founder & Principal Consultant, Ryan Consulting, LLC

Session: Remember your first day at the new job? Remember the data dump of benefits, medical plans, payroll and tax forms, CEO’s video, and amazing day, right? And then the email was working, your supervisor’s ready to talk and get you oriented to everything, right?

With the transition to a remote workforce, this is the opportunity to reach out and begin the process by engaging the person in advance of their start date, whether they’re new or an existing employee moving to a new role. A structured onboarding program is key to the person’s long-term success and involves a strategic long-term plan.

In this session I will share a process that combines tactical training targeted around the needs of the role using the 4 ‘C’s’ +1 model that centers on constant communication, feedback, and performance measurement – all factors that impact employee retention and engagement. We’ll explore the employee lifecycle for mentoring and development and how connecting people together builds the internal network and supports collaboration. Onboarding is more than a 1 and done session, it’s a process that prepares people to be successful for the long-term performance.

About William J. Ryan, Ph.D.: The Founder & Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC, Bill uses learning as a strategic business tool to develop and impact people to improve retention, engagement, and performance. He has a demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally, including government (Dept. of Energy), high technology (IBM & Westinghouse), and health-related industries such as home health care and insurance (Humana). Recent client work included developing a strategy on a page (SOAP) as well as a leadership development plan for a national financial firm, a comprehensive talent staffing and development plan for a manufacturing concern, an implementation strategy for a Hiring for Competency model used by the National Retail Services, and a state initiative focused on workforce development helping businesses retain and develop employees. Additional work has supported a nationwide clinical start-up focused on improved neonatal techniques for clinicians and a blended leadership and coaching program for a multi-state manufacturing concern. Bill holds an M.S. from Ithaca College focused on Instructional Design and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University. For more information, please visit www.williamjryan.com, send an email to bill@williamjryan.com, or call (502) 797-2479. Bill is active on switter (@WmJRyan) or welcomes connections on LinkedIn.

Click here to register for the June 9 webinar!