The SSDA conference was held March 10-12 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.
Highlights from the 2024 SSDA State Conference
March 25, 2024
The 2024 Small School Districts’ Association State Conference took place March 10-12 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Downtown Sacramento. This year’s theme was “Positivity in Practice: Leading with Optimism in Education.” Educators gathered to engage in breakout sessions, learn from distinguished keynote speakers and build momentum toward positive outcomes in their small school districts.
Breakout sessions were integral to the conference, offering educators informative sessions on computer science, board best practices, construction and much more.
Karen Mix, co-director of computer science for Northern California (CS4NorCal), and Jonathan Rhodea, computer science curriculum specialist for the Sacramento County Office of Education, discussed “Sparking Interest and Engagement in Students with Computer Science.”
Their breakout session uncovered the significant impact of computer science and how teachers participating in learning workshops through CS4NorCal become equipped to teach CS to their students beyond the classroom. By integrating computer science, teachers can leverage its application across various subjects. Students can explore CS and how it intersects with the study of earthquakes, noise monitoring and water quality.
In addition to inspiring presentations, the conference recognized several educators. Jaime Green, superintendent of Trinity Alps Unified School District, was recognized as the Superintendent of the Year.
“Mr. Green’s visionary leadership has fostered a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, ensuring that all students have access to high-quality education regardless of background or circumstance,” said a fellow educator.
Alongside Superintendent of the Year, SSDA recognized passionate educators Tommy Courtney from Lucerne Valley USD as Board Member of the Year, Stephanie Serafin from Saucelito Elementary School District as Executive Assistant of the Year, and Jennifer Lucero from Coalinga-Huron Unified School District as Teacher of the Year.
Throughout the conference, attendees listened to inspiring messages from keynote speakers Ron Clark, Michelle Trujillo and Alex Kajitani. Each speaker renewed enthusiasm in small school district educators to return to their schools with gratitude, hope and energy.
“When we surround ourselves with people who enlighten us, that’s all we need,” Kajitani said. The conference emulated this message, as attendees who were deeply committed to enhancing the lives of their students, staff and community came together to embrace positivity in education.
To learn more about the California Small School Districts’ Association, visit ssda.org.
Karen Mix, co-director of Computer Science for Northern California, during a presentation.
Presenter Jonathan Rhodea from the Sacramento County Office of Education.