From the President (Spring 2018)

Lee Ann Barnhardt
NASJE President Lee Ann Barnhardt

by Lee Ann Barnhardt

The view from my office window says winter, but the calendar says spring, so it must be time for a presidential update.

The board and the NASJE committees have been busy since we last met in Charleston. We are hard at work planning the 2018 Conference in Austin, Texas. It is scheduled for August 26-29, and the theme is “Developing Educational Leaders for Today’s Courts and Beyond.”

The schedule is shaping up to be innovative and informative. We plan to include a session spotlighting new, exciting, successful, and innovative programs and projects being offered by our members. Look for a survey request seeking your input. The Texas crew is also cooking up a great social program that will give us a little taste of Texas culture. We plan to have registration material out in May so please make plans to join me in returning to my home state!

The board will hold its mid-year meeting April 19-20 in Tucson. We will be tackling some policy issues related to scholarships, vendors, budgets, and joint conferences. The board will also give final approval for 2018 conference, begin initial planning for our 2019 conference in Denver, and review the proposals for the 2020 conference in the Northeast Region. If you have any concerns or issues you would like the board to address at its mid-year meeting or any time, please feel free to contact me or your regional director.

We have also done some work reaching out to our partner organizations. I attended the Conference of Chief Justices’ mid-year meeting in January and was able to visit some of the chiefs were we do not have NASJE members and encourage them to get their staff members involved. It was also nice to get a glimpse at their future conference agendas and know some of the issues they will be addressing in their educational programs.

This year’s education agenda focused on the opioid crisis, the impacts of legalized marijuana on courts and the science of addiction. Our treasurer, Jeff Schrade of Arizona, attended the NACM mid-year in California in February and is now working on a potential partnership with NACM that would have NASJE members teaching a faculty development session at their conference this summer in Atlanta. Look for more details as we flush out this plan at our mid-year meeting.

Finally, our nominating committee has formed under the leadership of Immediate Past President Caroline Kirkpatrick and they are looking for potential candidates to run for a seat on the board. Open positions will be posted soon, but if you are interested in serving, please contact Caroline or myself for more details.

On a personal note, spring will be a busy one as my youngest child competes in a her final season of track and graduates from high school and my oldest moves back home from college for another summer of hospital work. May your spring season be filled with productive, happy times and for those of us still snowed-under, may it melt soon!