Letter from the President – June 2021

Reflections on the Last 600 Days

By NASJE President Janice Calvi-Ruimerman

It’s been about ½ as long as the Korean War; it’s been about ⅖ as long as the first walk around the world, The Civil War, and World War I; it’s been about ¼ as long as World War II and the construction of the Chunnel; and ⅕ as longs as King Tut’s reign.  So, at the very least, I am no King Tut, but I have been the president of NASJE for just about 600 days now.

As I reflect on this passage of time, I look to each of you as my greatest achievement.  As you know, our organization is a national collaborative of education directors,  managers,  judge and/or employee faculty, conference coordinators, program attorneys, consultants, professors, event planners, distance learning professionals, learning management system administrators, court administrators, communications coordinators, personnel directors, and doctoral candidates.  A proverbial hodgepodge of exceptional leaders whom I am lucky enough to call colleagues and friends.  This diverse and expansive group of individuals shares one common goal: to create and implement the BEST educational opportunities for our stakeholders. Surrounding myself with these incredibly talented people has provided me with the opportunity to shine so much brighter over these last 600 days.  My mantra has always been to find people smarter, more talented and engaging so that they will push me to continuously reflect and grow.  Our 2019-2021 Board of Directors coupled with our amazing members have given me root and encouraged my continuous growth and development. And, I thank you!

So, what have we done over the last 600 days?

To start, our Board of Directors has been committed to improving our membership benefits, creating a more inclusive organization, and ensuring open and accessible access to information and support for our members.  As I reflect on the last 600 days, I can honestly and humbly say that I think we’ve done just that.

  • Each committee has been redesigned with a Board liaison so as to ensure access to and timely support for each committee by the Board of Directors.
  • During the height of the pandemic, we came together as an organization virtually with the help of our Regional Directors in order to support and stabilize each other during one of the most trying times in government education.
  • Sponsorship and Fundraising has been reimaged and incorporated into our website so as to create an open and accessible portal for sponsorship.
  • A new extensive website has been created and launched by our Communications Committee to streamline information and provide our membership with a secure place to share ideas, programs, and resources.
  • The Fundamentals of our Profession has been re-designed by our Education Committee in order to create both a hybrid and an asynchronous model program while still incorporating nationally recognized Adult Learning Theories.
  • We continued to provide just-in-time learning to our membership in terms of NASJE webinars, Zoominars, and Callinars designed to enhance learning and/or discuss a national trend in the courts or educational development.
  • Our Futures Committee has worked on a new strategic plan in order to ensure flexibility in the structure of our organization as we change and grow into our “new normal”.
  • We memorialized questions posed to the NASJE Listserv in what is now called the “Asked and Answered” section of our website.
  • Our Regional Teams came together through virtual programming in order to share resources locally.
  • Our Membership and Mentor Committee is launching a new onboarding and mentorship program for new members and an outreach program for membership recruitment.
  • A New Professionals Committee was established in order to identify the needs of members new to our profession, so as to keep NASJE fresh and engaging for generations to come.
  • The Diversity, Fairness and Access Committee co-hosted and assisted with a nationally recognized program in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts.
  • A podcast series will be started soon in order to address current issues, but more importantly to retain institutional knowledge and explore innovative ideas.
  • We have continued throughout the pandemic to provide our membership with unique opportunities to network virtually with other judicial educators, meeting planners, and technical gurus from all over the United States and U.S. territories.
  • And last, but certainly not least, we postponed the 2020 Conference and re-booked our Annual Conference for October 9-13, 2021 in New Haven, Connecticut.

This year, our NASJE Annual Conference will be held in my home state and I personally invite each of you, your education departments, and your family and friends to attend.  The planning for 2021 has been underway in Connecticut.  And, as a smaller state with demographically centralized access, we expect to be able to offer attendees a true New England experience in the height of leaf peeping in the Fall of 2021.  Due to Covid- 19 and budgetary constraints, we, as a Board, decided to lower the price for conference to $400.00 (approximately $200.00 saved).  For those individuals in your state that are not currently members, first time attendees to our Annual Conference are afforded an annual membership subsequent to their attendance at conference. So, what does this mean for your organization?  By sending your teams to conference and thereby joining NASJE and/or expanding your organization’s membership with NASJE, your education team will have greater opportunities to collaborate on a national level. 

We are all “doing more with less,” but doing it together has created a bridge thereby expanding education across state lines as well as globally.  My goal over the last 600 days has been to create global educational resources.  I believe through NASJE and the changes we have made over the last 600 days, we have done just that.  And, you all are to thank for it.  Together, we created a new culture of inclusivity and globalization in judicial education. I am proud of that and proud of each of your contributions herein. 

I look forward to seeing you in New Haven, Connecticut and celebrating the great work we’ve done and will continue to do together. For you have made the probability of 600 days in office possible.