Summer time and the living is busy!

Lee Ann Barnhardt
NASJE President Lee Ann Barnhardt

by Lee Ann Barnhardt

As I write this message, it is the morning of June 21—the first official day of summer. I love this time of year in North Dakota. The days are long (official sunset at 9:41 today) and the nights are cool; perfect conditions for watching a beautiful sunset or having a campfire at the lake. As much as I would prefer spending my days near the water, there is work to be done to wrap up my presidency and prepare for our annual conference in August.

Registration for the Annual Conference, August 26-29, in Austin is in full swing. If you have not checked out the schedule, please see the link on the main conference webpage. The line-up of sessions is fantastic and supports the conference theme of “Developing Educational Leaders for Today’s Courts and Beyond.” I think you may have trouble deciding which sessions to attend.

And don’t forget about the social events. We have a fun President’s Reception planned for Sunday night, followed by our film viewing, and a great evening event Monday at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden in the Rainey Street District. I am looking forward to welcoming you all to my home state!

Sunset at my lake in North Dakota
Sunset at my lake in North Dakota

The board has continued to work on future conference planning—Denver in 2019 and New Haven, Connecticut in 2020, and will be looking for members to join those planning committees. Let me know if you are interested. The board, with the help of an ad hoc committee, is currently working on a policy relating to hosting joint conferences with other court-related associations. Another group is looking into developing a data-base of faculty and curriculum to replace JERITT. This is something our members have asked for and we are excited to research the possibilities. And of course our committees have been working to develop conference sessions and webinars, increase membership, and raise funds for our organization.

I have to say time has flown since becoming president in December, but I have enjoyed leading this organization. I want the members to know that the board members who represent you are some of the best people I know. They are smart, energetic, passionate and downright fun. You are in good hands! In the next few months, I am excited to represent NASJE at the NACM conference in July, to continue my work on the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, and lead us through the 2018 Annual Conference.

See Ya’ll in Austin!