- The wifi network to use is called Three Rivers Convention Center, and the password is WeAreEvents!2
- The hashtag to use on social media is #WACA18. We have an official twitter account @WACAofficial.
- The online schedule program is at WACA2018.sched.com.
- Our area idea share is at https://tinyurl.com/Area3IdeaShare
- We have a "book fair" set up with Barnes & Noble for the conference; the ID is 12325999, and will be open from tomorrow until 3/20. You can use the code online or in the store to take advantage of our special conference pricing!
Today's the day! I'm so excited to see you all. About half of you have checked in already, and I'm sure the rest are on the way! I just wanted to share a couple "fine detail"-type things with you that will be useful throughout the conference: I'll mention these briefly at our Area Meeting this evening, but I figured it'd be easier to shoot you an email than pause to spell everything out :)
WHAT UP AREA 3? Hope all is well in your corner of Pierce County! I have three quick conference items for you:
Okay! Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow (I know some schools work with their choir to deliver “val-o-grams” and sing through the hallways. It’s really cool, creates a wonderful climate, and highlights the music program. Hey… that sounds like a Meet the Pros topic!), and I'll look forward to talking to you soon!
Embrace the day, people! And as always, please let me know if you have any questions (especially about presenting!). Talk to you soon!
NBCT, Leadership and Freshman English
Sumner High School
WHAT UP, AREA 3? Hope all is well. We just finished finals week here at SHS - now, it’s all over but the grading :) Anyway! I rarely email multiple times a week, but this is some time-sensitive info for you.
Our WACA President, Laurel Robillard, just sent out the following update regarding our conference hotels. Looks like there are some rooms left for reserving! The phone numbers are listed here, but you can also find them online. Please note the address of the Red Lion; there are two of them in the Kennewick area.
Springhill Suites (this is the hotel attached to the conference center) (509) 820-3026
Hilton Garden Inn (509) 735-4600
Red Lion (509) 396-9979
602 N Young St
Remember that all reservations should be in the name of the persons actually attending the conference; by 2/1, any reservations in our block that are not matched up with conference registrations will be released. By 2/9, rooms not reserved will released to the public. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to book there if they have openings, but it does mean that the rooms will not be available at the WACA group rate.
A couple more quick items for you on this fine Saturday evening:
· Clock Hours: 10 clock hours are available for attending the instructional sessions of the conference. These are FREE (oh yeah!), and they are available at the end of the conference after the closing session. We have to maintain the integrity of our offerings, so they will not be available before the closing of the conference. As you make arrangements for your exit after the conference, please keep that timing in mind (tip: flying from SeaTac to Kennewick is slick). However, please note that we’re planning ahead, too; as a board, we recognize that things were slow last year, so we are planning to streamline the process by offering multiple pick-up stations.
· WACA Board: Everyone knows that I lead a glamorous life as a WACA Board member! Seriously, I work with 20 wonderful, creative, funny, warm people, and I get a lot of satisfaction from my work on the Board. If you’d like to join the ensemble, we have elections this year for President-Elect, Middle-Level Rep, and Secretary. We also have an appointed position up for selection this year: Partner Coordinator. If you are interested in any of these positions, check out the info (and application) on our website or drop me a note; I’d be happy to chat with you.
That’s it for now - more soon! Embrace the weeknd.
WHAT UP AREA 3? Happy New Year!
It's not too late to say Happy New Year, is it? Either way, I hope it's not scary cold in your corner of Pierce County. We're wrapping up our first semester here at Sumner High School, and that always means that WACA will be here before we know it!
We had our winter board meeting last weekend at the convention center in Kennewick, and we’re tuning up for another great conference. I have quite a few items to share with you… probably too many to put into a single email. So, I’ll send a few things at a time. Today, I have seven items for you. Here we go!
1) What's up?: If we haven't had the pleasure of meeting, let me offer a hearty "HELLO!" I represent Pierce County on the Washington Activity Coordinators Association board. If you work with ASB/student leadership in any capacity at your school, this message is for you! If not, please let me know so I can take you off the list and replace you with the person who does.
2) Registration: If you haven’t yet registered for the conference, please do so! We have a great lineup of speakers and events. Of course, all that you need to know is outlined on our website at wacaonline.org. The conference registration form is there.
Note: There is a spot on the registration form to make special meal requests. Be sure to fill out this section, and the banquet folks will try to accommodate those needs as much as possible.
3) Lodging: If you haven’t registered for a hotel room, that info is also on the website. We're hearing that the rooms are filling up pretty quickly, which means that we should have a big, rockin' conference this year! Get those reservations soon, as well.
Note: If you have registered for a hotel room but haven’t yet registered for the conference, please do that this week! After February 1st, we need to have conference registrations matched with each room registration. If not, they will start contacting people and releasing those rooms to other delegates who need them (this happened to some folks last year, too).
ALSO: If your room(s) have been reserved by a bookkeeper, secretary, or someone else who was reserving several rooms for a group, be sure that the names of the actual attendees are on the room. For example, at SHS, Jess will reserve rooms for Brandon, Jeff, and Jordan. If “Jess” is the only name on the registration, that could be an issue. If she adds each of those names, that will verify that there are three people attending the conference, each with a conference registration and hotel registration.
4) Presenters: This conference doesn't happen without sharing the cool things happening in our schools. We have a killer area full of rock stars, so I'd like to personally challenge you to think about signing up!
We have two presentation formats: Meet the Pros (a short 10-minute presentation that you repeat several times as delegates “rotate” to you), or a longer, 50-minute presentation that you would present once.
We are always looking for presenters on any topic related to student leadership, but here are some suggestions that delegates have asked about recently to get your creative juices flowing: ASB law; tips for bookkeepers; how to transition from summer leadership camp to home school; how to partner with administrators to promote school culture; how to plan fun and meaningful leadership lock-ins; how to address privilege and culture in the leadership classroom; mentorship for younger students; helpful technology/apps that you use daily; or any other specific, powerful leadership class lessons that you may have.
I know you can do this! We all take ideas and put our own spin on them. We may not think much of it at the time, but those tweaks are what make those ideas so valuable and so important to share.
Grab the mic and apply to present right here!
5) Adviser Certification: On the website, notice that there is an advisor certification menu. Please consider applying! We had 37 advisors apply last year, and have added more than a dozen this year so far. You can apply any time, but if you complete your application by February 1st, you'll be recognized at the conference and your name will be printed in the program. The certification can be awfully nice when working with TPEP, National Board certification, or just being recognized for the amazing work that you do!
6) Partners: Our partner coordinator Jen Durham (shout out to Area 3! Key Peninsula Middle School represent) is always looking for conference partners. If you have a local vendor that you really like or a product that you use frequently, let me know and I’ll pass the info on to Jen. She will contact that person/s, and see if they’re interested in being one of our Partners.
7) Servus Conference: On a non-WACA note (but still a student leadership note), consider yourselves invited to bring your students to the 12th annual Servus Conference at the Showare Center in Kent! Servus is on March 7, and it is an opportunity to be inspired by some heavy-hitters as they speak on the subject of servant leadership. This year, the lineup boasts Noemi Ban, Luis Ortega, John PUSH Gaines, Houston Kraft, and Davey Muise! For more information, check the website at servusconference.com. If you have questions, don't hesitate to email me or John Norlin.
Okay! That’s it for now, but don't worry - there's more on the way, especially as we get closer to the conference. Enjoy your week, and I'll be excited to talk to you soon!
WHAT UP AREA 3? Welcome back to school, and to another exciting year of student leadership! I hope you had a fun and restful summer, and are ready to rock this year!
First things first… I’m Caleb Knox, your Area 3 Rep for the Washington Activity Coordinators Association (WACA). I teach leadership and freshman English at Sumner High School, and I am excited to be embarking on my 7th year of involvement with student activities!
I represent Pierce County on the WACA Board, and I can’t wait to get to know each of you. Throughout the year, I’ll be sending you updates about what’s happening in the activities world at the state level. Am I talking to the right person? If so, great! If you’re not involved in leadership / ASB / activities at your school or if someone else should be added to my list, please let me know so I can update my contacts. Thanks!
We just held our fall WACA Board meeting in Wenatchee last weekend. Why Wenatchee? We’re always keeping our eyes open for possible conference venues. There are several items from the board meeting that I’d like to share:
1: It’s never too early to think about the WACA Conference! We’ll be getting together March 14-16, 2018, at the Tri-Cities Convention Center in Kennewick. Our theme this year is Tune Into Leadership, and it promises to be rockin’! A few things I’d like to highlight:
2: Don’t forget that you can apply for the official Washington State Advisor Certification through WACA. We started the program earlier this year, and have about 30 certified advisors at this time. If you’re interested, please refer to the application online at wacaonline.org (it’s the third menu tab on the left side of the home page). Application deadline is February 1, 2018. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me an email.
3: The state high school student leadership conference (AWSL) is coming fast, October 13-15, in Yakima. Registration deadline is this week. Check out the latest “In the Loop” message if you receive that, or find the registration form at their website.
4: Speaking of conferences, the NCSA (National Conference on Student Activities) is being held in Spokane this year! It’s a great conference, and a cool opportunity to discover how other states approach activities. The conference convenes on December 1-3, 2017, and there is a link to the conference site at the bottom of our homepage (wacaonline.org). Check it out!
5: And finally, the WACA Hall of Fame: If you would like to nominate someone for the WACA Hall of Fame, the deadline is December 1, 2017. Again, check the menu bar on the left hand side of our homepage to access the Hall of Fame info and application.
Okay, this is long enough! It's early in the year, but things are already kicking into high gear. Please let me know if you have any questions! Keep on rockin’, and I’ll be excited to touch base with you soon!
WHAT UP AREA 3?
March is here! You know what that means: it’s almost time to go fishin’ for great ideas at WACA 2017! A few details/items as we move closer to the conference:
Conference Details: The conference schedule is live on wacaonline.org! Any day now, the full program will be complete and uploaded to the website as well. I always like to pick my sessions early in order to maximize my time at the conference.
Registration/Presenters: It is not too late to register for the conference,lodging, or to present. We are still especially in need of people to present for Meet the Pros! These short sit-down sessions are a great way to dip your toes into the waters of presenting at WACA. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be this year’s biggest catch! If you are presenting, realize that you cannot hang anything on the walls of the room.
Hotel/parking: If you are staying at the Hilton, all rooms have complimentary basic internet. If you want to stay an extra night (Friday night, after the conference ends), you can reserve the extra night at the same conference rate (subject to availability).
The hotel offers parking at $6 per night. It is first-come first-served, and there are only 100 spots in the parking garage; you may want to consider carpooling with some other WACA-goers. There is additional secure parking across the street for $8 per day; that lot is locked up at 10 pm nightly.
Another possibility is skip driving all together and take the train. It’s a beautiful trip!
Goodie Baskets: We always have great giveaways in our area meetings, and this year will be no exception! We will create two types of baskets: a chocolatebasket and a sweet/savory basket! If you would like to participate, please bring your favorite snack or treat. You are not obligated to contribute, but if you do, you get a chance to be the big winner! It is always a fun way for us to celebrate one another.
Hungry/Thirsty? Remember to let me know about your specific food needs with a quick email if necessary. We will do our best to accommodate for those needs! There will be coffee, tea and water available at the conference, as well as a soda machine. There cannot be any alcohol opened or consumed in the public areas of the hotel.
What to wear: During the conference, we like to have a mini advisers-only spirit week! Here are some options if you’d like to participate:
Wednesday: Welcome to WACA - come in whatever you would like!
Thursday evening: For the Hall of Fame Banquet, some like to dress up a little nicer. Not a requirement, but feel free!
Friday: Represent your school with spirit gear - it’s a WACA tradition!
Finally: Holy moly - can you believe that the conference is just 9 days away? If you can’t wait (like me), then take a deep breath and enjoy two hours of coral reef fish on repeat. You may not be able to fish for these beautiful specimens, but it’ll at least help us calm down as we wait for the 15th to arrive.
As always, if you do not want to receive these emails, please let me know with a quick reply and I will take you off the list. If you know of anyone that should be receiving these emails and is not - please let me know so I can contact them.
If you have any questions or comments please let me know! Have a great day - see you so soon!
We want YOU...
...to present at WACA!
That's right, ladies and gentlemen! We know that amazing things are happening in schools across Pierce County every day, and this is our opportunity to share those great things with the rest of the state! You have two fabulous opportunities to take advantage of:
1) MEET THE PROS. In this presentation, you will have 10 minutes to share an initiative, book, class activity, assembly game, trick of the trade, or other great/useful/creative/cool thing with a small group of delegates. We will have a one-hour session where you present several times in a row to different audiences who want to hear your expertise! Last year was my first time presenting, and I really enjoyed taking part in this one. (This is also great option for new presenters to get their feet wet as well!)
2) 50-MINUTE SESSION. The classroom is yours! You will present once for 50 minutes about your topic. This is a great opportunity to go in-depth, or to share a program that requires more explanation. Projectors will be available for you to show visuals, if desired; bring your own laptop (and dongles, if necessary).
These presentations are the heart of our conference! If you'd like to get involved, the presenter registration link is: http://www.wacaonline.org/presenters.html
Finally for today: We also would love to have you register for the conference if you haven't already! I see that more than 50 of our friends/colleagues from Pierce County are signed up already, but we want to make sure that everyone who wants to come is able to. The conference registration link is: http://www.wacaonline.org/registration.html
We are excited to see you there, and to hear you share your expertise! Happy Friday - embrace the weekend - see you soon!
WHAT’S UP, PIERCE COUNTY?
It is good to be talking to you again… or, to be talking at all again! This last week, I was struck with an awful flu - and yes, before you ask, I got my flu shot this year! Even though I was laid up, I was fortunate to be able to meet with our WACA board last weekend. The wheels are moving quickly now! Expect a few more messages in the coming weeks as we share more details leading up to the conference.
Some of you have planned ahead and have already reserved a room in our block at the Vancouver Hilton! That is fantastic, but we also need you to make sure to register for the conference itself. Our block is filling up quickly; if you have reserved a room but have NOT registered for the conference by February 1st, your hotel reservation will be cancelled. If you have registered for the conference AND reserved a hotel room, you are all set! Thank you!
If you are staying with us at the Vancouver Hilton, we have 100 reserved parking spots. They will cost $6 a night, which is the reduced conference rate. There is also parking near the Hilton (across the street) for $8.00 per day. We encourage you to carpool with others from the area or take Amtrak down to the conference (there is a stop right in Vancouver, as well as one in Portland; it’s a beautiful ride!).
In addition to the Hilton, we also have rooms available at the Comfort Inn, which is just a 5 minute drive from the conference. The rooms at this newly remodeled hotel are priced at $107 per night and they provide a free continental breakfast. So you can have a free first breakfast before you show up for second breakfast at the conference after your long 5-minute drive :)
REGISTRATION AND THE WACA WEBSITE:
Remember that registration is all online at our WACA website! If you are going to pay with a credit card, please have it ready when you register. You will be asked to enter the card number when you register.
Also, if you notice any technical issues on the WACA website, please let our technology expert Ryan Healy know! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know great things are happening in your schools, and this is an excellent opportunity to share those with your colleagues! We have several from Area 3 signed up, but we always looking for more great presenters! We have two lovely presentation formats for you to choose from: a short “Meet the Pros” session (10 minute presentation repeated several times with a small group), or a longer 50-minute presentation (will present once). Think about the great things you and your students do and what you might share with others, then sign up to present. The presenter application is also live on the website!
Our speakers plan for the registration numbers we provide them, so we would like to encourage you to show up for the session you signed up for at registration. We have four amazing pre-conference sessions lined up, and we want to make sure each of our speakers have accurate numbers.
If you are need us to provide for your vegetarian, gluten-free, or other special diet, please let me know so we can do our best to accommodate those of you with specific needs.
Do you have books, tools, manipulatives, etc. that you find especially useful in your classroom? We’re always open to suggestions of what to stock in our WACA store and would love to stock up on items that have worked for you! Let me know if you have any suggestions. We will also have some pretty great Leadership swag available for purchase in the store as well.
Phew! That is it for now - thank you for all you do, and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! Can't wait to see you all at WACA 2017!
What up, Area 3? Happy December! Can you believe that we're on the calendar's last page already? This is my unofficial "Christmas card" to you - I hope the length of the missive doesn't detract from my enthusiasm to wish you a wonderful holiday season :)
The holidays are always a time for celebration, and there is great reason to celebrate on the WACA front as well: as of yesterday, we have people registered for the conference (March 15-17 in Vancouver, WA)! We usually don't hit that number until January! Not only that, 26 of those 100 are from Pierce County. Across the state, we have the largest number of delegates registered so far! Rock on! I love the enthusiasm. If you are planning to register but haven't yet, you can do so right here! One of the biggest reasons I love WACA is the opportunity to learn from those right in this region, and that opportunity gets more meaningful as we add more delegates with great ideas.
Also: we are on the lookout for presenters for the conference! We would love for you to consider sharing your expertise in a 50-minute session or a 10-minute "Meet the Pros" session. Area 3 has traditionally been very well-represented in our presenters, and for good reason! We are a powerhouse of an area, and I want to encourage you to share some of your powerful programs and ideas with others from across the state. These sessions are among the many highlights of WACA, and it's all because of your enthusiasm for our work of building a culture in our schools.
If you are interested, please go to http://www.wacaonline.org/presenter-application.html and submit a description of your workshop. We already have several from Pierce County, and we would love to have more! As I've already mentioned, I know there's a ton of talent in our Area, and I would love to see it on display this spring!
Finally, I just want to send a word of encouragement to you as you rock these last two weeks before the break. I know that as wonderful as it is, holiday programming can seem onerous on top of all our normal responsibilities. We feel like we're going 100 miles an hour, like a Christmas turkey with its head cut off, and it's easy to be overwhelmed and lose sight of what makes the season magical. Sometimes we need to take a step back and enjoy the moment; drink a cup of cocoa, laugh with our students, whistle a Christmas song, drive through an especially festive neighborhood. If you need help pausing, then I'd encourage you to take this opportunity to at least take 3:10 and enjoy a timeless Christmas tune. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into making this winter a wonderland for your students! I can almost feel the snow falling now...
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and see you next year in Vancouver!