Here are Miss Illinois and me at the 2008 Raising Student Achievement conference in St Charles, Illinois this Monday. Imagine . . . she and I were talking to the teachers, while across town . . . the FBI was arresting the governor. Miss Illinois was a big hit with the superintendents, especially the males. I even got in on the game, getting her to sign a picture for Cubby.
I'm bigger, but she got all the attention. And for those of you who want specifications . . . she is 24, not married, not engaged, and continuing with college. 17 to 24 is the age range for this competition. She's friendly and personable, and the crown is detachable. She did not offer to let me try it, though.
Luckily there were no arrests at the Pheasant Run resort. The teachers were all well-behaved. I arrived the night before my talk, as everyone was rolling into town. Once I'd gotten settled in my room, I ventured downstairs to get a feel for the audience I'd have in the morning. I found some teachers in the bar.
After first ascertaining that they were friendly, I set out to answer some questions. What do you do? I asked. Are you teachers, superintendents, or something else? Most were teachers. I asked if they were dedicated, and they all said yes. I asked if they planned to attend in the morning, and they said yes to that, too.
Knowing I had a dedicated audience, I retreated to my room to re-read your comments and ponder what to say at the opening bell. Thank you all for the suggestions in my last thread, What Would You Say to Them? I did my best to pass on your ideas during my three sessions. I spoke to the entire assembly at the conference opening. After that, I had a session with regional superintendents, and a session with teachers.
The whole thing went very well, thanks in large part to your suggestions.