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2020-2021 Assistant Principals’ Conference

April 1 @ 1:00 pm - April 2 @ 2:00 pm




(All sessions will be recorded EXCEPT for Thorny Issues)


2020-2021 Assistant Principals’ Conference

Sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association


“Walking the Crooked Path:  From Adversity to Opportunity and Advancement in a Post-Pandemic School”



Thursday, April 1, 2021

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.      Registration

1:30 – 1:40 p.m.      Welcome and Opening Remarks

1:40 – 2:40 p.m.      Keynote with Alex Kajitani, “Leadership Secrets That Work: From the Classroom to the Boardroom”

2:40 – 2:55 p.m.      Break

2:55 – 3:55 p.m.      Panel Discussion – Not Losing Sight of the Positive

3:55 – 5:30 p.m.      Free Time – Celebrate Yourself

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.      Reception

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.      Dinner and Program Honoring Erin Maguire, 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year and Tricia Campbell, 2019 National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year

7:30 – 8:00 p.m.      Social Time to Continue Networking (music playing over speakers)


Friday, April 2, 2021

7:15 – 8:15 a.m.      Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 a.m.      Announcements

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.      Professional Collaboration (a.k.a. Thorny Issues with Resolution)

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.    Break

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  Drummond Woodsum’s Isabel Ekman504 and Special Education Law in a COVID World

11:30 – 12:20 p.m.     Lunch

12:20 – 1:50 p.m.       Round Table with Breakout Sessions

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.      Wrap-Up



About the Program. . . .

Keynote Day 1:  Leadership Secrets That Work:  From the Classroom to The Boardroom.  Twenty years ago, Alex Kajitani was a struggling new teacher in one of California’s poorest neighborhoods.  His students seemed unmotivated, unengaged, and uninterested in what he was teaching.  Demoralized and desperate, he set out on a journey to turn his class and his life, around.  Today, Alex holds the title of California Teacher of the Year and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year, 2009, and is lauded for his innovation and “real talk” on what it takes to effectively lead any organization.  In this keynote address, Alex shares the four leadership secrets that he has used throughout his career, first as the manager of a multi-million-dollar restaurant chain, and then as an award-winning educator.  Yesterday’s students are today’s employees, and today’s students are the employees of tomorrow.  Thus, Alex connects the often awkward lessons we all experienced in middle school, to the profound challenges we face in leading our schools—and how both require a similar skill set and belief in our employees to be successful.


Keynote Day 2:  504 and Special Education Law in a COVID World.  We are going to talk with Isabel Ekman, attorney with Drummond Woodsum who specializes in the area of Special Education and will be able to answer the questions that you have regarding special education topics and exactly what is your role.


You will leave the conference with a renewed energy, strategies that you will be able to implement the next day at school, a new cohort of professionals that will be available to continue to support you,
and to whom you will be able to assist as well.

About Our Presenters . . . .

Alex Kajitani (Kaw-juh-taw-nee) is the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. He is the author of several highly acclaimed books, and a leading authority on teaching and leadership. During the Covid-19 shutdown, he created “Wacky Math Hour,” a free, weekly online class that attracted thousands of students. He is also the creator of the wildly popular online program,, and his songs and videos have received hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.  He is an acclaimed speaker, author, and was featured   on The CBS Evening News, where Katie Couric exclaimed, “I LOVE that guy!” (and you will too!)

Isabel Ekman is a member of Drummond Woodsum’s School and Local Government Group. She provides counseling and litigation services on all aspects of school and education law, including special education and disability rights, student discipline, student rights, employment disputes, and investigations. Isabel represents school districts in administrative hearings and complaints before the Maine Department of Education, as well as in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases before the Maine Human Rights Commission and state and federal courts.  Isabel is a frequent presenter at conferences and events related to special education and general school law.





April 1 @ 1:00 pm
April 2 @ 2:00 pm
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