Two national conferences being held this summer will allow WELS members to hone their skills and grow their knowledge in the areas of school leadership and technology.
The WELS National School Leadership Conference, will be held June 15–18 at the Country Springs Hotel, Waukesha, Wis. Its theme “Soul, Mind, Body—Sanctified through and through” is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“We believe a balanced life results in effective ministry and leadership,” says Shawn Herkstroeter, principal at Faith, Fond du Lac, Wis., and conference co-chair. “Balance begins with the health of our soul, mind, and body. This conference is designed to help participants reflect and improve upon their spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.”
Conference worship, devotions, key-note speakers, and sectionals will center on that theme, with workshops offering learning opportunities in six different areas: classroom instruction, personal health and wellness, early childhood education, urban education, general leadership, and educational technology. A pre-conference on June 15 will highlight school-based outreach, technology in the classroom, and sensory and brain development for early childhood ministry.
There will also be time for networking and fellowship with other WELS educators. “Forming and developing these partnerships will mutually benefit our schools, but more important strengthen the WELS school system,” says Herkstroeter.
All WELS teachers—from early childhood to college, in WELS schools as well as public schools—are invited to attend. ”Whether you are a fourth-grade teacher serving in a WELS school in Texas, a teacher in the public school system in Minnesota, a WELS high school teacher serving in Washington, or a WELS principal serving in Wisconsin, we consider you a Christian leader for the next generation,” says Ryan Hill, principal at Abiding Word, Houston, Texas, and conference co-chair.
The second conference, WELSTech Conference 2015, will highlight where technology meets ministry. “Ministry comes first, but then where does technology fit in?” says Martin Spriggs, WELS chief technology officer and conference chair. “The focus of this conference will be all those intersections. What is the ministry, and what are the possibilities of how technology might be able to respond to some of those needs.”
Held July 9–11 also at the Country Springs Hotel, the conference will include practical sessions with real-world applications on topics such as the effective use of social networks, worship technologies, introducing tablets and Chromebooks in the classroom, and website building. Some sessions will be more theoretical, “where we’ll do a little more brainstorming of what the possibilities are around a technology,” says Spriggs.
Spriggs says the conference will offer learning and fellowship opportunities for pastors, teachers, and laypeople interested in technology. While Spriggs’ weekly technology podcast, http://welstech.wels.net, offers ongoing education and discussion, “I’m excited to bring people together like this to have conversations in a more focused setting,” says Spriggs. “I’m looking forward to what networking can be done and what ideas will come out of this conference and what ministry can be accomplished after the conference through technology.”
Volume 102, Number 1
Issue: January 2015
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