Classified employees attend professional conference to kick off the school year
Posted on 08/14/2018
Picture of registration line at Classified Professional Development ConferenceWith just two weeks before school begins on August 27, students are not alone in preparing for the new year. Prince William County School employees are in high gear to ensure a great opening, attending conferences to improve their skills. More than 800 support personnel participated in the annual Classified Professional Development Conference on August 10.

“It is my hope that you will take away a greater understanding of how we can live and work in a real world with tough issues and maintain a sense of resilience and passion in our work,” Amy White, associate superintendent for Human Resources, told attendees.

School Board Interim Chairman Babur B. Lateef, M.D., greeted the audience via a videotaped message on the key role each employee plays in the education of students.

“Every educator understands how much all of you do to make incredible success stories in our schools possible,” said Dr. Lateef. “We couldn’t get our students to school, keep our buildings clean and operational, our offices running, or handle any of the thousands of tasks it takes to make a School Division work, without each of you,” he said.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jim Harris brought his unique mix of humor and words of wisdom. He explored the toxic effects of stress on our health and mental functioning and challenged common perceptions about what makes us happy. Dr. Harris is the owner of Opportunities Consulting Services and the associate director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University.

“If you can produce positive energy you can succeed,” Dr. Harris said. “We need to know and understand how people succeed when they have so many risk factors; seek to understand stress and compassion fatigue; and guide our passionate perseverance toward a long-term goal,” he said. “Even when sad things happen, recognize things you can control; be a rational optimist.”