Registration for Lessons in Leadership conference open; meet our keynote speakers!

Educators and educational leaders are invited to a forum of learning, inspiration and empowerment during the NYSAWA Lessons in Leadership conference, happening August 7 and 8, 2024 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Poughkeepsie, NY.

This is a unique opportunity for education professionals of all levels to connect with peers and engage with other dynamic speakers who will share their stories of challenge, motivation, action and success.

We are excited to welcome two outstanding leaders in their fields as our conference keynote speakers this year.

Meet our keynote speakers

Chi Kim

Image of Chi Kim, keynote for 2024 NYSAWA conferenceChi Kim is the CEO of Pure Edge, Inc. a private operating foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, she served as a California school superintendent, school principal, leadership coach, classroom teacher as well as, a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is also co-founder of the Teaching Garden program that was adopted by the American Heart Association to support heart health through school gardens. Chi is an adjunct professor at UVA.

Chi is a 2018 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, serves as the Board Chair & Trustee of the Ibis Group nonprofit board, a member of CASEL Board of Directors, YouthBuild USA Board of Directors, Coalition for Career Development Center, FairVote, and FECOP Board of Directors. She also serves on the national advisory councils of the COVID Collaborative, More Perfect, Multitudes UCSF Dyslexia Center, SEL4US, and Project Wayfinder.

She earned a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Ed. from UCLA, a Tier I Administrative Services credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills, Tier II Administrative Services credential from Loyola Marymount University, XPT Performance Breathing Certification and Oxygen Advantage Functional Breathing Certification. She is mom to three wonderful girls and resides in the greater Boston area.

Michele Ahouse

Image of Michele AhouseMichele Ahouse is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for EF Educational Tours, part of EF Education First. EF is a family-owned company that believes in the power of travel-based learning to help bring the classroom to life and to build essential skills like collaboration and problem solving for educators and students. Michele started at EF in 2016 with a focus of creating the opportunity of travel for students in the Mid-Atlantic. She continues that work now in partnership with administrators across the country to build out programs in their schools and districts to create access for as many students as possible.

Prior to EF, Michele worked at Citizen Schools – a national education non- profit focused on closing both the achievement and opportunity gaps for underserved public middle school students. In addition to her work at EF, Michele is a certified CliftonStrengths coach who helps leaders understand themselves better, build better teams and harness their strengths to be more effective. An avid traveler, reader and cyclist, Ms. Ahouse lives in the Boston, MA area with her husband, two children and dog.


The cost of the conference is $275 for members and $295 for non-members, and includes StrengthsFinder assessment, welcome reception on August 7, and breakfast and lunch on August 8th. Registration deadline is July 12, 2024.

Once registered through Frontline, participants will receive hotel reservation information. The hotel is honoring a nightly rate of $179 for anyone attending the conference. The registration price in My Learning Plan will indicate the non-member fee but will be adjusted for billing for NYSAWA members.

Checks must be made payable to Capital Region BOCES, Attn: Christine Mongelli, Capital Region BOCES, 900 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12205. Please indicate the name of the event, “Lessons in Leadership,” in the memo space if paying by check.

Register for the 2024 NYSAWA Conference 

Your guide to Poughkeepsie and the greater mid-Hudson Region

This summer’s Lessons in Leadership conference is a great way to recharge and regroup ahead of the 2024-25 school year. With the event taking place in the beautiful mid-Hudson Region, there are endless bites and sites to add to your itinerary. Check out some of the region’s highlights!