They say the third time is the charm … Turns out it’s true in our case!

Finally, after three l-o-n-g years of wishing and waiting, we were at last able to side-step the pandemic for a few days to hold a normal, education-packed and fun-filled Annual Conference IN PERSON!

Granted, there were some new twists to our popular event that signaled a change in times — we went through vaccination screening and wore color-coded ribbons to signal our physical distance comfort levels — but other than that, it sure felt like walking through the door of a favorite friend’s home for dinner once again.

And just in the nick of time, the state relaxed its mask mandate, so we actually got to SEE the thousands of smiling faces all around us, as well as gather together in the general session halls to say a proper goodbye to our 2021-22 leadership team and welcome in the new one in traditional fashion.

Once again, our outgoing president was able to personally pass the gavel to the incoming leader — to see President Richard De Nava do this in person with President-Elect Diane Deshler was a welcome sight. And our awards dinner that always kicks off conference with an acknowledgment of the year in outstanding leadership was warmly awash in a happy spirit of togetherness.

Pandemic notwithstanding, we’ve always managed to accomplish this seamless transition of leadership to ensure that the work of our association continues uninterrupted, but we can probably all agree that it was truly just sheer joy to see it return with its customary ceremony once again.

Although it’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to our outgoing leadership team, we’re also excited to welcome the new one, and we do so with a new set of possibilities for change and the heroes who will make it happen.

As we soar into that future, remember the words Diane left us with during her conference remarks: “Take pride in your courageous work for California students. Continue to lean into new and existing relationships for support in your job, your quest for knowledge, and in your profession. You are the building blocks for student achievement and success. All of you are Heroes for Change.”

In the meantime, for their contributions to the association during another difficult year, we want to honor and thank our 2021-22 CASBO Board of Directors and Education Advocacy Foundation Board of Trustees. We offer all of you our deepest thanks for your service to CASBO, and we are grateful for your guiding presence through yet another year of pandemic challenges.

We also congratulate those of you who completed your terms of service this year. You are all outstanding leaders, and we know your successors — the new and existing officers who will govern CASBO in the coming year — will only benefit by your having gone before them.

Congratulations to our existing and newly elected officers for 2022-23! We are grateful for your willingness to undertake this commitment, both to CASBO and to our members as we forge ahead. Our association will look to you now to be our guides and heroes — lead on, and we’ll all follow your capes to another outstanding year!