NAfME Emerging Leaders Preconference Forum





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NAfME Emerging Leaders Forum 

Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Conference Center
National Harbor, MD
Wednesday, November 2
3:00 – 6:00 PM ET 
Thursday, November 3
9:00 AM – 2:45 PM ET

Schedule and information are subject to change. 


Are you interested in growing as a leader?  Do you want to learn more about leadership in music education?  Are you looking to sharpen your leadership skills and practices in the wake of the pandemic?  Then this forum is for you!  Leadership can happen in your school, district, state associations, or national associations. Participants in this forum will learn about leadership characteristics and effective practices, pathways to leadership, working with many types of personalities, influencing and leading through change, organizational and communication skills, and creating a vision.  This year’s forum will be led by several renowned leaders who served as National Presidents of NAfME/MENC.  As you interact with these music education leaders and other professionals in your field, you are sure to leave inspired to continue your own leadership journey. We invite all ages and backgrounds to attend.


  • Lynn Brinckmeyer – MENC President 2006-2008
  • Deb Confredo – NAfME President Elect 2022-2024
  • Nancy Ditmer – NAfME President 2012 – 2014
  • Paul Lehman – MENC President 1984-1986
  • Glenn Nierman – NAfME President 2014-2016
  • Denese Odegaard – NAfME President 2016 – 2018
  • Kathleen D. Sanz- NAfME President 2018-2020
  • Scott Sheehan – NAfME President 2022 – 2024
  • Scott Shuler – NAfME President 2010 – 2012
  • Mackie Spradley – NAfME President 2020-2022


Day 1 – Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

  • 3:00pm – Welcome & Introductions


  • 3:15pm – 4:15pm – Panel Discussion 1

During this interactive session each of the presenters will share perspectives and experiences about leadership in the field of music education.  There will be time for Q&A.

  • 4:15pm – 4:50pm – Session Block 1

What Kind of Leader Are YOU?

Nancy Ditmer and Scott Sheehan, Presenters

Participants will explore leadership styles; the strengths, excesses, and motivators for various styles; how these characteristics provide value to the leadership team; and ways in which leaders of different styles interact with others. Completion of a leadership styles inventory will help attendees assess, understand, and appreciate their own leadership style.

  • 4:50pm – 5:25pm – Session Block 2

Leading with a Sense of Belonging

Mackie Spradley & Deb Confredo, Presenters

Just as leaders bring different styles and lived experiences to the table, so do our constituents. Effective leaders create opportunities for everyone to see themselves as important and contributing members. In this forum block, we will focus on removing barriers and celebrating community.

  • 5:25pm – 6:00pm – Breakout Discussions & Day 1 Wrap Up


Day 2 – Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022


  • 9:00am – 10:15am – Panel Discussion 2

Bring your questions to start Day 2!  This session is specifically designed to be an open discussion about leadership topics shared by the attendees.

  • 10:15am – 10:50am – Session Block 3

Building Support for Music Education:  User-friendly Strategies to Engage All Parties Involved in Decision-Making and Funding.

Lynn Brinckmeyer and Denese Odegaard, Presenters

Music education is critical in the lives of our young people. Everyone involved in music education can garner support through proactive strategies. Learn who to connect with, how to create talking points, and how to build a year-long plan that will keep the importance of music in front of stakeholders.

  • 10:50am – 11:25am – Session Block 4


Battle-tested: Lots of Leadership Lessons Learned

Scott Shuler and Paul Lehman, Presenters

Two music educators whose leadership roles have included overseeing local, state, and national advocacy and organizational development as well as large-scale initiatives such as national standards and assessment share lessons learned from long careers of service.

  • 11:25am – 11:45am – Breakout Discussions


  • 11:45pm – 12:45pm – Lunch


  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm – Session Block 5

Leadership Forum Block: Effective Change Leadership

Glenn Nierman & Kathleen Sanz, Presenters

This forum block is built on the premise that an effective leader is an “agent of change,” a person who works to get the right things done (visionary) at the right time (organizer) with the help of the right people (collaborator) without creating distracting political dissonance (effective advocator/politician).

  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm – Closing Keynote with Peter Boonshaft


  • 2:30pm – 2:45pm – Wrap Up and Closing Remarks


Wi-Fi During the NAfME National Conference

The 2022 NAfME National Conference and All-National Honor Ensembles are in-person events and will not be livestreamed or recorded. A basic wireless network will be available throughout the event space and in the guest rooms of those staying onsite at the Gaylord National, which will allow enough bandwidth for attendees to check email and access the event mobile app. Please note, per the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, the level of data available will not be sufficient to download presentation materials, stream video content, or livestream meetings via platforms such as Zoom. For session presenters, we ask that you download all session materials in advance, including videos from Vimeo or YouTube (etc.) and have them prepared on a thumb drive. NAfME is unable to provide greater wireless network capabilities in specific rooms for any duration of the event.