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Are We Almost Normal?

Are We Almost Normal?

Amy Thompson
IACAC President-elect
York Community High School

Yes, we are! It’s hard to believe that the IACAC Annual Conference, IMPACT: Making THE Difference, is just about a month away. Where has the year gone? Oh, I actually know the answer to that question! It’s been an amazing, hectic, challenging, though-provoking, tedious, and exciting year full of demands from all sides. But, this year’s conference committee has truly done an amazing job managing it all. Thank you to all committee chairs and members for your dedication!

As we began, in earnest, the process of prepping and developing the conference #NormalinNineteen, our Logistics and Fundraising Chairs, along with our IACAC staff jumped right in to making adjustments for our new location and a slightly different schedule to accommodate the changes in moving to central Illinois. So, at this year’s conference, we will begin a little bit later on Wednesday morning than we have in the past. We will meet for a longer time on Friday to make up for that, and as a result, will have both breakfast and lunch on Friday. In addition to these adjustments, we have more people in need of hotel rooms so we have nearly filled all available rooms at the Marriott and Hilton.  Not to worry though, there are other nearby hotels to ensure everyone has a good place to rest each night.

Being so close to two college campuses also affords us the opportunity to provide time for tours and information sessions of both Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University. We are appreciative that both institutions are excited to show off their schools. In a couple of weeks, we will survey all conference registrants about their intentions to participate in either or both college tours so the hosts can plan accordingly.

We also have a great keynote speaker, Akil Bello, who will share his wisdom and inspire us to continue our work and make an IMPACT in the world of college access. You may know Mr. Bello from his interviews as part of the film, “The Test and the Art of Thinking.” We will screen this film during the C Session, following Mr. Bello’s Keynote address. Many thanks to DePaul University for sponsoring the film screening.

Our Entertainment committee has a unique speakeasy theme for Wednesday night, so make time in your evening to come back to the Marriott and soak in the ambiance and excellent jazz music. On Thursday evening, after our annual dinner and recognition of award winners, we will hit the dance floor and sing along via karaoke (start practicing now!). Sign-up for karaoke will take place on Wednesday and Thursday before dinner. More on that to come!

Last, but perhaps most importantly, we have great professional development sessions planned. The program committee worked diligently to select proposals that would meet the needs of a wide range of attendees. Though there were many great proposals, the committee was unable to approve them all.  However, I’m confident you’ll find some great opportunities to suit your needs.  A sincere thanks to many of you for your submissions and willingness to share with colleagues.

We are excited! There are lots of details being ironed out now but it’s really coming together and I’m sure this will be another great IACAC Conference.  Hope to see you there!

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