CUBE 2022 Annual Conference - Register by August 19 & Save $100

All Districts Now Welcomed to Attend CUBE!

NSBA’s new governance model allows ALL school districts—including those from non-member state associations—to attend NSBA Signature Events. Districts in member state associations that are in good standing with their state association are eligible to attend at a discounted rate. For more information, contact

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Keynote Speaker

Bettina Love Headshot

Dr. Bettina Love

Co-Founder, Abolitionist Teaching Network, Award-Winning Author, and Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia

Learn more about this year's keynote speaker.

CUBE has convened school board members from across the nation for the past 54 years to network and share the continually evolving strategies they are using to address the unique educational challenges that exist in our nation's urban centers. Content is curated specifically to provide you with the tools and support you need to effect change as an empowered, impactful urban school board member.

Registration Fees

Registration  Registration Deadline CUBE Districts/NATCON Districts/Member State Association Staff  General (Non-CUBE Districts/Non-NATCON Districts/Non-Member Associations) 
Early Bird August 19  $550  $675
Standard  September 28  $650 $775


Schedule at-a-Glance

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Registration
11:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
(Doors open at 11:15 a.m.) 
State of Urban Education Luncheon
1:45 – 2:15 p.m.  Coffee & Conversations
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.  Break 
3:30 – 4:45 p.m.  CUBE Steering Committee Town Hall
6 – 8 p.m. Welcome Networking Reception

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
7:30 – 9 a.m.   Networking Breakfast 
9 – 10:30 a.m.   General Session
10:30 – 11 a.m.  Coffee & Conversations
11 a.m. – Noon  Breakout Sessions 
Noon – 12:15 p.m. Break 
12:15 – 1:30 p.m. Awards Luncheon
  • CUBE District Award
  • Benjamin Elijah Mays Award
1:30 – 1:45 p.m.  Break 
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.  Breakout Sessions 
2:45 – 3 p.m.  Coffee Break
3 – 4 p.m.  General Session 
4 – 4:15 p.m.  Closing Remarks 
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Urban Night Out (UNO) in Miami

7:30 a.m. – Noon  Registration 
7:30 – 9 a.m.  Networking Breakfast
9 – 10:15 a.m.  Keynote Presentation:
Dr. Bettina Love
Co-Founder, Abolitionist Teaching Network
Award-Winning Author
Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia
10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Coffee Break 
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions 
11:45 – Noon  Break 
Noon – 1:45 p.m.  Closing Luncheon & General Session 
1:45 – 2 p.m.  Closing Remarks 


Session times are subject to change. Please continue to monitor the site.

  • Breakout Sessions

    Thursday, Sept. 29 | 2:15 p.m.

    Govern Like a Boss
    Governing board members, assume your power and govern like a boss. Policies and practices start with you. Either you’re perpetuating systemic racism or you’re disrupting it to create a culture of inclusion. Effective governance starts and ends with you.

    In this session, Channel will present her recently published case study that shares the journey to racial equity in education. Board members will gain greater confidence in their role and learn about different equity-based models, policy solutions, tactics, and strategies to advance racial equity districtwide.

    Channel Powe, Education Consultant, Powe Power

    Reimagining Schools and Supporting Students: Systemic. Policy. Increasing Love and Joy
    During the workshop, participants will learn from the racial equity and racial healing work of the Ferguson-Florissant school district, a community central to our current racial healing movement. The Ferguson-Florissant school district is likely the first school district in the United States to create and apply anti-racist organizational standards. Facilitators will identify the pitfalls of unsuccessful equity work through a reflection on failed initiatives and status-quo thinking by engaging in root cause analyses based on anti-racist building blocks, change leadership framework, and systems change readiness framework. Participants will use actual case analyses centered on leader and student perspectives to reflect on, consider implications for, and propose successful components of racial equity, racial healing, and institutional change through a theory of action and a theory of change.

    Dr. Joseph Davis, Superintendent, Ferguson-Florissant School District, MO
    Tamoya Rose-Watson, Vice President, Anti-Racism Innovation, The Achievement Network

    Community Schoolyards™ — For Health, Climate Resilience, Education, and Equity
    America’s typical urban schoolyard is often a sea of asphalt. Lacking gardens, equipment, and outdoor classroom space, it fails to provide teachers with a place to engage students in hands-on lessons and rarely inspires active, creative play. Students in low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods suffer the worst inequities when it comes to the quality of their schoolyards — and have access to an average of 44 percent less public green space per person than predominantly white neighborhoods.

    Diane Regas, CEO for the Trust for Public Land (TPL), will be joined by a principal or school board member to share what TPL terms the Community Schoolyards™ model. She can discuss a story that exemplifies the transformation of a schoolyard and community in an urban school district. For example, an elementary school in Philadelphia in which suspensions dropped from 30 a year to zero after the renovation of their schoolyard. Research also shows that greener schools have higher test scores, even after considering income.

    Schoolyards not only provide valuable outdoor classroom space but also serve as integrative climate solutions. They can be designed to mitigate flooding and lower temperatures, both concerns with a changing climate.

    Diane Regas, President and CEO, The Trust for Public Land

    Best Practices for Literacy: Incorporating the Science of Reading in your District/Classroom
    This interactive session will allow participants to learn what the Science of Reading is and is not, why the Science of Reading is important, and how to properly incorporate it into a school district and/or classroom. 

    David H. Murray, Board Member, District 1, Prince George's County Public Schools
    Dr. Shavonna L. Holman, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Friday, Sept. 30 |11 a.m.

    Strategically Using Data to Elevate District Leadership
    Knowing how your students are doing and where they need to be to meet their goals can be a time-consuming task. This session will focus on how analytics serve as a means to tell the story of student performance, but also support leadership teams in driving purposeful decision-making at all levels of the organization.

    Dr. Jorge Torres, Senior Director, College & Career Readiness, Compton Unified School District
    Darin Brawley, Ed.D, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District
    Micah Ali, Current Member and previous President, Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees

    Environmental Equity — Creating Sustainable, Healthy Learning Environments in EJ Communities
    Students in environmental justice (EJ) communities are exposed to disproportionate amounts of pollution, but they can be protected from environmental toxins in the school setting. Compton, Newark, and Camden public schools have worked with the Go Green Initiative to develop sustainability plans that include healthy learning environments for all students. By creating a District Green Team, these districts have institutionalized policies and programs meant to protect children’s health from environmental pollution and conserve natural resources children will need in the future. District Green Teams create the framework to help individual school sites identify opportunities to provide clean air, water, and food for students, so their cognitive abilities are not impaired at school. Additionally, the District Green Team provides support and resources to help school sites conserve water and energy and reduce waste — all of which leads to cost savings that can be applied to other general fund needs.

    In this session, you will hear from three CUBE member districts from both the West and East Coast and learn the similar steps they have taken to bring environmental equity to every child in every school!

    Jill Buck, M.S., Ed., Founder & CEO, Go Green Initiative
    Micah Ali, President, Compton Unified School District, CA
    Roger Leon, Superintendent, Newark Board of Education, NJ
    Arlethia Brown, Food Services Director, Camden City School District, NJ

    A Transition Plan for Excellence — New Superintendent
    Have you wondered how you incorporate a new member (superintendent) into your team? A new superintendent and new members on the board? How can it work? Lancaster ISD’s Team of Eight is developing a model which positions the superintendent and board to meet the educational needs of the learning community through reviewing district goals, engaging key stakeholders, and establishing essential metrics for success.

    Ty G Jones, Board Trustee, Lancaster ISD, TX
    Dr. A. Katrise Perera, Superintendent of Schools, Lancaster ISD, TX

    Walk it Like You Talk it: Creating Authentic Spaces for Student Voice
    The Uniondale School District is committed to equity and ensuring that all voices are heard, and that includes student voices. School should be the place where students, especially students of color, exercise their power and feel seen and valued. In this session, we will share how our district leaders and our school board challenge ourselves to include student voices in our work, particularly regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. A team of Board members, district administrators, teachers, and students will discuss our embedded practices that center student voices. We will also share examples of our practice and student-led efforts to improve our district’s tone and culture. We use data collected from student surveys to illustrate how student feedback has influenced what happens in the classroom and beyond. We will also share video from student talking circles and allow participants to provide feedback. Our student presenters will discuss how their participation in decision-making has impacted their development. Finally, we will share our framework for integrating student voice, and we will engage participants in a reflective discussion of their own practice.

    Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Superintendent of Schools, Uniondale School District, NY
    Adelina Blanco-Harvey, Board of Education President, Uniondale School District, NY
    Stacie Reid, Director of Guidance, Uniondale School District, NY
    Celeste Cruz, Director, District Equity Committee, Uniondale School District, NY

    Friday, Sept. 30 | 1:45 p.m.

    Culturally Responsive Teaching: The CRT That Matters in Our Schools
    Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) requires that teachers take into account the cultural background and strengths of their students. Using CRT to connect with students has been shown to improve academic outcomes. With the nation’s public school population becoming increasingly diverse, CRT is becoming more necessary.

    Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Superintendent, Millwood Public Schools, OK

    Student Reengagement in a Post Virtual World
    This will be a highly interactive session focused on sharing the lessons learned by the National League of Cities (NLC) and partners about targeting the most effective strategies for cities and community leaders to reestablish strong connections to education and workforce development pathways for youth and young adults. NCL’s partners in this work include Attendance Works, the Institute for Educational Leadership, and the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. The workshop will expand on the stories and strategies that were shared through NLC’s multi-year student reengagement initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — Rebuild: Reengaging Middle and High School Students. Participants will share their successful strategies for student engagement and explore topics, including the roles of reengagement centers, full-service community schools, and community learning hubs.

    Antonia Rangel-Caril, Sr. Program Specialist, National League of Cities
    Paul Smith, Principal and Owner, Education Reform Advocates, LLC

    Schools Can't Do it Alone: Leveraging Resources to Support Student Social and Emotional Well-Being
    Evidence2Success, an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, provides a framework and tools for engaging schools, communities, and other public systems in aligning resources to improve student well-being. Evidence2Success sites bring together leaders from schools, public agencies, and the community to collect and review data on the social and emotional health of students and agree on priority outcomes, programs, and services. Once these priorities are identified, schools and partners work together to align resources to support those programs and services. 

    Six communities—Miami, Memphis, Providence, Salt Lake County, Mobile, and Selma—are implementing the Evidence2Success framework. Across these six communities, parents and leaders from schools, mental health and substance abuse agencies, public health, juvenile justice and child welfare, city and county government, and private philanthropy have come together to fund school-based programs that improve student mental health and prevent and address substance abuse.

    This session will share tools from Evidence2Success in using school district resources to leverage and coordinate other public and private resources to improve student well-being and success.

    Mildred Johnson, Senior Associate, Anne E. Casey Foundation
    Rebecca Boxx, Executive Director, Children and Youth Cabinet of Rhode Island
    Margaret Flynn-Khan, Founding Partner, Mainspring Consulting

    Understanding the Impact of Implicit Bias on Leadership
    Implicit bias refers to attitudes, beliefs, or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases often manifest themselves in the forms of microaggressions and stereotypes. Everyone has implicit bias, but few are aware of it and how it impacts our daily experiences or how we interact as leaders. Using a racial equity lens, this session will examine the role of implicit bias in leadership and its consequences on our schools and other institutions.

    Aaron Dorsey, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association 
    Makeda Harris, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association

    Saturday, Oct. 1 | 10:30 a.m.

    Creating a Culture of Belonging as a Foundational Element of DEIB Initiatives
    A lot of time and effort is spent on D (Diversity) and E (Equity), but not the I (Inclusion) or B (Belonging) portions of this work. Starting with Inclusion and Belonging provides the foundation for, and creates the conditions for, organizational culture shift. This session will cover the powerful impact of Belonging when it is embedded in school and district culture and educational equity implementation efforts. Material is based on the principles contained in the book Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation (Cobb & Krownapple)

    Mary Fertakis, CEO, M. Fertakis Consulting, LLC

    Early College for High School Students
    The Cambridge Massachusetts Public School District, in collaboration with Lesley University, started an Early College program providing Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) students the opportunity to fulfill high school graduation requirements while also earning college credits. CRLS is the only public high school in a city to have an Early College program to address the gaps in higher education attainment and completion from CRLS alumni. Early College is a proven high leverage strategy for getting historically underserved populations to experience college courses while in high school that will lead to successful college entrance and completion. The session will share key levers for implementing an Early College pilot and the expansion to a full program through a state designation.

    Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor of Cambridge, MA
    Alfred Fantini, School Committee Member, Cambridge Public School District, MA
    Ayesha Wilson, School Committee Member, Cambridge Public School District, MA

    Bridging the Gap: A Lens Approach to Zip Code Barriers of Digital Equity
    The Homework Gap has been well-defined for over a decade and gained heightened attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a direct correlation to digital equity, we are now urged to reimagine the landscape and redefine the role of what is equitable for all students. As schools seek sustainable solutions to ensure all students have the technology and connectivity to enable success, they’re left asking: What’s next? We will discuss how to remove Zip Code barriers to ensure each student can reach their maximum potential? 

    In this session, we’ll discuss:
    • What are Zip Code barriers?
    • Solution-based strategies to enhance the educational environment for digital learners.
    • Innovative use cases for connectivity that follows the student.
    • How do we shift the conversation from home connectivity to student connectivity?

    Michael Flood, SVP & GM, Public Sector, Kajeet, Inc.

    Why Legacy Instructional Systems Dampen Life Chances for Black and Brown Students
    Too often, students of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds move through schools built on legacy instructional systems that deny them academic rigor and student agency. In this session, Michael D. Toth — multi-award-winning education author and Instructional Empowerment Applied Research Center leader — will reveal the invisible and inequitable instructional systems that pervade every district. Participants will learn to identify low-agency vs. high-agency learning environments and understand the key systems to transform legacy instruction and prepare ALL students to thrive beyond school. 

    Michael Toth, Education Author and Founder of Instructional Empowerment (IE)

    Sessions times are subject to change. Stay tuned for more breakout session announcements.

  • General Sessions

    Thursday, Sept. 29 | 11:30 a.m. (Doors open 11:15 a.m.)

    State of Urban Education Luncheon
    CUBE Chair Micah Ali will provide updates and insights on the current state of urban education, along with his motivational messaging on how to continue building and supporting excellence in urban school board leadership.

    Micah Ali, President, Compton Unified School District, CA

    Thursday, Sept. 29 | 3:30 p.m.

    CUBE Steering Committee Town Hall
    Members of the CUBE Steering Committee will engage in an in-depth discussion focused on understanding the connections between equity and leadership and their alignment to support literacy development in our schools. This discussion will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with the audience.

    Speakers will be announced soon.

    Friday, Sept. 30 | 9 a.m.

    Raising Student Voice in Conversations of Equity
    The National CARES Mentoring Movement is recognized as the national leader in the recruitment, training, and engagement of Black mentors. Through its extensive work, CARES has proven that all children, given love and adequate support, can thrive and become caring contributors to their families and communities. Foundations of this movement are rooted in recognizing the importance of student voice and intentionally creating spaces where students are not just heard but truly valued. With that in mind, this session will bring together leaders and students from the CARES Mentoring Movement for a revealing discussion about their personal and shared experiences as well as specific actions they have identified as critical drivers of equity in schools and communities.

    Kerri Osborne, Co-Executive Director & Chief Development Officer, CARES Mentoring Movement
    Angela Santana, Executive Director, South Florida CARES Mentoring Movement
    Students from the South Florida CARES Mentoring Movement

    Friday, Sept. 30 | 3 p.m.

    Culturally Appropriate Methods of Supporting Black Male Achievement
    The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs/technologists who were unnerved by the dramatic juxtaposition between the high unemployment of Black male youth and the plethora of career opportunities within the local technology sector. To address this challenge, the founders established a program to connect young Black males with the skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in a 21st century global economy.

    This session will focus on addressing and increasing awareness around intentional inputs that positively impact Black male student achievement and share how The Hidden Genius Project is advancing equity through Innovative Community and Corporate partnerships.

    Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D., Founding Executive Director, The Hidden Genius Project
    Sean Valentine, Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Hidden Genius Project
    Arnold Lopez, Alumni Coordinator, The Hidden Genius Project
    Kyron Loggins, Digital Communications Intern/Alumnus, The Hidden Genius Project
    James Green, Alumnus, The Hidden Genius Project

    Saturday, Oct. 1 | 9 a.m.

    We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and Anti-Racism Social Work
    Dr. Bettina Love will discuss the struggles and the possibilities of committing ourselves to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom, as opposed to reform, and moving beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. Abolitionist Teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system and social work practices where all students and everyone we serve are thriving, not simply surviving.

    Dr. Bettina Love, Co-Founder, Abolitionist Teaching Network, Award-Winning Author, and Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia

    Saturday, Oct. 1 | Noon

    Stories from the Field
    National experts in the areas of education and equity will share inspirational stories and lessons learned through their personal experiences and journeys. Presenters will focus on how to better meet the unique needs of each student by developing a deeper understanding of their backgrounds and needs, building relationships, and creating empowering environments to transform school climates.

    Speakers will be announced soon.

Conference Information

  • Safety Protocols & Requirements

    Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination OR COVID Negative Test Required to Enter the Event
    While we strongly encourage all participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19, we will also offer a testing alternative to vaccination proof.

    Vaccine Requirements
    All attendees must show proof of full vaccination as defined by the CDC guidelines OR a negative test. Testing must be conducted within one day for an antigen test and two days for a PCR test in order to pick-up your conference badge on-site.

    On-site Verification Process
    Please note that attendees will not need to upload proof of vaccination or negative results to a COVID-19 verification app in advance. Please bring your proof of vaccination to the conference registration counter on-site for validation and to obtain your conference badge.

    What do you need?
    1. Photo identification: (state issued driver’s license or ID card, passport, student ID).
    2. You will also need proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test. Acceptable forms include:

    • A CDC issued vaccination card (original, photocopy or digital copy)
    • A COVID-19 verification app (including VaxYes, Clear, Excelsior, MyIR)
    • Negative COVD-19 Test (one day for an antigen test and two days for a PCR test)

    Any attendee who does not provide proof of vaccination OR a negative test by these deadlines will not be permitted into the event venue.

    Mask Requirements
    Although masks are not required, we encourage attendees to wear a mask if they choose.

  • Hotel

    Headquarter Hotel: InterContinental Miami - SOLD OUT
    100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131

    JW Marriott Marquis Miami - SOLD OUT
    Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 3313
    .3 miles to the InterContinental Miami

    Kimpton EPIC Hotel
    270 Biscayne Blvd Way
    Miami, FL 33131
    .3 miles to the InterContinental Miami

    You must be registered for the conference before you can reserve housing. NSBA has negotiated a special rate for conference attendees. Booking information will be provided in the registration confirmation email. All reservations should be made before September 7, 2022. Room availability and conference rates cannot be guaranteed after this date.

  • Travel & Getting Around

    Ground Transportation
    The InterContinental Miami is located approximately 9 miles from the Miami International Airport (MIA). To get to the hotel from the airport, there are taxicabs and multiple rideshare companies, including Lyft and Uber, that operate in Miami. Access your preferred provider through their mobile app. Taxicabs & Ride App pickup zones are located on the arrival (ground) level of the airport, outside of the baggage claim areas. Taxicabs and rideshares are estimated at $28.00 one way to the hotel.

    Hotel Parking
    Valet parking is available at the InterContinental Miami at $47.00 per day.
  • FAQs

    Q: Will there be an online event for CUBE 2022 Annual Conference?
    A: At this time, there is not an online component for CUBE 2022.

    Q: If my state association is not a member, can I register?
    A: Yes. Click here to see pricing.

    Q: What is the registration deadline?
    A: You can save $100 when you register on or before August 19, 2022. We recommend registering early so that you can secure your spot at the conference. Last year, the event sold out.

    Q: What is included in my registration fee?
    A: The full conference registration includes access to all sessions, and networking breakfast and events.

    Q: How do I redeem my complimentary registration?
    A: Each CUBE district receives one complimentary attendee registration. The attendee using the complimentary registration should contact for the special registration code. If you are a sponsor, you can find the number of complimentary registrations in the agreement. Sponsors will also receive an email from Kathi Springer regarding the number of complimentary registrations their company receives. The email will also include information required to get your team registered. Contact Kathi Springer at or 703-901-6894 with sponsor-related questions.

    Q: What is the conference cancellation policy?
    A: Requests for refunds can be honored only if made in writing to NSBA by September 7, 2022 and will be subject to a $150 cancellation fee per registrant. No refunds will be honored after that time.

    Q: Who do I contact if I have questions regarding registration?
    A: Please email with your questions, indicating CUBE in the subject line.

    Q: What should I do if I have special dietary needs for meal events?
    A: Please email and indicate the type of allergy or other dietary restrictions. (Please title the email Dietary Needs for CUBE Annual.)

    Q: What should I do if I have an ADA request?
    A: Please email if you have any special needs by September 7, 2022. (Please title the email ADA Accommodations for CUBE Annual Conference.)

    Q: How many CEU credits can I earn by attending CUBE 2022?
    A: You can earn up to 10 CEU credits by attending CUBE 2022.

    Q: How do I report my CEUs earned at CUBE 2022?
    A: When the event is over you will receive a survey link to the email you used to register. After you complete the survey you will receive a link to a form where you can submit documentation for your CEUs. Contact with any questions.

    Q: Will session handouts and recordings be available?
    A: Session handouts are exclusively available through the event app. This event has been planned as an in-person event – no recordings will be available.

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