Safe Schools Conference
A few weeks ago, I was asked to work the Keenan booth at the 5th Annual Safe Schools Conference alongside Kathy Espinoza, Danielle Wilson, Dianna Poulin, and Laura Manzano. I had yet to attend a work-related conference before this event, so I was quite bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or maybe it would be more accurate to say I was in dire need of some coffee) as I walked into the Wyndham Hotel in Anaheim on a Thursday morning at 7:45a.m.
The Safe Schools Conference started five years ago as a small gathering for school security staff, school counselors, Assistant Principals, and school police officers to have an open forum to talk with vendors and other officials about methods they were using to ensure the safety of their students and schools. It is hard to imagine that a conference that began with less than 50 attendees has grown into a 730+ person event in such a short time. The scope and strength of this conference was demonstrated by the fact that Tom Torlakson, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was the keynote speaker for the conference.
School safety is one of Keenan’s top priorities and we are always looking to share our knowledge with school districts across California. Our own Kathy Espinoza hosted discussions on “Utilizing Online Training Resources to Improve Student and School Safety” and “Gang Intervention at the Elementary School Level.” Ron Martin also presented on “Mandated Reporters” and the responsibility every school employee has to notify the authorities if they suspect child abuse of any kind. After talking with many of the participants at these breakout sessions, I can attest to the fact that all employees at school districts and law enforcement agencies are united by the goal of keeping kids safe in our schools.
The expo hall provided a great opportunity to see the innovation going on regarding school safety. I’m proud that Keenan has taken a leadership role in the area of abuse prevention with our free online resource. For anybody that has not had a chance to look at the Abuse Prevention Center, I highly encourage you to go through the website and see all of the tools available to EVERY school district in California, not just our clients.
Keenan & Associates has been a sponsor of the Safe Schools Conference since its inception five years ago. If you are school security staff, a school counselor, an Assistant Principal, a school police officer — or anybody interested in school safety — I highly recommend that you attend next year. The conference is committed to bringing in experts from across the country to enlighten and educate.
From a personal standpoint, I really hope I am asked to represent Keenan at the 6th Annual Safe Schools Conference. I learned so much from the conversations I had with school officials and hearing their specific worries about their school’s safety. Thank you to Kathy, Danielle, Dianna, and Laura for working the booth with me. Let’s do it again next year!
One last thing! Congratulations to Deputy Sheriff Edgar Manilla of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office for being the lucky winner of our Kindle Fire drawing!
P.S. Here is a link to some quick tips if you plan on attending a conference.
About Brad Keenan
Brad Keenan is a Management Trainee in the P&C Public Agency division. He enjoys making videos for Keenan and attending conferences.