WNC WE LEAD Administrators’ Institute 2022-2023

WRESA is excited about this opportunity for Educational Leaders to join together to seek new ideas and gather resources to further develop a positive culture of learning for their staff and students.  Please feel free to sign up for individual sessions or all of them for a total of 25 contact hours of credit. We look forward to seeing you and if you have further questions please contact Candie Sellers at csellers@wresa.org.

Session #1: Safe Schools 101

Date:       October 26, 2022 (Morning session: 9:00-11:30am)

Location:   WCU Biltmore Park Campus
            28 Schenck Parkway
            Asheville, NC
Fee:        $40.00  WRESA Members
            $50.00  Non-members

Credit:     2.5 hours  
Presenter:  Scott Masington, Director of School Safety for Henderson County 

Description: Topics to be discussed during this session:

  • Threat Assessment  – know your students, documentation, situational awareness
  • Fire Drills                  – how they are different today
  • Lockdown                 – be effective, balance how much training vs. too much training
  • Evacuation               – Cloud-base based information “the new go box”

Presenter Bio: Scott is a Miami native, and lived and worked in Miami for 50 years.  He received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of Florida in 1986.  Scott then spent 27 years in Law Enforcement; 22 of those years with the City of Coral Gables where he moved through the ranks and held the position of Chief of Police prior to retiring in 2014.  He also held every board position, concluding with President, of the Miami Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police.  Scott and his wife Heather moved to Hendersonville in 2014.  Heather holds a BS in Nursing and currently works for the Henderson County Health Department as a school nurse.  He returned to work in 2019 and is the first person to hold the position of Director of School Safety for Henderson County Public Schools.


Session #2:  Leading and Communicating Through Crisis

Date:        October 26, 2022 (Afternoon session from 12:30-3:00pm) 

Location:    WCU Biltmore Park Campus
             28 Schenck Parkway
             Asheville, NC

Fee:         $40.00 WRESA Members
             $50.00 Non-members

Credit:      2.5 hours 
Presenter:   Dr. Stacia Harris, Communications Director, Buncombe County Schools 

Description: Emergencies can happen at any time. Is your organization prepared to respond in a crisis? In this session, will provide tips to navigate a crisis while keeping your stakeholders informed and managing your organization’s image.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Stacia Harris has extensive experience in television news and promotions and marketing. A graduate of Wake Forest University (’01), Stacia worked in the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools communications department for four years after graduation. She then transitioned to TV news, and then promotions. Over nearly a decade, she worked in Nebraska, West Virginia and Virginia at various TV stations. She gained extensive experience in writing, anchoring, reporting, producing, shooting and editing compelling stories and promotional pieces.

In 2015, she moved to Asheville to accept a position in the BCS communications department. In her time here, she has held several positions in the department and is looking forward to continuing to promote and highlight all the wonderful students, teachers, and staff in Buncombe County Schools


Session #3: The Data Dilemma: Knowing What to Use and When

Date:       November 10, 2022 
Time:       9:00am-3:00pm

Location:   WCU Biltmore Park Campus
            28 Schenck Parkway
            Asheville, NC

Fee:        $75.00  WRESA Members
            $95.00  Non-members

Credit:     5 Contact Hours
Presenters: Scott Rhodes, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, HCPS

Description: With so much data available to schools and school leaders, it is often difficult to decide what data
are most beneficial to consider at any given time. This session will offer strategies and solutions
for identifying, targeting, and analyzing data across situations and strategic objectives. 

Focus will be given to increasing student achievement, enhancing professional growth, and improving
school culture.

Presenter Bio: Scott Rhodes presents how to effectively use EVAAS data for WRESA each year and is back by popular demand. He is the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, HCPS.

Session #4: Common Sense School Leadership ( Two Days) 

Date:       January 25 and February 22, 2023
Time:       9:00am-3:00pm 

Location:   WCU Biltmore Park Campus
            28 Schenck Parkway
            Asheville, NC

Fee:        $140.00  WRESA Members
            $180.00  Non-members

Credit:     10 hours
Presenter:  BJ Laughter, Retired Educator 

DescriptionThis workshop is an incredible 2 day journey of how to completely transform any school using common sense and hard work! You will learn how to develop an amazing culture at your school and build morale with staff, students and the community. These two days are a breath of fresh air in educational reform! It has simple strategies that can be implemented immediately without traditional educational jargon!  No “red tape” here!

“A former football coach at a school with so many needs? That’s crazy!” said a small few not familiar with BJ. But it did not take long at all for Mr. Laughter and his BDS Bear Kittens to make believers of the nay-sayers.”

Dr. Jan C. King–2010 Wachovia/Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year

Presenter Bio:   BJ Laughter had an incredible career in public education as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and principal. Upon retirement in December 2019, he joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes staff full-time as an area representative in southwest North Carolina. BJ resides in Hendersonville, North Carolina with his wife of thirty-one years, Amy, and he has one daughter, Emma, an Audit/Tax Accountant in Knoxville, Tennessee.  BJ has a passion for helping young people excel, not only in athletics, but also in their school lives, family lives, community lives, and in their faith journey.


Session #5:   Moving Toward Resilience and Compassion Restoration 

Date:         March 23, 2023
Time:         9:00-11:30am

Location:     WCU Biltmore Park Campus
              28 Schenck Parkway              
              Asheville, NC 

Fee:          $40  WRESA Members   
              $50  Non-members     

Credit:       2.5 hours
Presenter:    David Thompson

Description: In this session we will review the basics of self-regulation and resilience for school staff and students.  By examining our purpose and the intentionality of our classroom behavior, we will learn strategies to shift our perceptions from negative thoughts to outcome-driven actions that reduce personal stress.  We will also examine the importance of developing a support network and a personal resilience plan to increase our success with student, parents, and school team outcomes.

Presenter Bio: David Thompson is recently retired from Buncombe County Schools where he served as the Director of Student Services for 15 years and in multiple positions in Exceptional Childrens’ Services. David has also been a teacher, behavior specialist, and school psychologist for a total of 44 years.  Mr. Thompson, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Belmont University, in Nashville, TN.  He completed his Master’s program in Educational and Counseling Psychology, and an Ed.S in School Psychology from the University of Tennessee.  Mr. Thompson introduced the concepts of trauma-informed practices and social-emotional learning into Positive Behavior Support and MTSS systems around 2014 and participated in the planning with DPI and other districts to further school-based mental health services and support for all students.


Session #6: "Best Practices in HR” 

Date:       March 23, 2023
Time:       12:30-3:00pm

Location:  WCU Biltmore Park Campus
           28 Schenck Parkway
           Asheville, NC

Fee:       $40  WRESA Members
           $50  Non-members

Credit:    2.5 hours 
Presenter: Cynthia Lopez

Description: This presentation will address the current law and best practices for school systems when hiring, disciplining, terminating, and otherwise addressing employee issues. There will also be a time for questions. 

Presenter Bio: Cynthia Lopez returned to the practice of law in 2019 after serving as the Director of Human Resources for Buncombe County Schools for over 19 years. Previously, Cynthia was a partner with Robert & Stevens where she practiced law for 13 years with a concentration in employment, education, and special education matters on behalf of public bodies. 

Cynthia and her family are long-time residents of Buncombe County.