February 4-5, 2021 proved to be two jam-packed days of success for the Texas Association for Alternative Education. Ten months of planning came to fruition. Due to Covid-19 regulations and the continued restrictions on meetings, TAAE decided to have its annual conference this year virtually. Utilizing Zoom meetings and a webinar format, 125 participants experienced hope and renewal through breakout sessions and keynote presentations. TEA’s Mary Scott updated attendees on Chapter 37 and legislative updates were heard from The Law Dawg Jim Walsh. Internationally known and highly-sought after keynote speakers, Flip Flippen and Manny Scott, shared gut-wrenching insight and inspiration during the final conference hours. Attendees were left with two profound messages. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” inspired Mr. Flip Flippen, CEO & Founder of the Flippen Group and Capturing Kids Heart program. `Mr. Manny Scott championed the call to attendees, “Even on your worst day, you can be a student’s best hope.” The sincerity and passion in the keynotes left many attendees in tears.
“Meeting the Challenges of Today, for the Success of Tomorrow” as the conference theme was impactful, yet relevant. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our normal, but with proper planning and teamwork, this organization found an alternative way to connect and inspire its members teaching in alternative education. Three-$1000 scholarships were awarded to deserving graduates, while a $500 Best Practice Award was also given. All conference attendees were given Amazon eGift cards for registering and attending the virtual conference. To learn more about the Texas Association for Alternative Education, please visit www.taae.org and sign up to be a member and join one of its committees to become an active member in the organization. Dwana Finster, TAAE Secretary, summed up the two-day event in its entirety. “I couldn’t think of anything that could have made it a better conference.” This has been a job well done. TAAE could not be any prouder of the conference outcome.
Lisa Rogers, PhD