Giraffes, Tigers and Brooks, Oh My!

NSEA U Plans Take Shape; Zoo Tour, Brooks Encore Set

Plans for NSEA University 2021 are coming into focus, and those plans include an encore by well-known educational humorist Gerry Brooks as well as an evening tour and reception at the famed Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

Brooks was a hit with the 300-plus who attended the inaugural NSEA University in July 2019.

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo is home to more than 40 endangered species, and most recently added giraffes and a red panda to the list of animals in residence. The critically endangered Sumatran tiger and threatened Galapagos turtle also reside at the zoo. The zoo also added penguins in recent years.

NSEA University was first organized in 2019, and combined the Association’s fall Advocacy Conference, August membership meetings and new professional development together in one location — the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s sparkling new Innovation Campus. That first event offered more than 180 breakout sessions for members. The popular NSEA Leadership Institute will also be incorporated into the program again this year.

The pandemic caused the 2020 edition to go virtual during a single day of sessions, but plans are to return to in-person activity for the 2021 event. The conference is scheduled for July 13-15, again at Innovation Campus.

Brooks, who also works full-time as an elementary school principal in Lexington, KY, will headline the Thursday, July 15, luncheon program. The quick-talking Brooks has parlayed short, humorous videos into internet sensation status by drawing on his experiences in education, including six years in the classroom and two years as an intervention specialist.

More than 850,000 people follow Brooks on social media sites, listening to his thoughts on Flair Pens, Smarkers, Carpet Time and more. He has written two books, Go See the Principal: True Tales from the School Trenches, and If You Give a Teacher an Assignment.

The Tuesday schedule will feature an evening reception and tour of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, with the zoo closed to all but NSEA University attendees. The zoo opened in the summer of 1965, the vision of founder Arnott Folsom. Today it includes more than 400 animals and a miniature railroad that circles the zoo grounds. More than 345,000 visitors toured the zoo in 2019, the last full year of operation.

Development of the schedule continues. If you would like to present, submit your idea here:

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