The theme of the 2018 NACSA Leadership Conference is meant to capture the resounding sentiment of our nation’s best authorizers: to Expect More. To create more quality school options, authorizers are expecting more of schools, educators, politicians, and even themselves.
When we selected this year’s conference theme, we decided to turn to the students we serve to interpret this idea. We reached out to charter schools in Florida—our host state for this year’s conference—and asked students to submit ideas through a contest.
We were struck by Solomon Parris’ entry.
Solomon is a rising tenth-grade student at Pepin Academies, a charter school network in south Florida empowering students with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. He visually captured what we and great authorizers across the country aspire to do every day: Create educational opportunities that allow students to pursue their dreams and find success in life.
His two sketches (see above image) are the direct inspiration for NACSA’s 2018 Leadership Conference logo and more importantly, serve as the lens for all aspects of this year’s conference, challenging us to go deeper with our work.
Help us celebrate Solomon and check out our short interview with him below.
How long have you attended Pepin Academy, and what kind of a difference has it made on your education and life?
Next year, you’ll be a sophomore. Congrats! When you think about your future, after high school, what do you envision?
We know you love to draw. What got you into drawing?
What are some of your favorite things to draw and why?
My favorite thing to draw is TV show characters, such as; Ben 10, Scooby-Doo and Power Rangers. I enjoy drawing TV show characters because it’s better for me to describe them by drawing; instead of using my words. Sometimes, most people don’t understand what or who I’m describing or talking about.
We loved your concept design for NACSA’s 2018 conference. Why do you think you design best demonstrates “Expect More,” NACSA’s conference theme?
My designs show that most students want to help others in the future. My male example shows a shadow of becoming a doctor someday, and my female example shows a shadow of becoming a superhero. I wanted to show both boys and girls doing something that expected a lot of their future. We must all work together to reach our goals, and we must expect more of each other to reach our potential.
We were so happy to use your concept as the inspiration for our logo. Do you like what we came up with?
What would you change about school and what would you keep the same?
Final question, since we’ve heard you’re getting into cooking a lot lately…what are your favorite dishes to cook and to eat?