In this keynote, Dr. Rebecca West Burns, then NAPDS President, shared how NAPDS is thriving having membership from 36 states and three countries from around the globe. She also shared how NAPDS members are actively engaged in the organization and also highlighted how NAPDS has increased events, research, and publication activity. Thus, PDSs are gaining increased recognition in the United States, even going as far as being recognized as exemplary sites in the clinical preparation of teachers by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in their Clinical Practice Report (2018). Dr. Burns also identified two major threats to the future of education and the U.S. democracy – the critical teacher shortage and public and political instability. She likened the ability to survive these threats by sharing how the California redwoods trees weather storms. By linking their roots laterally to each other, the giant redwood trees can grow to magnificent height. Likewise, by school and university partners coming together to persevere, develop, and stay strong locally and nationally through Professional Development Schools, we all can grow to magnificent heights. She concluded with a quote written on the redwood tree pin that was given to all attendees at the Presidential Address, “When we stand together, support one another, encourage one another, we become stronger together, and like the giant redwoods, we keep growing taller.”
This is NAPDS.