SupportCon Sessions

DAY ONE - Thursday, December 3, 2020

8:00am - 8:15am | Welcome

8:15am - 8:45am | Keynote Session

Combatting Uncertainty Fatigue: Managing Stress in an Unpredictable World

The unrelenting nature of our unpredictable environment creates uncertainty fatigue. This makes us feel unsettled, anxious, jangled, unmotivated, or simply unable to do anything other than stare blankly into our computer screens. Our brains depend on instinct rather than rational thought under stress because the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking is busy dealing with the psychological reaction to stress. This reaction not only impedes our ability to get things done, but it can also create a paralyzing loop of anxiety.

Our brains like a predictable environment. None of what we are experiencing right now seems predictable. Sure, over the summer, we got used to a level of uncertainty. As autumn approached, our normal markers of the season such as kids returning to school looked different - and uncertain. Advice about whether we will be able to gather in-person seems to change daily. Elections, by definition, are uncertain. Nobody knows who will win, and political ads and rhetoric amp up stress, no matter if you lean red, blue, or purple.

So, what do we do about it?
Based on Eliz’s new book, Stress-Proof Your Heart, and her research on stress, this program offers four implementable strategies:

 - Understand how stress impacts your ability to work, relate to others, and enjoy life.
 - Recognize the signs that stress is amping up.
 - Shut down the stress reaction and recover.
 - Use all available resources.

Keynote Speaker:

Eliz Greene, Leadership & Stress Speaker

9:00am - 10:00am | Breakout Sessions

Making the Performance Evaluation Process A Winner for You and Your Career

The performance review process is often viewed with great anxiety and fear by education support professionals, especially the annual evaluation conference. The evaluation process can be a negative experience that brings you down, but it does not have to be. Learn some strategies that will make the entire evaluation experience a much more constructive and positive experience for you and your career.
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Susan Bertrand Deputy Executive Director, COO, Illinois ASBO
Craig Collins Statewide Professional Development Coord., Illinois ASBO

AP, Requisitions, Coding Practices & AR

Learn how the business office should effectively code and maintain Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable including monthly reconciliations, reports and audit recordkeeping.
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Stacey Corder Grants & Business Office Accountant, Harvard CUSD 50
Lynn Hofmeister Business Office Manager, Des Plaines CCSD 62

Updating Board Policy:  What Requires Board Action

Policy language, footnotes, cross references, legal references and more...How do you know which updates need to be formally adopted by the board? Learn how to decipher the necessary terminology so you're ready for the next round of updates!
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Ken Carter Dir./Policy Services, Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB)

10:20am - 11:20am | Breakout Sessions

What Should You Know About the IMRF Benefit Program?

Hear about IMRF’s web-based initiative along with tools available for you and your employees to use and discuss IMRF enrollment requirements, member and employer contributions including Voluntary Additional Contributions, IMRF benefits and the Accelerated Payment. Plus, bring your questions for Q&A time! 
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Tecya Anderson Field Representative, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

Internal Communications: The Barriers to Success

Have you ever struggled to communicate a message to staff on a new initiative or updated procedure? Participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm business office topics that impact the success of internal operations and walk away with strategies for improvement. 
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Dan Oberg Dir./Business Services, Comm. High Sch. Dist. 94
LeeAnn Taylor
Asst. Supt./Finance & Business Operations, Hawthorn CCSD 73

Confidentiality & Privacy in the Business Office

We have all heard the saying "loose lips sink ships," but have you ever thought about that in the context of the business office? Hear how school districts can implement sound privacy policies.
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Jennifer Cox Accounting Manager, Aptakisic-Tripp SD 102
Melissa Morgese
Dir./Business Services, Wheeling CCSD 21

11:20am - 11:50am | Lunch Break

11:50am - 12:45pm | Roundtable Networking

12:45pm - 1:00pm | Closing

DAY TWO - Friday, December 4, 2020

8:00am - 8:15am | Welcome

8:20am - 9:20am | Breakout Sessions

Look Who's Talking

As a support professional, we communicate with many different types of people. Hear about potential challenging communication scenarios and discuss the do's and don'ts of addressing each situation.
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Margaret Kyne Finance Manager, Union Ridge SD 86
Alexa McNish School Accounting Manager, Adlai E. Stevenson HSD 125

Unemployment Challenges in 2020

Get an overview of the unemployment process in Illinois and address best practices for responding to unemployment claims, specifically tailored to situations schools experience and changes to unemployment law in 2020.
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Lauren Mann Client Support Specialist, Sedgwick

Rising CSBO Information Session  

Looking to continue your education to achieve your career goals? NIU College of Education will provide an overview of the CSBO program including curriculum and tuition information. Then hear personal stories from a panel of Illinois ASBO members who have completed the CSBO program where you will have the opportunity to ask them questions about their experiences. 
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Terry Borg Dir./External & Global Programs, Northern Illinois University
Brad Hawk CSBO Program Coor., Northern Illinois University
Reiley Straub Dir./Business & Operations, North DuPage Special Ed. Co-Op (NDSEC)
Brittany Tjardes Dir./Accounting & Fiscal Services, Adlai E. Stevenson HSD 125
Carolyn Vander Schee Dept. Chair/Leadership, Educational Psychology & Foundations, Northern Illinois University

9:40am - 10:40am | Breakout Sessions

TRS Demo & Updates

Review a demo of the new Gemini Employer Portal functionality and get updates on the Gemini project status.
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Grant Brauer
Employer Services Manager, Teachers Retirement System

Learn to Lead Your Life

Don't let your life lead you! Learn the tools to take control of your of life so that you can maximize your impact.
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Stephen Chassee Associate Principal, GreenAssociates, Inc.
Anthony Ruelli
Chief School Business Official, Skokie SD 73.5

11:00am - 11:30am | Closing Keynote Session

Resilience is a Choice: Coping with Stress in Crisis & Change

Based on more than 100 interviews with leaders and team members, Eliz shares insights to weather the stress of crisis and change. She discovered that highly capable people are often unequipped to deal with the stress of an unsolvable situation.  For them, the stress of dealing with vulnerability amplifies the stress of crisis and change. 

Ultimately, resilience is a choice. We choose to move forward in the face of failure, crisis, tragedy, pain, or life-altering (and business-altering) events we can’t control. Understanding your reaction to vulnerability is essential to becoming resilient. 

In this program Eliz share strategies to:

 - Deal with the curse of capability.
 - Get comfortable with the emotional reaction to vulnerability.
 - Focus on what is possible rather than dwelling on what is difficult. 
 - Strengthen your resilience muscle.

Keynote Speaker:

Eliz Greene, Leadership & Stress Speaker