As is so often true for me lately the best moments in the conference were the conversations I had between sessions, during meals, and in every free moment. Virginia is not a huge state but it is full of wise, thoughtful, often witty educators. (Some of my favorites from around the state are Tim Stahmer, Tim Owens, Paula White, Becky Fisher, Jon Becker, and Tom Woodward.) Plus, VSTE folks don't take themselves too seriously, something I greatly respect. One more thing, I've never attended a conference with this much food.
One of the highlights this year was the first keynote. Last year that role was played, exceptionally well, by Chris Lehmann. This year it was Steve Dembo. I have followed Steve on twitter and read his blog for some time but had never heard him speak. After Chris last year, I was a bit unsure. I should not have worried. Steve was phenomenal. At 8:00 am, after traveling into the wee hours, he was far beyond high energy, inspiring, funny, and the time flew. One of the most impressive things about Steve is his ability to look at the world, notice things, turn them around in new ways, and find the humor. I would love to work in a school with him. (Of course, that's also true for everyone listed above...)
The deeper thoughts from VSTE are still rolling around in my mind. More to come.