From the President

AVA: Reflecting On The Past To Prepare For The Future

Ginny Coleman

Hello!  It was good to see many of you at the ACDA Summer Conference in Tuscaloosa.  If you are not already involved with ACDA, you should join now!  John Kincaid, Meg Rudolph, and the ACDA team did a great job organizing the sessions and social events.  This conference is a great reminder that it is time to get back to work and get ready for the new year.

The time leading up to a new school year is always a time of reflection for me.  I reflect on what has (and has not) gone well in my classroom over the past year.  I think about what I could do better and prepare to make those changes for the upcoming year.  This is one of the things I love about our profession:  each new year is a chance to make a new start.

As I reflected on the past year with the AVA, I re-read some of the goals that I had for our organization at this time last year.  Briefly stated, they were:  efficiency through technology, focusing on our mission statement, and reaching out to our membership.  I am proud of many of the advances we have made.  We have continued to use available technology to facilitate record-keeping, registering for events, and communicating with the membership.  The AVA board, guided by quality input from the membership, has made decisions with our mission statement at the forefront of our minds.  Our organization is becoming a group that is willing to put aside tradition to make room for new ideas that may better serve our students.  I am so encouraged by this.

The goal that has proven to be the most difficult for us is reaching out to our membership.  We are moving in the right direction.  For example, the AVA and ACDA are involved in a joint effort to identify teachers who are not involved in our professional organizations.  We have also made some small advances by offering free registrations to events and we will continue to offer these incentives.  However, we have a chance to make a new start this year and need every member’s help with this goal.  We all know someone who may be new to the profession or may be working in a less-than-ideal situation.  These new/struggling teachers need, more than any of us, a community of fellow teachers so that they can be mentored, ask questions, or just vent.  Without a strong community, we may start to see our profession quietly fade.  I would like to challenge each of you to invite one person who is not currently involved in AVA to come to Fall Workshop with you.  Also, if you have ideas about how we can continue to reach out to membership, please let me or any member of the AVA board know.  We are always interested in your great ideas!


As we prepare for the new year, I would like to give a brief report from the AVA Summer Board meeting.  We reviewed all of your comments and suggestions that we received over the year.  We appreciate those of you who took the time to share your ideas with us.  Some of the decisions were:

  • We will continue to work to improve the efficiency of our online registration forms
  • We are forming a committee to review SCPA sight-reading with the end goals of clarity of expectation, accessibility to various ability levels, and alignment with state standards
  • We continued to discuss ideas for using technology to facilitate the All-State audition process
  • We continued to discuss ways to update our All-State Show Choir process
  • Fees were updated to reflect changes in cost
  • Deadlines and late fees were restructured to be more efficient
  • We adopted a new logo

At Fall Workshop, we will detail how all of these changes help to move our organization forward.  We hope you will attend.


Our Fall Workshop will be held at First Baptist Church, Montgomery on Friday, September 8th.  We look forward to this time of learning, sharing, and connecting with our colleagues.  Judy Bowers will be our featured clinician and she always has something great to share!  We will also have mini-sessions and round-table discussions that need YOUR input! Registration is open now.  Visit the AVA website to register and don’t forget to bring a friend.


Now is the best time to renew your NAfME membership.  You must be a current member to log in to registration forms on the AVA Website, so renew now.


The 2017-2018 event dates are posted on the AVA website and page 41 of this issue of Ala Breve.  Visit the website to find a printable list of dates.  You will notice that there is only one deadline for each event date.  This is now the registration AND payment deadline for that event.  Please plan accordingly.

Thank you for taking time to read about your professional organization.  As always, please send questions, suggestions, and ideas to me at  I look forward to seeing you in September!