Ybarra, Wilson to face off this week at IASA conference

It’s on.

The state superintendent’s race kicks off Thursday as incumbent Sherri Ybarra and challenger Cindy Wilson square off in front of hundreds of school administrators.

Sherri Ybarra

Both Ybarra and Wilson have agreed to participate in a 45-minute forum at the Idaho Association of School Administrators’ annual leadership conference in Boise.

And don’t worry if you aren’t a school administrator and don’t already have tickets to the conference. Idaho Education News will stream the forum live on its Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The forum will mark the first time Ybarra and Wilson have faced off since winning their respective party’s nomination in May.

“We’re pretty excited they both agreed and are able to attend,” IASA Executive Director Rob Winslow said. “We realize that they had not done this before, so it’s kind of fun to kick that off.”

Winslow will moderate the forum. The event will feature brief opening remarks from each candidate followed by three education questions written by Winslow. From there, Winslow will open the forum up to audience questions, with each candidate allowed three minutes to respond.

Ybarra and Wilson will need to be on their game. Winslow expects up to 450 educators to attend (most are administrators or members of a school leadership team) and the forum is scheduled immediately after a keynote address in order to maximize the audience.

Cindy Wilson

While the forum may draw the most headlines, it’s far from the only event on IASA’s schedule. IASA has booked national speakers, including award-winning author, educator and coach Mike Schmoker. The itinerary includes two days of workshops on topics ranging from school safety to social media, an awards luncheon and time for on-the-go networking.

“We try to pack a lot into one conference and meet a lot of different needs,” Winslow said.

Be sure to “like” Idaho Education News on Facebook and check back at 9:30 a.m. Thursday for streaming of the candidate forum. On Thursday afternoon, visit www.idahoednews.org for full forum coverage.

IASA leadership conference schedule highlights (full schedule is available online)

(Events take place at the Boise Centre)


  • 7:30 a.m., Registration opens.
  • 8:30 a.m., Welcome, keynote address from Michael Schmoker.
  • 1:30 p.m., Boise Police Department’s active shooter response workshop.
  • 2:45 p.m., Workshop, “Using evaluations to improve practice,” by Boise State University’s Heather Williams.


  • 9:30 a.m., Candidate forum with Republican incumbent state superintendent Sherri Ybarra and Democratic challenger Cindy Wilson.
  • 10:30 a.m., Workshop, “Twitter, now is the time,” with Janet Avery.
  • Noon, Awards luncheon. Guest speaker, Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise.
  • 3:30 p.m., Workshop, “College and career advising and mentoring” with Byron Yankey of the State Board of Education.



Clark Corbin

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