As the executive director of the Alabama Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (AASCD), Jane Cobia, professor of educational leadership in Orlean Beeson School of Education, has the opportunity to impact nearly 700 educators each year.
AASCD is a leader in forward-thinking professional development for educators in all stages of their career. The organization seeks to support the whole educator by providing comprehensive professional learning in curriculum, instruction and leadership.
Cobia has served on the board of directors for AASCD in various roles since 1998, but has served as executive director since 2013. She is passionate about creating a trusted network for educators to come together, collaborate with like-minded individuals and learn from each other.
In her current role, Cobia is able to help create opportunities for others to grow in their career through coordinating conferences, bootcamps, seminars, webinars and workshops. Through these learning opportunities, numerous national and international leaders in education have presented the latest in curriculum and instruction that is both effective and research-based.
“It’s important to be able to bring in these people who are right on the cusp of research and things that are working, especially in different places,” Cobia said. “That’s important because it’s not just what’s going on in Alabama, but what’s going on outside the state, too.”
Cobia has also had the opportunity to serve not only as an advocate for educators at the state level, but nationally, as well, by serving as a resource to the state’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. Through these relationships, she and others on the executive committee have been able to advise on current issues facing educators today.
During Cobia’s time as executive director, AASCD has received several international awards, including the Communication Award in 2015 and the Overall Excellence Award in both 2019 and 2021, the latter of which is awarded based on the quality of professional development provided, membership growth and financial growth.
In addition to her involvement with the AASCD, Cobia is involved with its international parent organization, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), which will merge with the International Society for Technology in Education in January 2023. She served in an elected position on its board of directors from 2008-2012 and still serves on numerous committees.
She is also involved in Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, and serves on the board for both the Sylacauga Rotary Club and the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, a nonprofit that provides family services to improve the quality of life for youth and their families.
Cobia is grateful to those at Samford who have supported her professional development and community involvement. Because of the benefits she has received through this involvement, she is dedicated to creating those opportunities for others. As a professor, Cobia regularly encourages her graduate students to engage in professional development, many of whom are members of AASCD and ASCD.
“I think because of all these really rich experiences that I’ve been afforded over the years as the executive director, I’m just trying to pay it forward and make sure that I’m helping touch other people,” Cobia said. “It’s truly an honor to be able to serve in this position, and it fits so nicely with the work I’m doing at Samford. I truly believe it’s important for us to continue to learn and be visionaries.”