BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Teachers in 2019 are facing more challenges than ever before. Along with daily education, many are tasked with supporting their students through difficult times.

"We really need to have a proactive approach to supporting our student's needs. They do have a lot of questions, they do have a lot of needs," said Kerri Bullock, Broome-Tioga Sessions Professional Development Director.

Principals from dozens of Southern Tier schools met to discuss those needs this week. It was part of the annual Leaders Academy.

Educators took part in workshops relating to student wellness, school culture, and understanding how traumatic childhood experiences can affect a student's behavior. Organizers of the summit say it all starts with making students feel comfortable.

"We have to build those relationships because they're not going to learn if they don’t have that relationship and that connection to school," said Bullock.

"We now know that no one can do it alone. No one profession can do it alone; no one individual can do it alone. So it's really about bringing people together using those collaborative leadership structures," said Liz Anderson, Central and Western Region Community Schools Technical Assistance Center Director.

Nearly 100 people participated in the two-day event. Many say improving education all starts with bringing schools together.

"They don’t always get a chance to be able to stop and collaborate with other leaders and there's a lot of expertise in the region so it's important that they can come together in this environment to learn and share ideas," said Bullock.

School leaders plan to hold more events like these in the near future.