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Brainstorming the Future of our Schools

Panels Bring Together Top Southern Maryland Educators to Find Answers, to Dream
February 18, 2010
Press Release #10-037

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What are the key issues facing public schools today? How are schools affected by the high demands for educational success coupled with the economic downturn? Finally, if we could dream, what would we change? St. Mary's College of Maryland's  Student Education Association (SEA) and the Department of Educational Studies will bring together top area educators, including the superintendents of St. Mary's, Calvert, and Prince George's public schools, to share their ideas and hopes. The colloquium, "Schools that Learn," is 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2010, in Daugherty Palmer Commons.  "Anyone with an interest in education will benefit greatly from attending this colloquium," said Julia Bates, of the Educational Studies department. Open to the campus and the public, the discussion is free, lunch is available for $10. For information, e-mail jrbates@smcm.edu.

The opening keynote address will be delivered by Cathy Allen, member of the St. Mary's County Board of Education and President of the Maryland State Boards of Education.  She will explain the actions available to boards of education as they endeavor to shape the work of school systems.  At noon, Michael Martirano, superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools, Jack Smith, superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools, and William Hite, superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools, will share a panel on how leadership can impact change in schools as they face the demands of No Child Left Behind. 

Other featured speakers: Jennifer Rankin, Maryland Teacher of the Year from Garrett County, will explain how she prepares her middle school students for success in both English and algebra standardized assessments. Joining her on that panel is Kelli Hill, SMCM senior, who researched teachers' responses to standardized testing.  Makeda Hilliard, an SMCM graduate, will describe the work of the SEED School, an innovative program for inner city youth.  Judith White, a Prince George's County lead teacher, will describe how her school is making steady progress.  And Scott Smith, of St. Mary's County Public Schools, will lay out the implementation of the Fairlead Academy concept designed to support ninth grade students who are struggling academically.    

 Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the keynote address at 9:15. 

 St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college.  Nearly ten percent of each graduating class goes on to the profession of public school teaching.  The new Masters in the Art of Teaching degree not only lays the foundation for certification, but guides Interns through the processes of action research, reflection, and classroom based change.