#ASCD12-The Press Room

2012 OYEA winners

The ASCD conference was in Philadelphia this year making it very convenient for my HHSD colleagues and me to attend the three day event. My friend, Joyce Valenza, and I traveled to and from the conference every day and this is how I came to have the most unexpected and delightful conference experience.

As a blogger (and friend of Joyce), I was invited to participate in the press room activities. The perks of this experience were:

(1) Saturday I shared lunch and spoke with Matt McClure, superintendent of Cross County Schools in Cherry Valley, Ark., and Liliana Aguas, a teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., winners of the association’s prestigious 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA). Both are amazing.

“As superintendent of Cross County Schools, Matt McClure has tackled the challenges of a rural school district and instituted an effective school turnaround program focused on the whole child. During his time as superintendent, McClure led a school revitalization process that effectively improved student achievement by turning around all the schools in his district from School Improvement Status to successful schools that focus on teaching standards that are relevant to students and have a real-world connection. In addition to improving district academics, McClure has instituted daily physical fitness classes, homework help, student tutoring, and enrichment activities that keep learning fun and students engaged.

During his time as superintendent, McClure also opened Arkansas’s first New Tech school and oversaw the opening of a medical facility on a school campus built to serve both students and community members. The Arkansas Department of Education has recognized McClure’s district as a Coordinated School Health district, and each weekend schools send home backpacks full of healthy foods to families in need. The district also offers an after-school program with cooking classes so the students can prepare and serve healthy snacks.” ASCD

“Liliana Aguas, is a 2nd grade dual-language immersion teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif. Aguas is committed to educating the whole child by promoting a genuine sense of community where students learn cooperatively, are intellectually challenged, and have their learning needs met through differentiated instruction. Aguas’s students participate in activities that promote self-discovery, such as creative writing, reader’s theater, and multicultural literature exploration. Aguas also creates a classroom environment that promotes student discovery of surrounding culture, bilingualism, and social justice.

Aguas’ classroom is a living environment designed for project-based learning, featuring a native plant garden and a tadpole and caterpillar habitat. Recently, Aguas held an international fair for her students and parents with poster presentations and a potluck, featuring dishes and music from the different countries the students researched. Aguas establishes strong partnerships with her students’ families and hosts “cafecitos,” or coffee time, with her Spanish-speaking parents.” ASCD

(2) Sunday I participated in a round-table with several ASCD authors including Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Joyce has permitted me to post her recording of the discussion we shared with Ms. Hayes Jacobs.

Interview with Heidi Hayes Jacobs from Joyce Valenza on Vimeo.

To hear and see more ASCD authors click here: ASCD Talks with an Author

(3) What I found most interesting and fun about serving in the press room were the other bloggers. Many of these people I follow-they are part of my PLN and I met them in person. I felt like a Justin Beiber groupie must feel! I heard myself say several times, “Oh my gosh-I read your blog/twitter feed all the time. I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you!”

Here are the educators that I enjoyed talking to in the press room:

Lyn Hilt 

Twitter: @L_Hilt Blog: the principal’s posts Lyn’s post on the ASCD conference: Relationships, passion and the pursuit of learning

Mary Beth Hertz

Twitter: @mbteach Blog: PhillyTeacher Mary Beth’s posts on the ASCD conference: A Conversation with ASCD’s Young Educators of the Year, Differentiated Instruction and the Brain, Sunday Sessions, Saturday Sessions,

Tony Baldasaro

Twitter: @baldy7 Blog: TransLeadership Tony’s posts on the ASCD conference: Connectedness, Sharing and Elegance, Cellphones in the K-12 Classroom, They’re Coming from the Cloud, The Checklist Manifesto

Tom Whitby

Twitter: @tomwhitby Founder of #edchat  Blog: My Island View Tom’s posts on the ASCD conference: Opening Day, Winding Down

Eric Sheninger

Twitter: @NMHS_Principal, Blog: EricSheninger Eric’s posts on the ASCD conference: Shifts and Issues Associated with the Common Core, Global Competencies and the Common Core

Jason Flom

Twitter: @JasonFlom Blog: Ecology of Education  Jason’s post on the ASCD conference: Making Mobile Meaningful

Thanks to all for welcoming me in the press room.

Thanks to my friend Joyce Valenza (Twitter: @joycevalenza, Blog: NeverEndingSearch) for my invitation to the press room. Joyce’s post on the ASCD conference: Part 1: A conversation with Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Part 2: Interviews with two inspiring young educators.

When I was not in the press room, I attended several great presentations. I’ve been studying eportfolios this year and found a great learning centered portfolio in Williston, VT. I also learned a lot about social networking and it’s impact on learning. More on what I learned on these topics to come…

5 Responses

  1. Hey Joyce,

    Nice post. It was great to meet you briefly in the press room this time around.

    I think the person you are thinking of is Mary Beth Hertz. Her blog is titled “Philly Teacher.”

    If interested you can check my conference blog posts at Ecology of Education.


  2. It was great to meet you, Sue. What a great weekend of conversation! Thanks for sharing my ASCD posts. I still have my Heidi Hayes Jacob one in draft. So much to think about!

  3. Great video, Sue! It was great to meet you. What a wonderful weekend of conversation. My post on Heidi Hayes Jacob is still in the works!

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