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August 7th, 2017 by Amneris Solano
GREENVILLE – Thanks a grant from the Biogen Foundation, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership held the North Carolina Teacher Leadership Symposium on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at the Hilton Greenville for educators across Eastern North Carolina.
In this first year, the symposium was offered exclusively to K-12 educators in this region. In subsequent years, the symposium will move around the state, featuring other regions and the educators who work there. As Lead Champion, the Biogen Foundation made it possible for the Kenan Fellows Program to provide this symposium at no cost to attendees.
Teachers from 14 different school districts attended the event, which was organized by a planning committee of Kenan Fellows who teach in Eastern NC: Leigh Ann Hudson, Martin County; John Scarfpin, Craven County; and Keshia Speight, Greene County. Fourteen teachers from the Kenan Fellows Program Alumni Network led sessions on a variety of topics including self-directed learning, science literacy, technology integration, gamification, teacher leadership and more. James E. Ford, the program director for the NC Public School Forum, delivered the keynote address. LaTanya Pattillo, a 2013-14 Kenan Fellow who serves as the Teacher Advisor to Gov. Roy Cooper, gave the closing address.
A goal of the one-day immersive symposium was to offer high-quality professional development to teachers in rural parts of the state who often have fewer learning opportunities than educators in urban areas. The event also gave the participants a chance to network, during a reception sponsored by the NC SMT Center and STEM East, with educators in nearby school districts helping them to expand their professional learning communities.
According to a post symposium survey, 87 percent of respondents said they would recommend the symposium to colleagues. Eighty percent of respondents said the symposium helped them to grow as a teacher leader.
“I felt like a professional from the moment I entered the convention center,” said one of the respondents in the anonymous survey. “It ranked as the best one-day workshop in which I have participated.”
Kenan Fellows who presented and their sessions are: