Outreach Conference in Nordonia: November 18, 2008



Joe Culley plays his drums to welcome teachers to the Nordonia Conference.


I am self-proclaimed conference junky!  I love to attend'm…I love to present at them, and I love to orchestrate'm.  I can not remember a more glorious time than last night. 


From my heart, I thank all of you who presented.  I thank those of you who worked to recruit fellow teachers to attend.  I thank those of you who filled your car and transported your friends to our great night.


Thank you Steve and Andreas for attending to the fine details of the conference.  Your posters indicating room assignments were professional.  Thank you for arranging for the rooms and the hot chocolate pot.


Joe, thank you for playing your drum at the beginning of our conference.


Ah!  I was a lucky one last night!  I had the opportunity to observe teachers as they left Session I and as they came into the library from Session II.  When they saw me, they told me again and again how great the session they attended was.  One teacher said, "I am just so sorry that more people didn't attend.  This is so wonderful…and it is right here in our school!"


Cheryl Carano gave me a gift when she said, "It is not about the number of people who attend.  The people who  need to hear us are here."  Wow!


As she did in Euclid, my best friend, Bonnie Blatnik, served as our hostess, greeting people as they entered and distributing the packets.  Roni Yaxley had picked Bonnie up in Euclid, and they were in Nordonia High School before 3:30.  Bonnie met us at the door and escorted us to the library.  She told me over and over again how glad she was that she attended.  She really enjoyed meeting all of you. She loved being at Nordonia High School.  She really enjoyed Rich Horton's presentation on the Doan Brook.


As you know, I packed my car with people.  I wish you could have been in the car on our way home listening to the conversation!  The people I recruited had to rearrange their schedules to attend last night.  They were so happy that they did not miss the evening.  One-by-one they gave reports of the sessions they'd attended.  Believe me; it was glorious.


I was happy to hear Andreas and Steve say that they wanted to present in other places and to other groups of teachers.  I think you ALL should apply for the state organization for social studies teachers.  I think you should all apply for the national organization for social study teachers!  You have such great ideas…and you are so good with people.


I hope you know that when you stand in front of other educators, you give them more than the information you'd planned to deliver.  You stand in front as a tribute to our profession and as a model of good teaching.


I was impressed by the principal of Nordonia High School, Chuck Vrabel.  I enjoyed his opening joke when he welcomed us, "I am happy to welcome you to this conference.  I am also happy to know that there really IS a 'Rivers, Roads, and Rails.'   My teachers kept saying they were attending a Rivers, Roads and Rails workshop, and sometimes I wasn't really sure what that was." 


I almost wept as Mr. Vrabel walked  toward Debra Rumble.  "There is someone very important in the audience tonight.  This is Debra Rumble, and I began my career teaching with Debra."


 Mr. Vrabel's message about the friendships we develop as we teach together was really important to me.  His words confirmed what I already knew about teaching.  We struggle together; we grow together; we become friends.


I am proud of you.  You did a GREAT job last night.  Thank you for everything, my friends!



Janie Talbott and Timothy Gallagher discuss what they've learned in their sessions.




Attendees examine the sample packet of materials provided by Curriculum Associates.P1010003