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AU News

Noted Alumni Return for Panel on Classroom Engagement

March 20, 2018

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Keeping kids engaged in the classroom is one of the most important skills a teacher can develop. But understanding its importance and putting it into practice can be two different things.

The good news? Two Anderson University alumni have built their career on not just recognizing the need to get kids plugged into learning – but how to actually do it.

Even better? They’re coming back to campus to share with others what they’ve learned.

Hope and Wade King, instructors at the famed Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, are presenting their new book, “The Wild Card: Seven Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough,” as part of a panel discussion among area educators on the topic of classroom engagement. The event gets underway at 6 p.m., and includes a reception and book signing immediately following.

The event is designed to support teachers in AU’s community and equip them with skills to help their students be successful, said Dr. Mark Butler, Dean of the Anderson University College of Education.

“We are fully committed to supporting the work of teachers in our area, and we see this as an opportunity to do exactly that,” Dr. Butler said. “We are able to provide educators and future educators alike with an opportunity to hear from experts and colleagues on this important topic and provide a space for critical dialogue.”

Hope and King are graduates of the AU College of Education and are among just 10 master educators at the Ron Clark Academy, among the most innovative and celebrated schools in the world.

Classroom engagement is at the forefront of their research and practice. They’ll join six educators from across the region in a panel discussion designed to create learning opportunities for teachers across the state. More than 300 teachers are expected to attend, along with more than 100 AU students in the College of Education.

“The College of Education has a tremendous heritage of teacher preparation and we are blessed with a strong reputation for producing the highest quality of teacher candidates,” Dr. Butler said. “It is critical to our work with these teacher candidates that we partner with our local school districts to support them in whatever way we can, and it is central to our work here at AU that we see all schools across the Upstate as an extension of our educational programs. Hosting conversations such as this is an integral part of that relationship.”

In addition to Hope and Wade King, other panelists include:

  • Bradley Brazell, from Lugoff-Elgin Middle School
    • AU alumnus
    • AU President’s Award Winner
    • Past president, AU Presidential Teaching Fellows
  • Janna Epting, from McKissick Academy of Science and Technology
    • Literacy Leaders, Pickens County School District
  • Rhonda Gregory, from Honea Path Middle School
    • AU alumnus
    • AU Distinguished Young Alumnus award
    • 2018 South Carolina Middle Level Assistant Principal of the Year
  • Mark Joseph, from Anderson University
    • Coordinator of AU Call Me MISTER program
    • 2017 Call Me MISTER Trailblazer Award
  • James Lies III, from Belton Elementary School
    • AU alumnus
    • 2017-2018 Anderson School District 2 Teacher of the Year
  • Michelle Traynum, from Homeland Park Elementary School
    • 2017-2018 Anderson School District 5 Teacher of the Year
  • Jason Lesley, from Spearman Elementary School
    • 18-year career in education, ninth year as a school principal

“The College of Education desires to serve the community as a valued resource for important topics in the field of education,” Dr. Butler said. “We see that as central to our work and role as an institution. As we work to train new teachers, we want to simultaneously partner with the educational community throughout the Upstate to support our teachers in their important work with children of all ages.”

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Executive Director for Public Relations