Saint Mary’s College of California recently hosted area educators as part of a unique, free live – virtual professional development gathering.

The 3rd annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit was held on July 28 at 35 separate school and university campuses throughout California.  Saint Mary’s served as the main site, welcoming 1,000 pre-K – 12 teachers and administrators to its McKeon Pavilion, while also live-streaming to an additional 10,000 participants.

Daniels, Bidel, Swain

SMC VP for Mission Carole Swain, right, and SFNO Office of Education Director Michael Daniels with keynote speaker and former Second Lady Jill Biden.

Lifelong educator and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden opened the one-day event with a keynote address in which she spoke passionately about the leadership role of teachers in the life of both students and society.  After, teachers’ EdTalks – TED Talk-style presentations – and teacher-led breakout sessions rounded out the day’s schedule.

According to Director Emily Wakeman Davis, the Summit was designed to provide teachers with “the latest strategies, resources and tools that you can use right away to enhance your teaching practice.”

A number of Saint Mary’s College faculty members, as well as other District of San Francisco New Orleans (SFNO) educators, attended the Summit.  SMC master’s in leadership alumna Jocel Ibanez-Lazarito delivered an EdTalk on inclusiveness in education, while several SFNO educators, including SMC’s Kalmanovitz School of Education Dean Christopher Sindt, SMC Vice President for Mission Carole Swain, and SFNO Office of Education Director Dr. Michael Daniels, had the opportunity to welcome and chat with Dr. Biden.

Better Together: California Teachers Summit was organized by the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, The California State University and New Teacher Center.  Plans are underway for the next Summit, scheduled for July 27, 2018.

Story information and photo courtesy Tim Farley, Saint Mary’s College of California.

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