Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Allegheny East, West Host Joint Teachers Convention

This summer Allegheny East and Allegheny West conference superintendents, Judy B. Chiles-Dent and Yvette Cooper, respectively, brought together educators from both territories for a four-day teacher in-service to prepare them for the 2014-15 school year. Teachers from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and the District of Columbia convened on the AEC grounds in Pine Forge, Pa.

Story and photograph by Shayla-René Little

“It is vitally important that we operate as a system, offering continuity in our practices conference-wide,” says Dent. Backing this up, the theme for the conference was, “United to Make a Difference. Consensus is Desirable, Cooperation is Necessary.”

The event kicked off on Sunday with a meet-and- greet, where the educators got to know each other and participate in seminars on RenWeb, crisis management, differentiated instruction in the K-12 classroom, and the benefits of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment program. Facilitators included Celeste Ryan Blyden, Columbia Union Conference vice president for communication; Alina Mitchell, program director of ESMART Summer Academy; and Alonzo Wagner, a pastor in the North American Division’s Center for Creative Ministry.

Audrey Booker, Pine Forge Academy’s nurse, and James Jackson, a first-aid instructor, also provided CPR and first-aid training to help staff become compliant with the North American Division.

The event was a qualified success, based on the responses and comments—“innovative, informative and highly professional”—of those in attendance, says Dent.—Shayla-René Little

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