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Educating the educators

Washington County contingent attends staff development conference in Orlando

Washington County contingent attends staff development conference in Orlando

August 11, 2008

C. JoAnne Knode, Ronald Brezler, Sharon Chirgott and Myra Newbraugh attended the 2008 Institute for Staff Development sponsored by National Academy Foundation, July 8 to 11, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla.

The theme for this year's conference was "The Power of the Network." One of NAF's principal functions as an organization is to build partnerships between business leaders and educators to help prepare students for professional careers.

Sessions were designed to "educate the educator" about current trends in finance, information technology and new curriculum offerings.

Knode and Newbraugh, Academy of Finance instructors at South Hagerstown High School, attended a variety of sessions during the three-day conference, including "AOF: Beyond the Textbook," "Creating a Climate of Optimism in Your Classroom," "The Stock Market Game," "MoneySKILL," "Teaching Entrepreneurship," and an intensive four-hour session "Analyzing Financial Statements."

Brezler, corporate relationship officer, CentraBank, and AOF board of director member, and Chirgott, director for Washington County Public Schools Academies, attended academy development, advisory board development and internship sessions.

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Their sessions included "Paid Internships - How to Get 'Em, How to Keep 'Em," "Building Relationships that Work for Your Academy," "Addressing 21st Century Skills," and "Your Students Can Be Certified Financially Literate."

Keynote speaker was Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation, who oversees Pearson's philanthropic activity worldwide.

Nieker reinforced Pearson's commitment to education by working with leading businesses and civic groups to support students and teachers and to sponsor community-based education programs across the globe.

The closing session speaker was James H. Shelton III, education program director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Shelton provided an open discussion forum with the audience of educators, coordinators, administrators and business representatives and expressed the commitment of the foundation to assist instructors in providing access to quality education for all students.

The Washington County Academy of Finance provides a model academic program that focuses on a concentrated study of the financial services industry.

The objective of the academy is to orient students to expanding businesses and financial institutions and to prepare students for career opportunities in both fields.

For more information on the Academy of Finance, contact Chirgott at 301-766-2956.

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