U.S. Education Secretary’s delegation to have town hall meeting at Emporia State University

September 12, 2012

Education will be the topic when a member of the Obama administration stops at Emporia State University for a town hall meeting.

Arne Duncan, U.S. education secretary, along with Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, and Cynthia Apalinski, a third-grade science teacher from New Jersey and a 2012 Teaching Ambassador Fellow, will lead a town hall meeting Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the atrium of Emporia State’s Visser Hall, home of the university’s Teachers College.

Before the meeting, the group will visit the National Teachers Hall of Fame, founded in 1989 by Emporia State University, the ESU Alumni Association, the City of Emporia, Emporia Public Schools and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce. The Hall of Fame draws attention to exceptional PreK-12 teachers with at least 20 years of teaching experience through a museum, teacher resource center and a recognition program that annually honors five outstanding PreK-12 educators across the country. Both Duncan and Van Roekel attended the reception at NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., to honor the five inductees in the Class of 2012.

Arne DuncanThe participating audience for the town hall meeting will include students from The Teachers College plus current teachers, administrators and other community members. The meeting will start with a presentation on the U.S. Department of Education’s RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) project, which seeks to work with educators to rebuild the teaching profession along the entire spectrum of recruitment, preparation, professional development, compensation and retention. The remainder of the meeting will be questions posed by audience members and responded to by Duncan, Van Roekel and Apalinski.

The Emporia stop is one of two in Kansas as part of the 10-day Education Drives America tour that ends Sept. 21 in the nation’s capital.

Dennis Van Roekel“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” said Duncan, before the tour’s launch in Redwood City, Calif. “This bus tour is an opportunity to highlight what’s working and create momentum for education reforms that improve the lives of all students.”

“For nearly 150 years, Emporia State University’s Teachers College has been at the forefront of teacher education,” said Dr. Ken Weaver, dean of The Teachers College. “We are honored to have Secretary Duncan and President Van Roeckel stop in Emporia to honor career teachers inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and seek input about education in America. It promises to be inspirational for our students and our faculty.”

Emporia’s town hall meeting is open to the public and will begin at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 and continue for 45 minutes. Free parking is available on campus for the meeting.

Seating on the floor of Skillett Atrium is by invitation only, but observers will be able to see and hear the discussion from the second- and third-floor galleries overlooking the atrium. For those who choose not to stand for the event, Visser Hall 118 will be available for viewing the event via the U.S. Department of Education’s live stream on the Internet. The live-stream will be online at http://livestream.emporia.edu.

The Education Drives America bus will pull into Emporia on Tuesday.

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