Inspiring Educators







October 2014
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We often hear about teachers making personal sacrifices to ensure student success.   Perhaps, opening the class early in the morning to provide last minute help before a big test or staying late after school to assist with a science project before the weekend competition.  It may also be helping to pay a deserving student's way to his or her senior prom.

Sometimes, the problem might be so fundamental in need, it shocks the community and the nation.  Food, clothing, shelter.  The very basic necessities you and I might take for granted are the very problems some of the students in our nation face.

Our inspiring educator today is Mr. Marvin Callahan, a first grade teacher at Comanche Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  His students' problem is a fundamental one: hunger.  Fed up and unable to ignore his students' struggles, Mr. Callahan decided to do something about it and take action.

Marvin, along with school counselor,Karin Medina, initiated a backpack program for the Comanche Elementary students in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The program provides entire meals for students who need the most help on the weekend.  Every Friday,upwards of 30 families receive meals to take home, allowing them to get by the weekend.  Join us as Marvin shares the struggles of his students and the backpack program ,and during the program's lowest moment, how the community rallied together to help sustain and ensure the program's success.

Direct download: IE25-Marvin_Callahan.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

Many educators, prior to standing in front of the classroom, have held different occupations.  For some it was all part of the master plan and a natural progression to pursue their passion as educators.  For others, it was a chance meeting that would become a lifelong love and duty to serve their students and the community.  Regardless of prior experiences or backgrounds, all educators are greatly defined and shaped by their unique developing years leading up to those initial days in the classroom. 

So what if your previous background was part of an elite group of athletes? The best of the best.  Your resume reads, NFL player.  Detroit Lions. Free Safety.  What qualities and contributions does an NFL player bring to the classroom and abilities to be a charismatic and transformational teacher, to motivate his students, and facilitate the success in and outside the classroom?  Our guest and inspiring educator is Ricardo Silva.  Join us as the former Detroit Lions' free safety shares his journey staying focused on his dreams while growing up in a tough neighborhood to helping his students fulfill their dreams as a classroom teacher serving for Teach for America.

Direct download: IE24-Ricardo_Silva.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

We continue our discussions about the innovative Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) to provide a college education for the incarcerated.  Through BPI, inmates are given opportunity to study college courses and earn credits toward an Associates Degree.  BPI has facilitated a unique opportunity for its graduates to reinvent their lives and provide renewed hopes for their future.  The rate of success and contribution by BPI graduates reinforces the value of a college degree and the ability to transform individuals.  Since its inception in 2001, BPI has grown and operates six satellite campuses throughout New York.  Recently, Max Kenner, founder and executive director of BPI, was recognized for the innovative program and won a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.

Our inspiring educator is Dr. Megan Callaghan, the director of operation for BPI and a classroom instructor.  As a professor of anthropology, Dr. Callaghan shares her personal insights and experience from teaching her highly motivated students, and as the operational director, she shares her pivotal role overseeing a dedicated group of instructors.  Join us and learn about what former President Bill Clinton observed in his book Giving, BPI “is a good investment in a safer, more productive society.”

Direct download: IE23-Megan_Callaghan.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

IE2: Paul Yingling. From the Battlefields to the Classroom!
Mr. Paul Yingling served three tours in Iraq and retired as a Colonel in the US Army.  With impressive credentials in leadership and management, Paul is a prolific publisher and has written numerous articles on international relations and military affairs.  He has also taught future Army officers at the US Military Academy at Westpoint, prior to serving along side his former students in Iraq.

What compels a retired Colonel with distinguished service and a wealth of knowledge and experience to pursue a career as a high school teacher?  Mr. Yingling shares his passions and visions for educating the American youth.  He further elaborates on one of the best articulated reasons for education in his speech, "The Aim of Education."  Please join us and  help us celebrate our inspiring educator, Mr. Paul Yingling.   

Direct download: IE2-Paul_Yingling.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

What do you take for granted?  What is the value of education?  What role does liberal arts play in our civilization?  If you were given a clean slate in life, a second chance, how might you live differently?

Our guest today has lived through a life of hell.  Incarcerated when 17 and having spent 20 years in prison for 1st degree manslaughter and dealing drugs, his life took a dramatic change in course when given the opportunity to study and earn college credits while serving his sentence.  Having earned a scholarship to study under Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), he was able to study and with each class and book consumed, the opportunity to pursue his dreams became a reality.

This is a story of redemption.  This is the story of Donnell Hughes.  His story will challenge your concept of forgiveness, the value of education, the power of optimism, and the dedicated educators who have never forgotten the promise of the forgotten.  Please join us as Donnell shares his incredible journey to reinvent himself and outlook on life!

Direct download: IE22-Donnell_Hughes.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 9:19pm EDT