K-12 educators to talk tough times for local schools, teachers, students

Photo of a yellow school busThe NIU College of Education’s ongoing Community Learning Series continues Thursday, Oct. 22, when the college welcomes back three distinguished alumni to share their experiences as educators and school administrators and to provide insights into what it takes to be successful in today’s classrooms.

The guests also will provide an “on-the-ground” look at some of the pressing issues facing local schools and school districts, including the impact of the Illinois budget crisis, Common Core and student testing.

“Leadership in the Classroom” is planned from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, 231 N. Annie Glidden Road. A networking reception with light hors d’oeuvres will take place from 5 to 6 p.m.

Brad Hawk, assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, as well as a former school superintendent himself, will moderate the panel, which includes:

Douglas Moeller, Steven Koch and Erika Schlichter
Douglas Moeller, Steven Koch and Erika Schlichter

“All of our guests have been highly successful teachers who have moved up through the system, through a variety of jobs at a variety of districts,” Hawk said. “Their comments will be valuable to anyone seeking a career as a teacher but also for teachers – prospective or veteran – who are interested in taking on administrative roles.”

The discussion also will appeal to parents and others who are interested in critical issues facing local schools and districts. “The chance to talk with such highly placed and influential leaders in education will give us a clear view into what’s really happening in our schools,” he said.

“Dr. Moeller, for example, will discuss financial issues that are now affecting local districts here and around the state,” he said, adding that Schlichter is an expert on Common Core standards and high-stakes testing, while Koch’s Prairie Ridge High School has become the model for student performance in recent years.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available for all attendees in the lot adjacent to the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center. RSVP to Paul Baker at pbaker@niu.edu or (815) 753-8434.

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