Now that this school year is underway, I’m very excited to resume hosting focus groups with families so that I hear from you directly and consistently evaluate the educational experience we, together, provide our children.
Recent discussions with students, parents and educators have been aimed at soliciting feedback for Cushman’s process-improvement and for an international event entitled 24HR for Change in Education, which will take place on October 20th. Along with another educator from Hawaii, I am honored to have been asked to host a segment in this global initiative to share innovative thoughts and programs and to represent not only our South Florida region, but also, the United States overall.
I invite you all to tune in to 24HR for Change in Education at 10 a.m. October 20th via YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxbcqAn2apdSLOb4eJh7Vw
There will be a panel of educators and college speakers I have asked to join the conversation, including former Cushman students.
You can learn more about 24HR Change in Education here: https://24hforchange.education/atlaschange-2
As an educator, I always seek opportunities to gain knowledge that leads to my and the School’s growth and expansion. I also am elated, however, with the feedback from the various constituencies that confirms Cushman’s focus on character development, instilling compassion, fostering confidence and communication skills, and personalizing education to meet the growing social-emotional, academic and spiritual needs of our constituency.
Arvi Balseiro, Ed.D.
Panel of College Speakers
Paul Clifford is a junior at the University of Miami studying Health Science with a minor in Public Health. He is pursuing a career in Aerospace Medicine and aspires to advance the relatively novel research field of human physiology in extraplanetary environments. Specifically, he would like to focus on the brain and neurological function. At this time, he is studying in a lab focusing on the effects of HIV infection on brain cells. Outside of class, he is a passionate advocate for mental health and works with the Miami-Dade National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate local high school students about coping mechanisms, relevant available resources, and how they can aid in the fight against the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.
“Modern undergraduate education lacks engagement with students. Most of my peers do not attend class because they can learn the tested topics better by themselves. Rather than following a generic lesson plan, class sizes should be smaller with more attention to each students’ strengths and weaknesses.”
Zach Fotiadis was born and raised in Miami, Florida. As an alumnus of The Cushman School and Miami Beach Senior High, he has had the privilege of exposure to a wide variety of educational settings and philosophies. Currently a junior at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Zach is studying International Politics and History in the School of Foreign Service. Zach is a Capitol Hill intern for the office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema and a Senior Staff Writer for Georgetown’s flagship political newsletter OntheRecord. He also serves as Crises Manager for North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) with a focus on human rights. Zach has been involved in environmental sustainability projects via the CLEO Institute since high school and continues to mentor high school students at his alma matter in Speech and Debate.
“There are two types of people in this world, those who wait for things to happen and those who make things happen for themselves. Your educational experiences can make or break which person you become.”
Christina Joseph is a Barry University Nursing student who has demonstrated her passion for advocacy through her work with human trafficking, health and equity in the community. For four years while educating students and working with various entities, including the FBI and the Super Bowl Committee on human trafficking, her engagement contributed to greater safety for members of our society.
“Education isn’t just about numbers and theories but should give us the path to navigate through the struggles and hardships of life.”
Rudy Joseph is originally from Elizabeth, NJ, and is a first-generation college student attending Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. Within his major, he specializes in Educational Design for Transformative Social Futures, where design-based engagement and learning are at the forefront of educating spaces. Currently, he is completing his credit hours with the BU Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, where concepts such as critical relationality, designing on different planes, and cultural attunement guide his thinking. He believes that every child is capable of involving themselves in work that transcends typical societal school structures when they have the proper space to design.
“Educational opportunities to design and learn exist everywhere all around us. All children have the ability to not just think outside the box but reimagine the box as a whole when given the flexibility and freedom to do so.”
Madeline Ley is a third-year student at the George Washington University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Health and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Madeline works as the Community Engagement Intern at The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade. Additionally, she serves as the Co-President of GWU Leading Women of Tomorrow, the Social Media Director for the DC Student Consortium on WPS, the SDG 5 Gender Equality Ambassador for Social Impact Movement, and a columnist for the Feminism Explained newsletter.
Through her initiative, Shrink the Gap, which aims to empower individuals to fight the gender pay gap, Madeline has provided salary negotiation and interview workshops to middle school, high school, and college students.
“Applying an intersectional social justice lens to education will equip students with the knowledge and tools to be the agents of change that our world needs.”
The line up is as follows:
Introduction: Dr. Arvi Balseiro
Segment 1: University Student Panel
Paul Clifford, Zach Fotiadis, Christina Joseph, Rudy Joseph, Madeline Ley
Segment 2: Society and Me Panel
Jennifer Geimer (Upper School Director)
Doug Romanik (Associate Upper School Director)
Leah Storie (Society and Me Coordinator)
Segment 3: Innovation Panel
Nick Gilmore (Innovation Director)
Andrea Livingston (Technology Director)
Cristina Gonzalez (Upper School Design & Innovation Specialist)
Elizabeth Newberry (High School Technology & Innovation Support Specialist)
Video: Dr. Brett Jacobsen
Segment 4: Personalization to Meet Individualized Students’ Needs
Dr. Adriana Reynolds: Director of Personalization