Clarke to Host Conference for Educators, April 30

posted on April 8, 2011

The Clarke University Education Department will host a conference for educators from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, in the Robert and Ruth Kehl Center on the Clarke campus. The event, themed “Aligning the Stars,” will include a variety of keynote speakers and professional development topics for educators.

Cost is $70 for professional educators and $30 for education students, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and all conference materials. To RSVP or for more information, visit

The conference offers a professional development opportunity for educators at all levels and will focus on new trends in education and best practices across the curriculum, including education of all learners, literacy, and physical education. Sessions will include “Catch a Brain Wave:  Learning to Move and Moving to Learn,” “Capturing Voice in Historical Images: A Multimedia Photo Essay Project on the Holocaust,” “Student-Centered Literacy: Tips and Tales,” and “Education 2.0!  Edmodo- A Secure Social Learning Network for Teachers and Students.” Nate Trainor will also be on hand to share his powerful and moving story, entitled “My Journey to Freedom through the Use of Facilitated Communication.”

Keynote speakers for the event will be Esmé Raji Codell and Mara Sapon-Shevin.

Esmé Raji Codell is an educator and the author of “Educating Esmé,” the tell-all diary of her first year of teaching in a Chicago Public School. She is also the author of the landmark resource guide “How to Get Your Child to Love Reading.” Her children’s books include the novel “Sahara Special,” which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly and won the International Reading Association Children's Book Award for Intermediate Fiction. She is the author of several other books for children that have earned praise and a strong and lively fan base including “Sing a Song of Tuna Fish,” “Diary of a Fairy Godmother,” “Hanukkah Shmanukkah” and “Vive la Paris.”

Dr. Mara Sapon-Shevin is a professor of inclusive education in the teaching and leadership department of the School of Education at Syracuse University. She is the author of over 250 books, book chapters and articles including “Because We Can Change the World: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperative, Inclusive Classrooms,” and “Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms.”  Sapon-Shevin’s work addresses timely and important issues of interest to every educator. She presents frequently on inclusive education, cooperative learning, social justice education, differentiated instruction, friendship, community building, school reform and teaching for diversity. She has served as an expert witness in several due-process hearings related to students with disabilities, supporting families who want their children fully included.

In addition to the keynote presentations, attendees will choose from among  25 sessions presented by the tri-state area’s best educators, including teachers from Dubuque Community Schools, Holy Family Catholic Schools, Galena Public Schools and from area agencies such as the Iowa Facilitated Communication Network and Inclusion Connection.  Vendors and area agencies such as ARK Advocates, Two By Two, Talk to Me Technologies  and the Mercy Autism Center will also be on hand to share information and resources. 

For more information about the conference and registration, contact Michele Vosberg, assistant professor of education, at or (563)588-6631.

Media requesting more information can contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.


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