Dr. Rosalind Osgood (School Board Member, District 5), U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and Dillard High School Principal Cassandra Robinson.
By Juliet Gray-Williams
As a member of Broward Alliance of Black School Educators (BABSE) and a dedicated educator, I had the marvelous opportunity to spend our teacher’s planning day as a proud participant of this conference being held on Dillard High School campus better known as the “Panther’s Den.” After my entrance I traveled over to the Cafeteria for a delicious hot breakfast.
We teachers rarely have a decent breakfast most mornings. We’re off to work in our classrooms.
Accomplished Principal Casandra Robinson, as well as the Vice President of BABSE, welcomed all participants to her campus. BABSE’S 2019 SLICE Conference was planned in collaboration with the Department of Equity & Diversity and Dillard High School 6th-12th. The SLICE Acronyms are: S-Social Emotional; L-Leadership; I-Instruction & Curriculum; C-Community; E-Equity.
District 5 School board member, Dr. Rosalind Osgood, sounded the “Battle Cry” as she shared the district’s timeline of challenging events and our resiliency walking through those turbulent times under the business expertise and leadership of our Superintendent Robert Runcie. Dr. Osgood introduced our Supt. arousing the crowd to a standing ovation.
Our dexterous Supt. Runcie, whose also President of BABSE thanked all for their support and offered his humbled appreciation for all who rendered support towards him. He shared how grateful he is to be allowed to press onward as our Superintendent. His desire is for perseverance, healing for our district that we continue to pray for comfort and peace.
Chief Office of School’s Performance and Accountability, Dr. Valerie Wanza, expressed her commitment toward our schools. Thanked all for their presence.
BABSE extended 3 Leadership Awards to:
US Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, founder of 5000 Role Models of Excellence; Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Maurice Woods. His mission is to “continue my spiritual growth, to love and attend to my wife, children, and family as well as to help build high-performing organizations that are better equipped to deliver greater social impact” and Chief Student Support Initiative Recovery, Michaelle “Mickey” Pope. She is retiring this year after 31 years of extraordinary work. I must share my experience firsthand with this extraordinary educator. She was instrumental in speaking with our staff while I taught at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. This was a critical time for us, and she encouraged me to stick to teaching. I was ready to throw in the towel because of unfortunate circumstances. She shared with me her journey from New York and recognized her purpose from similar circumstances. I am forever grateful for those seasoned educators. We must continue to live out their legacies because our students need us.
There were two dynamic keynote speakers: Guy A. Wheeler, CEO, Guy Wheeler Group, native son of Fort Lauderdale, and experience Consultant from his background with jail and outpatient drug treatment programs. We have great respect for him for he has been a powerful force with those residents here who have been impacted by his gifts throughout the years. We applauded him as he stated,” Gov. DeSantis, teachers just don’t want to hear praise the need their raise.” We all can agree with Mr. Wheeler.
His message that hit home was how we view the teens as “THUGS.” They’re not. The acronym for it was: T-Truamatized; H-humane; U Unable: G-Grieve. These kids are unable to grieve through all the issues they are dealing with in their young lifetime. What’s needed is listening to them, love and Spirituality.
The solution to their dilemma “GOD” and that’s simply Good Orderly Direction!!
Roland Martin, Haitian American Journalist and Founder of #RolandMartinUnafiltered, a savvy speaker, electrified the audience with his speech “This Means War.” He walked us down memory lane illustrating the many obstacles he has observed here in America. The urgency for us to come together, being advocates for the struggles of our young people. He made it loud and clear for those who aren’t equipped to fight this struggle need to go. We must be committed and created and enthused about the business of educating our students.
These powerful speakers left the audience empowered and inspired to continue to stick with it, as well as the importance of what our profession does each day investing in the lives of our students.
Dr. Pedro Noguera, prominent Professor, Director for the Center of Transformation of Schools at UCLA, researcher and advocate of efforts aimed at fighting poverty, was a presenter at one of the sessions entitled: Building the Capacity of Schools to Meet Student Needs through an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Approach.
Also in attendance were retired Honorable Judge Ilona Holmes, President of the University of Fort Lauderdale and special performances by Dillard DCA Dance Program and Jazz Ensemble.
Following the program, we continued two the sessions that were planned with expert presenters led by teachers and aspiring and current Administrators.
The VIP luncheon followed the sessions sponsored by Renaissance Learning in the Blackbox Theater. The delicious luncheon was catered by Joya Coleman and staff.
“This was a rewarding day that was well spent before going out to a safe and restful Spring Break. I look forward each year to the expanded level of expertise being organized.; job well done SLICE Planning Committee,’ stated Juliet Gray-Williams.
Let us be reminded in Galations 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It’s worth continuing to do good my fellow educators because the blessings are coming…be assured a harvest of blessings is coming!!
If you have not participated in this fabulous event, I encourage you to do so next year. NABSE is the National Alliance of Black School Educators. If you are interested in more information visit : www.babse.org