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Educators Rising National Conference

The Blue Valley CAPS Teacher Education National Presentation team of Megan Andrievk, Breanna Clark, Savannah Gorman, and Kate Stalcup flew from Kansas City to Phoenix, AZ on June 23 to attend the National Educators Rising Conference. Accompanied by instructor Tammy Fry and co-chaperone Susan Schuckman, enrichment teacher at Blue Valley’s Timber Creek Elementary School, they excitedly and confidently embarked on an adventure! Armed with their Microsoft Surfaces, they quickly connected to WiFi and began to put the finishing touches on their presentation The Young and the Techless: The Daily Drama of the Digital Divide and to make final preparations for their competitions: Megan-Interview and Non-Core Subject Teaching Careers, Breanna and Savannah-Impromptu Speaking, and the team of Kate and Savannah-Researching Learning Challenges.

Megan placed 8th in the National Top 10 in Interviewing! We are so proud of all of our team as they competed against students from other states, most of whom had already been through local, regional, and state competitions before competing nationally.

Asked to present two concurrent sessions, our team presented on Saturday and on Monday. Both times, they embarked on a new adventure as they presented from Ms. Fry’s phone! With the help of an external speaker, they produced a powerful multi-media presentation on equity in the classroom and educational technology tools for teachers and students.

We were fortunate to have one of our Kansas state supporters at the conference. Idalia Shuman, Kansas State Director of Teaching and Learning, was there to support us and cheer us on. We also found time to connect with another Kansas group from Gardner High School who also came to the conference to present, network, and learn. In addition, we were able to network with others from the CAPS Nationwide Network, from Washington, MO and from Bentonville, AR.

In addition to presenting and competing, we were able to participate in some interesting and memorable UBER adventures, eat some great food, make some great friends, and learn to handle the heat (literally) when power went down one afternoon at the Convention Center and the hotel. We also heard inspirational talks from recognized, successful educators as they spoke from their hearts about the status of students, teachers, and education in general, and we spent a fun night on the campus of Arizona State University and another in the town of Scottsdale, AZ.

All in all, we had a great bonding trip and had the chance to network with some other great practicing teachers and future teachers. We will miss our seniors Megan and Savannah but know that they will continue their Educators Rising legacies at Kansas State and at Johnson County Community College and also continue to work with us at CAPS as we welcome our returning group and our new students in our program. We also look to Breanna and Kate to provide continuing leadership for us all! There are already plans being made for next year’s national conference which will be held in Orlando, FL, at Disney.

As the team returned to the CAPS facility on the night of June 27, tired from the week’s activities, they realized that what they had just experienced would be a life-changing memory forever. Though we all now go somewhat our separate ways, we will always hold in common our goals and experiences from the 2017 National Educators Rising Conference in Phoenix.

Thanks, team, for making this conference one to remember! And, thank you for representing your CAPS colleagues in a most professional and positive way!