Alumnae to Hold Education Conference

January 13, 2016

A group of Mary Baldwin alumnae are joining forces to host an education symposium for students and recent alumni on campus February 26–27 to provide assistance to pre-service teachers at Mary Baldwin that may be helpful as they enter the classroom.

The conference will introduce topics ranging from positive behavior interventions and supports, infusing trauma-informed practices into the classroom, and best practices for personalizing learning for an individual learner’s needs. Organizers hope to foster a culture of learning, help students secure teaching positions, and be prepared when they begin their work.

“I’ve found that many new or pre-service teachers are ill-equipped when they enter the classroom. Many are well-versed in theory, but find it difficult to transition these things into practice when they enter these classroom,” said Amanda Lynch ’02, who is organizing the conference.

Lynch is facilitator for behavioral support for Henrico County Public Schools, coaching teachers in the areas of classroom management, student engagement, and building relationships. Lynch previously served as an exceptional education teacher for 12 years with Richmond City Public Schools and worked as a behavioral specialist with Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Joining Lynch in presenting throughout the conference are 2002 classmates Sheyma Bautista, Meredith Carrington, Katie Fuñe, A’Leigh Hamner, Courtney Leard, Kylene Thompson, and KatySue Tillman, as well as Jada Brooks, Kiera Kimp ’15, Shaterika Parks ’10, and Kelly Tilton Elias ’05.

“[Holding the conference at Mary Baldwin] absolutely reflects on our high regard for our alma mater,” Lynch said. “I have served on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors in the past, served as a mentor through Ida B. Wells and Sista Friends programs, and have served as an active volunteer to recruit new students for many years. I would like to increase the overall efforts of alumnae/i to support the education programs at Mary Baldwin. It also provides an opportunity for pre-service teachers to network with those of us already in the field.”

While the College of Education is not an official sponsor of the conference, Dean Rachel Potter said the college welcomes the opportunity and is distributing the information to students, has arranged for room use at no charge, and is committed to having faculty advocate in their courses for students to attend.

“The College of Education is touched by the initiative of our alumni to organize and implement such a wonderful opportunity for our current teacher education students,” Potter said. “We are proud that our former students have become leaders in their own schools and that they feel their Mary Baldwin had a role in shaping their professional journey. The leadership, mentorship, and passion exhibited by these women exemplifies the College of Education’s commitment to preparing quality teachers for the field.

The education programs at Mary Baldwin are grounded in fostering leadership and this conference provides an example of the leadership and initiative taken by our alumni to inspire and motivate the next generation of teachers who will complete licensure programs here.”