Barbara Gruener, nationally known author and character coach will speak at Alverno College on June 16. Her morning keynote address is part of an annual conference on school transformation and character education entitled “Everyday Heroes: Transforming Schools through Character.” Gruener, who strives to help educators make strong connections while improving school climate, will speak on empathy, compassion and kindness in building character.
Scott Shickler, a personal empowerment expert, will deliver a keynote address over lunch. During his talk he will share how using the 7 Mindsets can improve school culture and increase academic achievement. His unique social emotional learning program focuses on increasing student resilience and self-determination.
The 12th annual character education conference will include breakout sessions led by national and local experts in the field. Some of the topics covered include cyber teen, restorative justice, building relationships, mindfulness, improving learning, toxic classrooms and building character and leadership skills. School administrators, counselors, K-12 teachers, pupil services professionals, coaches, school board members, parents and community leaders are encouraged to register. The conference is sponsored by the School District of South Milwaukee in partnership with Alverno College and the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership (WCEP). The School District of South Milwaukee has been recognized as a State School District of Character by WCEP. For more information or to register, please visit www.alverno.edu/characterconference.
On June 15, thirteen Wisconsin schools will be recognized as a State School of Character or for their Promising Practice, a best practice award in the field of character education. They include Brown Deer Middle/High School, Meyer Middle School (River Falls), Pleasant Prairie Elementary School, Westlawn Elementary School (Cedarburg), Greenwood Elementary School (River Falls), Amherst Middle School, Capitol West Academy (Milwaukee), Rockfield Elementary (Germantown), School District of South Milwaukee, St. Monica School (Whitefish Bay), Westside Elementary (River Falls), West Milwaukee Intermediate, and Youth Initiative High School (Viroqua).
Alverno Presents, the performing arts series of Alverno College, will conclude its 56-year history on Saturday, April 30 with The Jones Family Singers. The final performance will take place at the Pitman Theatre at 8 p.m.
Made up of five sisters, two brothers and their father, The Jones Family Singers have been tearing up churches and festivals for over two decades. The Wall Street Journal declared them “modern practitioners of a long musical tradition … infusing their joyful, reverent songs with elements of vintage soul and R&B.” Fans of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Vintage Trouble will find a hip-shaking and spiritually uplifting workout at the core of their gospel music. Both Rolling Stone and NPR called them “a must-see act” at SXSW 2014.
Over the years, the program has carved out a niche for itself bringing contemporary dance, world music, jazz and avant garde performances to the Pitman Theatre stage, and it has garnered both local and national acclaim. “Under the visionary leadership of Sr. Laura Lampe and then David Ravel, Alverno Presents has become amongst the most remarkable university-based performing arts presenters in the nation,” said Aaron Greenwald, executive director of Duke Performances at Duke University. “Alverno Presents will be missed – it was the rare performing arts series committed to engaging its patrons while striving to foreground the world’s finest performing arts.”
Tickets for Saturday’s show are still available for $30 at http://alvernopresents.alverno.edu or at the Alverno Presents box office at 414-382-6044. The box office is open Monday-Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and on the day of the performance from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
History of Alverno Presents
In 1960, Sister Laura Lampe, SSSF, founded Alverno’s Society of Fine Arts (SOFA), the precursor to Alverno Presents. Lampe, who taught in Alverno’s music department, used her knowledge and contacts within the fine arts community to contract world renowned performers for the Alverno theater stage. Her vision to bring quality fine arts programming to a smaller Milwaukee venue has lived on for nearly 60 years. Some of the artists Lampe brought to Alverno include Merce Cunningham, Robin McCabe, Jose Limon, Joshua Bell, Odetta, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Classes will be cancelled until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at Alverno College for its 16th annual Community Day. The day of service is set aside each year so that students, faculty and staff can volunteer at over a dozen locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Some of this year’s sites include South Shore Beach, Hunger Task Force Farm, Urban Ecology Center and Stepping Stones Farms.
“Community Day gives our students, faculty and staff an opportunity to come together and have a positive influence on the community,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “Service is at the heart of our mission, and Community Day is just one example of how our campus gives back. At the end of the day, our students not only make a difference, but they themselves are changed.”
Since Community Day began, more than 5,400 students, faculty and staff have volunteered more than 15,200 hours of service to the Milwaukee community. This year, more than 400 people are expected to take part in Community Day.
In an increasingly rare opportunity to hear the first-hand accounts of Holocaust survivors, Alverno College will hold its 15th annual Holocaust Remembrance Service, the largest non-Jewish gathering of this type in the Midwest. The service remembers the six million Jews who perished, and honors those who resisted and survived. This year’s speaker is Holocaust survivor Agnes Schwartz, who became a “hidden child.” The service will take place on Wednesday, April 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Pitman Theatre, and will include a talk back. Afterwards, copies of her book, “A Roll of the Dice: A Memoir of a Hungarian Survivor” will be available for purchase, and Schwartz will sign copies. The event is free and open to the public.
Schwartz was born in Hungary in 1933. When she was 10, German forces occupied her town and her family was forced into the ghetto. Their housekeeper, who was not Jewish, smuggled her out and claimed the child was her niece. Enrolled in a Catholic school, Schwartz became a “hidden child,” living in the open but never knowing if her family would ever be reunited. Her father was saved by Raoul Wallenberg and hidden in one of his safe houses. Schwartz and her father would later reunite and move to the U.S. Her mother died at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Her grandparents, an aunt and an uncle also perished.
For those who are unable to attend the service, a live stream will be available at http://www.alverno.edu/holocaustremembrance/.
Alverno College will honor Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond with the Sister Joel Read Outstanding Educator Award at a ceremony on April 7. The award recognizes educational leaders who have brought significant improvements to education through their leadership, practice and scholarship. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and includes a reception, dinner and award presentation. It is only the second time anyone has been given this award, and it also happens to coincide with Sr. Joel Read’s 90th birthday.
Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network. She served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose report, “What Matters Most: Teaching and America’s Future,” was named one of the most influential reports in U.S. education and led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. She was also named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the past decade.
The program includes a discussion moderated by Alan Borsuk, Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University. The conversation, which will include Darling-Hammond and Patricia Luebke, Dean of the School of Education at Alverno, will touch on three themes: How a city like Milwaukee can best prepare teachers for our schools, how schools can build performance-based assessment into their evaluation process, and what major policy issues impacting education the next United States President will need to address.
Read, who served as Alverno College’s president for 35 years, has long been recognized as one of the nation’s leading educational innovators. Under her leadership, Alverno developed its revolutionary abilities-based curriculum and assessment-as-learning teaching methods, which educators from around the world have studied for over 40 years. The award is named to honor the outstanding contributions Read has made to the field of education.
The winner of the Sister Joel Read Outstanding Educator Award is decided by a national panel of education experts comprised of the following members:
• Dr. Patricia Luebke, dean, Alverno College School of Education
• Dr. Nancy Athanasiou, professor, Alverno College School of Education
• Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, Marquette Law School and education columnist for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
• Ricardo Diaz, executive director, United Community Center and member of the Alverno College Board of Trustees
• Dr. Patricia Albjerg Graham, dean and professor emerita, Harvard Graduate School of Education
• Dr. Pat Hutchings, senior scholar, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
• Jamie Merisotis, president, Lumina Foundation
• Ellen Moir, founder and CEO, New Teacher Center
• Tashia Morgridge, co-founder and president, TOSA Foundation
• Mary Staten, incoming director of Clinical Placement, Assessment & Licensing, Alverno College School of Education