"Education summit draws noted author, speaker"

"Sherryl Gunnels-Perry is very clear about what she’ll say at the upcoming education summit in Oak Harbor.“I’m going to talk about what’s going on,” she said.Gunnels-Perry, an author and national lecturer on education, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s “Every Child Can Reach the Summit” seminar and workshop slated for Sept. 23 at North Whidbey Middle School. Gunnels-Perry said today’s students need to have a higher level of education than students of the past in order to compete in a more competitive working world. Reaching that level, she said, will take not only higher standards in the classroom but also higher expectations and cooperation from parents and the community as well.“Students used to learn as much in the community as they did in school,” said Gunnels-Perry, reflecting on a time when kids could see more direct relationships between what they were learning in school and life in their community. “Many of today’s students don’t get an opportunity to make that connection.”Gunnels-Perry’s book “What In The World Is Going On?” explains how the demands, fast pace and rapid change of today’s world have put new pressures on students and the educational system. The book reviews the classic three “r’s” of reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic and shows how two more r’s, rigor and relevancy, can be used to teach them.The Oak Harbor summit is part of a national campaign called “America Goes Back To School,” which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The campaign seeks to build partnerships between families, schools and communities. This is the second year a summit has been held in Oak Harbor.“I highly encourage community members and business people, as well as parents, to come to the summit,” Gunnels-Perry said. “Only 35 percent of the population has a student at home. If only 35 percent of our people see a connection to our schools, we’re in trouble.”The local summit is sponsored by the PTA and the Oak Harbor School District. Other speakers and workshop presenters include Jerry Jenkins, superintendent of the Northwest Educational Service District 189; Wanda Lehman, regional director of the Washington State PTA; Linda Hendrickson, a national trainer on building parent partnerships; Head Start director Margy Miller; PTA program director Mary Kenfield; Dona Dausey, communications instructor at Skagit Valley College; and Cynthia Shelton, the Oak Harbor School District’s director of career and technical education.District Superintendent Rick Schulte will also present a draft of the district’s family/school partnerships policy.In addition to speeches and workshops, this year’s summit will end with a panel discussion including participants, audience members and district officials.-------------Every Child Can Reach the SummitDate: Saturday, Sept. 23Time: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.Place: North Whidbey Middle School. 67 N.E. Izett StreetCost: $10 for full day including box lunch. $15 per couple.For more information call 279-5020 or 240-0530 "

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