May 2, 2016
“CEI believes in elevating educators’ voices and we believe in empowered, passionate, and highly effective educators,” said CEI President and CEO Glenna Norvelle. “We modeled CEI’s Ed Talks after the popular TED Talks to give educators an opportunity to hear personal stories from inspiring and passionate Colorado educators and students.”
Filmed at the 2016 Colorado Healthy Schools Summit, four keynote speakers — a teacher, principal, high school senior, and counselor — shared how health and wellness has been a driving force behind their academic and social success:
“My students were not interested in learning at all. The majority of them were completely disengaged,” said Pagosa Springs Middle School fifth-grade math teacher Janae Ash. “I decided that I needed to be the best teacher I could be and if I didn’t want my students to give up – I shouldn’t give up either.” Ash thought about walking away from teaching, but instead created a plan to connect with every child.
“I come from a family of warriors — I come from a community of sacrifice,” said George Washington High School senior Haneen Badri. “In 1995, my parents and my three-year-old sister relinquished everything they knew and came to the United States. They hoped that my siblings and I would never struggle for the necessities of life like they have. In seventh grade is when I encountered the first trying period of time in my life. It was the year I started wearing a head scarf, committing myself to being a hijabi.”
Colorado’s 2015 Counselor of the Year Katrina Caldon-Ruggles asked a poignant question during her talk, “Why try? Maybe you’ve heard it from one of your students, or maybe you’ve heard it uttered from your own lips. It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times.” Surviving a challenging journey helped her find the answer to, “Why try?”
“I’m going to tell you my story, a story of cultural change, a story of hope and transformation, a story of defeat and perseverance, a story of how I came to realize the effects of physical activity, not only on my own learning, but as a catalyst for curriculum innovation,” said Red Hawk Elementary School Principal Cyrus Weinberger. Listen to Cyrus’ unique perspective on how physical activity affected his learning as a child and how he uses exercise as a motivator in his school.