Interim Director of the School of Education and Associate Professor Max Frazier was invited to two significant events in the month of February — the Jardine Film Festival and the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) conference in Topeka.
Jardine Stem and Career Explorations Academy presented the Jardine film festival Feb. 13. Frazier was invited by seventh grade teacher and Newman alumna Sarah Forster.
The event was the first film festival Jardine Middle School had put together. Seventh graders were divided into teams and were given a choice of doing a film from five different subjects, including STEM, poaching and clean water. Each team had to do research and gather information and make a 3-minute film about their chosen topic.
Frazier explained, “It was obvious that they had done a lot of research and they had used a lot of technology. It was interesting because some of them created and introduced the characters (who) told the story. Some of the films that I saw basically had created sheets and they would just turn the page as there was narration, and for others it was sort of a free-form acting thing and pretty hard to follow, so they were all very different.”
Frazier continued, “I was really glad that I went because … it was nice to see Sarah Forster. This is her sixth year at that school and she is doing very well and I think she is very happy there. She’s doing a real good job with those kids. It was interesting (also) because I found not only Forster but another young lady who had gone through my program who has taught there for four years and then I learned that the school principal had been my student when I was a middle school teacher at the beginning of my career 35 years ago. I guess it’s a small world in education.”
Frazier also attended the KEEN conference in Topeka Feb. 15-16, which included a special lunch and awards program at which the Teachers of Promise for spring 2018 were recognized. Newman students Jamie Hatfield in the elementary early childhood program and Jonathan Pham in secondary education in biology were recognized along with other Teachers of Promise from teacher preparation programs across the state.
Throughout the conference teachers from all over the state prepared presentations and shared resources, techniques and ideas for teachers to take back to the classroom with them.
Frazier added, “The next morning they had a session in which the commissioner of education did a little presentation and then they did a community conversation about the changes in education. Right now in the state of Kansas, the state Board of Education is working on a program to redefine what education is all about. So that morning session was to help all these new teachers who are just starting their careers understand some of what they are trying to do.”