January 2016




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Educators Attend 46th Disabilities Conference

By Beth Michaels

Three Seventh-day Adventist school educators represented the Columbia Union at the 46th annual Learning Disabilities Conference ( held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The union educators were able to attend the four-day conference as a result of support from the Commonweal Foundation, which assists numerous schools in servicing students with learning challenges.

Tracy Dawes Daniels, leaning specialist at Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) in Hamburg, Pa., and her assistant Lauren Anderson, along with Jen Song, learning specialist at Shenandoah Adventist Academy in New Market, Va., were among the seven educators across the North American Division to attend.

Conference attendees learned about the changes in the world of education that can benefit students. Some of the topics addressed related to students with disabilities and how they transition from high school to college.

“We also learned about new research in the field of neuropsychology as it relates to various disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, and emotional and behavioral disorders,” reported Daniels. “One thing that stood out to me was Richard LaVoie's keynote address in which he said the minute a teacher stops learning, that teacher becomes irrelevant, and that its not so much the information that we teach that is important, but how we teach students to find that information themselves.”

Attendees also got the rare opportunity to hear the story David Irons, Jr., defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons football team. Irons shared his own experiences of living with a learning disability, and how he struggled and learned to compensate enough to graduate from college.