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Beversluis Forum Features Bernard Taylor
February 4, 2008

The Beversluis Forum at Calvin College will host "Exploring the Faces of Educational Diversity" for area teachers on February 19 at the Prince Conference Center on campus.

The 1-5:15 pm conference will include a keynote address by Dr. Bernard Taylor, the second-year superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Schools. He will speak from 1-2 pm and will address the challenges and opportunities associated with teaching in schools with increasingly diverse student populations.

Breakout sessions will be on a variety of topics.

Two teachers at Buchanan Elementary in Grand Rapids -- Peter Ippel, a Calvin grad early in his teaching career, and Yolanda Valenzuela, a 28-year teacher -- will speak about what it takes to be a successful teacher in a diverse school.

Ashanti Bryant, principal of Oakdale Christian Elementary in Grand Rapids, will be part of a presentation with Connie Ankoviak of St. Andrew's in Grand Rapids on educational diversity in Christian schooling, while Kathy DeJong of the Potter's House School in Grand Rapids and Tony Vander Ark of Holland Christian High School will speak on constructing and using an ethnically diverse curriculum.

And two Calvin professors -- Susan Hasseler and Johanna Kuyvenhoven -- will share their stories of collaborating with international schools in several African countries.

The event is organized by a committee of the Calvin education department and funded by an endowment at Calvin from Henry and Gertrude Beversluis. Henry Beversluis was a professor of education at Calvin for 13 years.

Committee member Don Oppewal, a professor of education emeritus, notes that funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis to pay for a half-day substitute for any teacher who wishes to attend the conference. Contact Al Boerema at 616-526-6036 or for more details on that funding.

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