by Danica Mathes, Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP, and Chair of Leadership Dallas Class of 2018 Education Day Planning Committee
UNT Dallas President Bob Mong detailed his school’s innovative approach, followed by an inspiring leadership conversation about social responsibility with Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael Sorrell.
We proceeded to discuss some of the biggest challenges Dallas is facing from cradle to career in our quest to make all learners future ready. For example:
After getting an overview of many of these and other issues from Commit!, we touched on specific issues related to early childhood education, school choice and workforce readiness. Our ultimate goal is to make sure all students have the tools and opportunities to make them successful – starting with setting the foundation for kindergarten readiness as well as achieving success throughout school and beyond to creative productive members of society.
It quickly became clear that issues affecting education are interdisciplinary and interdependent – ranging from poverty and safety to transportation and housing – and that there is no lightning bolt or magic bullet that will easily solve these problems. However, as more and more individuals and organizations collaborate and combine their efforts, these problems are being addressed in meaningful and impactful ways.
The highlight of the day was taking a third grade math class with distinguished teacher Eric Hale and 14 of his students from David G. Burnet Elementary. The LD class and Mr. Hale’s students also had the opportunity to tour the Big Thought Dallas City of Learning Mobile Tech XPerience rolling STEM classroom.
Prior to Education Day, the LD class had the opportunity to tour the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy and the Thomas C. Marsh Preparatory Academy. We were so moved by these amazing schools that we displayed our own school spirit and raised more than $1,250 for much-needed supplies at these schools. LD ’18 is also collecting donations and providing experiences to benefit the Burnet Elementary students.
The Leadership Dallas Class of 2018 was deeply impacted by the fact that educational opportunities lack equity, leaving many students unprepared for the future and ultimately harming the Dallas Region. However, we left with the knowledge that real solutions – both traditional and progressive – exist to address these issues. We are inspired and committed to contribute individually, as well as through our companies and nonprofit organizations, to help advance a more equitable system to make all students ready for the future and able to contribute to our region.
Leadership Dallas class days are planned by LD class members. The members of the LD Education Planning Committee are Alicia Hall, Danica Mathes (Committee Chair), Jeremy Falke, Joanna Ridgway, John Ofenloch, Kyle Cavin, Lance Currie and Lisa Tran. The committee was also supported by LD Curriculum Advisors Christina Hanger, Damian Sanders and Justin Coppedge.
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