MURRAY, Ky. — More than 600 regional educators gathered at Murray State University to attend the annual College and Career Readiness Summit, held June 14-15. This record-breaking number of attendees hailed from 41 school systems and districts in Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois.
Participants included faculty, staff and administrators from every stage in the field. While some attendees were in their first or second year of teaching, others had decades of experience to their names. This diverse age range allowed for ideal collaborations and an invaluable exchanging of ideas.
There were 110 presenters and co-presenters at the event including Kentucky Commissioner of Education Dr. Stephen L. Pruitt, New York Times best-selling author Dave Burgess, University faculty and staff and many other educators from across the region. The nearly 150 training sessions offered during the two-day period addressed topics such as creating an empowering classroom culture, thinking outside of the box in terms of teaching techniques, inspiring creativity among students and implementing new technology for increased efficiency and improved learning.
By attending the summit, participants were able to receive up to six PD/EILA credit hours per day. In total, this training can account for half of the 24 professional development hours required annually by Kentucky school districts. Though admittance to many events of this nature would cost upwards of $300 per person, several organizations collaborated to make the summit free of charge, resulting in nearly $181,000 in savings to participants.
Kem Cothran, coordinator of Murray State University’s Teacher Quality Institute, explained that the event is one of the premier services offered by the entity.
“We’re always focused on our mission of promoting excellence in teaching,” Cothran described. “When educators empower one another by sharing their knowledge and experience, it creates a ripple effect that can be seen not only in the classrooms but throughout entire communities.”
This invaluable opportunity was afforded to participants with the help of several sponsors, including Murray State’s College of Education and Human Services, Teacher Quality Institute, Kentucky Academy of Technology Education, Murray State’s Offices of Development and Regional Outreach, Kentucky Middle School Association and the Fund for Transforming Education.