June 20, 2018

Skyward Canvas Outlook

IB Conference of the Americas
IB Conference of the Americas

IB Conference of the Americas

Nearly 1700 people registered for the 2015 IB Conference of the Americas, with over 1900 in total attendance. It was indeed the largest IB gathering of any type in the 47 year history of International Baccalaureate.  The attendees came from 37 countries, with the USA (1400+), Canada (150) and Mexico (50) representing the three largest contingents.

At the conference this year, North Central High School Freshman Tatum Parker was one of only four student speakers, sharing her journey as a two-time cancer survivor, and the community action that she is taking through her non-profit organization called Tatum’s Bags of Fun. With her family alongside her, Tatum heads up an organization that provides backpacks filled with games and electronics for pediatric cancer patients who are undergoing treatment.

Superintendent Dr. Nikki Woodson was also a featured speaker at the conference, sharing her experience of leading an all-IB district in Washington Township. “Washington Township continues to be a leader in paving the way for other districts who are embarking on IB district-wide authorization,” said Dr. Woodson. “We are both proud and honored to share our experiences and successes as an IB district for ALL students.”

The conference program was planned around the theme “Educating for Life,”  with the emphasis being on the non-cognitive skills that IB programs seek to engender in our learners. In the pursuit of academically rigorous curricula and assessment, we sometimes lose sight of the importance of recognizing and reinforcing attributes such as motivation, self-discipline, determination and grit. Through Tatum’s presentation, and the presentations of others, the conference delivered information on why these skills are important to student success.

Below is a listing of all of the General session speakers:

Paul Tough, journalist and author of How Children Succeed
Carmen Agra-Deedy, noted children’s author and mother of two IB graduates, speaking on her personal
struggles with learning disabilities and her family’s story of educational advancement Eduardo Saenz de Cabezon, Spanish mathematician and IB Diploma graduate
Sir Ken Robinson, noted authority on education and creativity
Featured speakers (sample)
David Hawley, IB Chief Academic Officer
Ric Hess, President of the American Enterprise Institute and author Cage Busting Teaching
Stephan Turnipseed, President Emeritus of Lego Education North America
Stephen Pruitt, Achieve, Inc., principal author of Next Generation Science Standards
Daniel Chorney, Canadian psychologist, IB Diploma graduate, and expert of stress reduction
Erahm Christopher, Canadian filmmaker and activist
Nikki Woodson, Superintendent of all-IB district in Indiana
Kyle Westbrook, Executive Director of IB Programs for the 80+ IB programs in Chicago Public Schools
Mairead Barry, Registrar, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Kedra Ishop, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Michigan
Debra Von Bargen, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Stanford University
Student speakers,
Yuanling Yuan, Junior, Yale University, IB at Victoria Park Collegiate
Leland Shelton, Harvard Law School, IB at Baltimore City College
Tatum Parker, rising 10th grade MYP student, North Central High School
Marlen Mendoza, University of Iowa, IB at Prosser Career Academy

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