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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


New York Times bestselling author to speak at College of Education’s First Lecture

FL invite 7.25.14

The College of Education will host its annual First Lecture with Ron Clark. Courtesy of College of Education

The UH College of Education’s annual First Lecture will be given by New York Times bestselling author Ron Clark August 22 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Cullen Performance Hall.

“I’m thrilled that we booked such an acclaimed and relevant speaker for this event,” Teacher Education Program Director Amber Thompson said. “He’s a perfect choice for ushering in a great year for our future teachers.”

Every year the College of Education invites a First Lecture speaker with a compelling personal story that exemplifies perseverance in a life dedicated to the service of others. Recent speakers include Bonnie Dunbar, a former astronaut and current UH faculty member and Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal and Rhodes Scholar.

“I think it’s great that someone of his stature is coming,” COE sophomore Melanie Lofaro said. “It gives UH some good exposure and I think our students can benefit from his lecture.”

Clark has been instrumental to the growth of the American education system; his groundbreaking programs that include working with minority, lower-class students in rural North Carolina and Harlem, New York have attracted national attention. Clark has been featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah) for his successful strategies  as well as novels about educating middle-school children.

“Mr. Clark has really transformed schools and communities,” Thompson said. “He brings impressive experiences, but he’s also a great speaker who will impact people who hope to use creativity to change the world.”

In 2006 Clark founded the Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school in Atlanta that challenges American curriculum with innovative teaching methods that center around travel and international experience.

“We tell our students that as teachers, family development specialists and health educators they can change the world,” said College of Education Dean Robert McPherson. “Mr. Clark will share with us his path for making a difference in the world.”

The privately-funded institution offers students in grades five through eight the opportunity to learn by travelling the world; students will eventually visit six of the seven continents by the time they graduate.

“Mr. Clark has challenged himself and his students to push far beyond the expectations of others,” McPherson said. “His personal story is compelling and the stories he will tell about his students’ accomplishments will be inspiring and motivating.”

In addition to his achievements in education and writing, Clark is a renowned public speaker. His story of teaching students in Harlem has inspired people across the nation.

“Our students are passionate about changing the world,” Thompson said. “I think Ron Clark is the perfect choice to help inspire them to do that. They’ll come away from the event energized about choosing a career in education.”

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