State education superintendent gives keynote for 10th annual Sycamore Educators Day

November 4 2006

Suellen Reed, Indiana's superintendent of public instruction, infused energy into a crowd of more than 250 teachers and administrators at Indiana State University's 10th annual Sycamore Educators Day Nov. 4 at Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Dedicated teachers from throughout the state of Indiana took a day out of their busy schedules to get some much needed professional development and to take advantage of a wide variety of workshops on technology, best practices and leadership challenges in education.

The event is sponsored annually by Indiana State's College of Education and the Office of Alumni Affairs, and is underwritten by Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans, Inc.

"Not many institutions continue to make this type of commitment to their alumni and to the profession of teaching," said Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State. "It is a marvelous program, and I've been proud to be a part of it and observe the impact it's had on teachers throughout the state year after year."

During his introduction of Reed, Maynard commented on her "dedication" to education, saying that she "never waivers from a decision. No matter what she decides, it's always based on the best interests of the child."

Reed discussed many topics during her half-hour address to a packed room in HMSU's Dede I, including all-day Kindergarten, the impact of poverty on learning, the value of early childhood education, keeping up with technology in the classrooms, and test scores, particularly how our country "lives and dies" by them.

She shared a story about a little boy in Avon who prepared to take her on a tour of his school after one of her many presentations around the state. She noticed right away that he had two black eyes and asked how it happened. The boy said, "My dad and I were playing football." To which Reed replied, "Oh, and you caught the ball with your face." The boy responded, "No, it was the tree I ran into that was the problem."

"I'm afraid we're going to be so busy keeping our eyes on the ball," Reed said, "that we're going to forget about the tree in the process and forget about the balance that's needed in our curriculum. Math, art, music, sciences -they're all tied together. It's important that we don't hit the tree, and that we make sure the kids don't hit it, either."

Brad Balch, dean of ISU's College of Education, said a driving force behind bringing Reed to campus was her support of the P-16 Plan for Improving Student Achievement, which gives each educational sector an important part to play in ensuring student success from beginning to end. This includes at-home nurturing and education, early childhood education, elementary, middle, high school and college, all working together to ensure high levels of success.

"Dr. Reed has been long-time advocate for connecting K-12 education to higher education," Balch said. "Our accreditation models and work toward building a culture of assessment causes us to ensure that K-12 students grow and show achievement gains as a result of our teacher preparation efforts. If our efforts at ISU are not informed by our K-12 colleagues, we cannot survive."

"This is where we get our strength, our enthusiasm," Reed said about professional development at events like ISU's Sycamore Educators Day. "I love to go out and visit the schools, talk to the teachers and administrators, and talk to colleges and universities to see how we're building bridges."

Besides Reed's address, the day was full of exciting professional development opportunities and workshops on topics such as "All Aboard the Money Bus," "Math Manipulatives, Storybooks and Games!" "Building Parenting Skills," "LiveText: A Partner in K-12 Standards-Based Assessment" and many others. A complete schedule from the day may be found at

"This was our tenth opportunity to invite friends and alumni back to campus to reflect on the practice of education and the profession of education," Balch said.

For more information about future events for educators at Indiana State University or about related partnership or outreach opportunities, contact ISU's College of Education at (812) 237-2888, or send an email to


Suellen Reed, superintendent of public instruction for the State of Indiana goes through the Money Bus during Indiana State University's 10th annual Sycamore Educators Day Nov. 4. The Money Bus is an outreach effort of ISU's Networks Financial Institute and the College of Business. It contains a variety of hands-on activities to teach kids in grades 3 to 5 about financial literacy concepts such as saving, giving and budgeting.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Brad Balch, dean, College of Education, (812) 237-2888 or or Kevin Bolinger, assistant professor, elementary and early childhood education/special education, (812) 237-2884 or

WRITER: Maria Greninger, associate director, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or

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Suellen Reed, Indiana's superintendent of public instruction, infused energy into a crowd of more than 250 teachers and administrators at Indiana State University's 10th annual Sycamore Educators Day Nov. 4 at Hulman Memorial Student Union.

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