Morehouse and Rogers Teach 700+ Children about the Olympics and Fencing


The Enthusiastic Children at Assumption School!
The Enthusiastic Children at Assumption School!

During school presentations over the past two days we addressed over 700 children.  Overall, we have spoken to over 3000 students at 10+ schools and programs since we’ve been back from Beijing  The schedule has been particularly packed the last week with school visits, events and now training for the upcoming season as well.   There are so many things I want to accomplish on multiple fronts and its making for some long days!


On Tuesday, I woke up early and had a hard work out before driving up to Danbury, Connecticut where I spoke to students at the Wooster school.  I then hoped back in my car and drove to Manhattan to join a USOC fundraising event and then met up with Jason afterwards at an event at the Time Warner building to debrief. 


Wednesday also began very early, this time with a drive to Peekskill, NY with Jason where the two of us gave 5 presentations at multiple schools, the town Library and then at the Peekskill Fencing Center.  With littie time ot spare, we sped back to the city to participate in an event with the Queen of Sweden before ending the night up at my friend’s birthday party at the HK Lounge.(You can read more about the events from Jason!)   


Jason talks to students about reaching their goals

Despite being tired from all the running around, speaking to children definitely keeps me grounded and motivated to continue to forge ahead to promote our sport.  Whenever we speak at a school, it’s really amazing and such a high to see the excitement in the student’s, not just for the Olympics, but also for fencing. 


As a former teacher, it’s also just a blast to walk into school buildings. (I’m in my element!) 


We continue to talk a lot about setting the right big goals and also about discovering your unique strengths and applying to them to help you succeed. I hope we’re making an impact!


I want to send an amazing thank you to the students, staff and teachers at Wooster, Peekskill Middle and Assumption School for showing us such great hospitality.  Our day in Peekskill was arranged by local fencing coach Alex Acevado who is just opening a new club facility and doing an amazing job promoting the sport locally! Thanks for everything Alex and best of luck with your club!

Coach Alex Acevado's students pose with us at the new club


Wendy Kopp, Joel Klein, Cami Anderson and David Levine Speak at the Teach For America Alumni Summit

NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein addresses TFA Alumni at the Summit

On Saturday, the Midtown Marriot in NYC hosted the Teach For America Alumni Summit which brought together close to 1,000 alumni from the Teach For America program.  It was a gathering of teachers, school leaders, politicians and others who are dedicated to fighting the great problem of educational inequality for our country’s poor. Some of my heroes spoke including TFA founder Wendy Kopp, KIPP founder David Levine, School Superintendent Cami Anderson as well as Chancellor Joel Klein who is slowly but surely bringing accountability and structure to the NYC school system addressed the assembled to share and celebrate progress, share lessons learned and inspire continued effort.

Members of My TFA "Family" Romina, Anne and Nell

It’s always good to re-connect with old friends and feel inspired about the incredible efforts of so many to close the gap in student learning that exists in our country.  My favorite moment was Cami Anderson’s talking about how “good ideas are a dime a dozen,” but what really creates change is people’s getting in there and doing the hard work.  While DC Schools Chancelor and TFA Alum Michelle Rhee was not in attendance, her name wasn’t far from everyone’s lips, as she is fighting to change teacher tenure rules in DC so that failing teachers cannot simply remain in their jobs because they have been there for a long time. 

Worth checking out this article in the NY Times: