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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
AAIE Celebrates 50 Years
By Tiffani Razavi, TIE Staff Writer 23-Feb-16
Ron Clark, Founder and Director of Ron Clark Academy, inspired the audience with his dynamic keynote address "Move your bus." ________________________________________________________________________ The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) opened its historic 50th annual conference in Atlanta on February 8. The theme, "Interconnected and Inclusive," was celebrated by enthusiastically received performances of the Atlanta International School Taiko Drumming Group and the energetic and captivating Essential Step Team of the Ron Clark Academy, and briefly introduced by various speakers. Dr. Monique Seefried, French Legion of honor recipient and Board Chair of CASIE, highlighted the special relevance of Atlanta's history to the theme of the conference in terms of its rapid expansion and the consequent diversity of its population, its emergence as a center for international schools and education, and most significantly its connection with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She reminded participants of the weighty responsibility of educators to reflect on the history of international education in connection with the two world wars and the commitment to prevent future global conflict. In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Keith Miller, Director of the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State, used the golden anniversary of AAIE as a golden opportunity to briefly review the 50 years of its history. The new AAIE Executive Director, Yolanda Murphy-Barrena, acknowledged the global family that has come into being through AAIE, inviting conference participants to visit displays surveying the history of the organization, and to talk with longstanding AAIE members about the legacy of 50 years of experience in international education. Ron Clark, Founder and Director of Ron Clark Academy, inspired the audience with his dynamic keynote address "Move your bus," urging participants to use passion, rigor, and relevance to fuel schools. At breakneck speed, jumping from table to table, Clark described his own path to realization of the need for passionate education with a global orientation, and his experience of how high expectations can transform any child to reach the highest levels of achievement and contribution as world citizens.
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