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PTA Brings STEM Panel to Morgan Library

By Kelly Smith

Publication: Shore Publishing

Published September 03. 2012 4:00AM   Updated September 05. 2012 12:09PM

CLINTON - With Clinton students back for the 2012-'13 school year, the district-wide Clinton Parent Teacher Association (PTA) wants parents, teachers, and community members to get involved in the latest education news. First up: a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) panel on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in The Morgan School library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

"The PTA looks forward to another exciting year providing resources to parents and teachers in the community," PTA President Andrea Reu said. "I can't think of a more powerful way to launch the new school year than this."

The STEM panel is the last program of the Clinton Community Summer Book Read formed by PTA member and Program Coordinator Kathleen Skoczen and Morgan School Principal Keri Hagness. The program kicked off in July with an introduction by Board of Education member Kim Buckley to the book Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World by Tony Wagner. In August, the second meeting began with an in-depth chat on Wagner's latest book; Hagness ran that discussion.

Four experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math will be speaking during the Sept. 19 program. They will provide information on how to educate students to prepare them for future jobs.

"The STEM panel is critical at this point in time because of the nature of our workforce needs. The skills students learned yesterday are not the same skills they will need tomorrow. Our workforce and technology has undergone a major transformation that our students need to be ready for," Skoczen said. "Clinton sits at the crossroads-with a new high school [construction on the horizon], we have an opportunity to transform education to meet the needs of the future, thus providing our students with an advantage as they seek to enter programs."

Residents will hear from Southern Connecticut State University Dean of Arts & Sciences Donna Jean Fredeen, who holds a doctorate in chemistry; President of the Optical Systems Division for Zygo Corporation John Stack; owner of HiTech Marketing and founding partner in Virtual Marketing, Inc., Belinda Jones; and Clinton Board of Education member Phil Williams, president of Kenyon International, Inc.

Skoczen said she is especially looking forward to the panel's providing residents with information that will help children grow and succeed.

"Our children are our community, they are the future and, therefore, every member of our community has an investment in giving them the best possible start in life. In order to do that the community needs to be educated about changes happening all around us," she said. "We encourage students as well as parents and Clinton residents to attend the STEM panel because it is the students who have the most to gain from understanding how science, technology, engineering, and math can change their lives."

Pre-registration is not necessary for this program; residents are encouraged to simply show up at The Morgan School Library that evening.

The Clinton PTA was founded in 2008 to provide a voice for parents, teachers, and students on a variety of educational issues and challenges. Members urge parents and teachers to get involved and become a member. The PTA has also recently launched a new membership opportunity for residents-a business membership that gives businesses the opportunity to connect with the community and show their support for education. To become a member, visit the PTA's website at www.clintonpta.org.

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