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Passion and Purpose Symposium: Video Clips

Six teacher leaders in the Los Angeles area participated as panelists in Mount St. Mary's "Passion and Purpose: Teachers Leading the Way", a symposium hosted on Wednesday evening, September 23rd from 6-8 p.m. Panelists spoke about their experiences in diverse roles as teacher leaders, balancing leadership duties with regular classroom teaching, and following one's passions as a leader.

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In addition to talking about the specific roles they've taken on as teacher leaders, each of the impassioned panelists offered words of general wisdom and advice to the audience of teachers and teacher candidates.

Click on each of the panelists' names below to see a clip of their presentation.

  • Introduction by Sylvia Bagley, director of Instructional Leadership at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

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  • Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds, a second grade teacher at Ivanhoe Elementary School in Silverlake, who has served as a Literacy Coach and School Improvement Coordinator at her school site;
  • Cicely Bingener, a Kindergarten teacher at Beulah Payne Elementary School in Inglewood who co-founded a parent empowerment group called Parent Teacher Partners;
  • Aisha Blanchard-Young, a high school continuation teacher who co-founded Parent Teacher Partners with Cicely Bingener, currently serves as Inglewood Teacher Association's president, and is an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University;


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  • Cecily Feltham, a history teacher at Animo Justice High School who mentors all of her school's new teachers;
  • Justin Betzelberger, a high school science teacher at East Valley High School also working as a Professional Learning Community Facilitator for Teach for America, mentoring first and second year life science teachers;
  • Catherine Underwood, an English teacher at East Valley High School who has served as department chair and lead teacher for her school's Performing Arts Academy, and is currently pursuing her National Board Professional Teaching Standards Certification.
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