Bank Street Graduation Bids Adieu to Largest Graduating Class
Street College President Augusta Souza Kappner welcomed “our largest
graduating class ever” at the Bank Street College Graduate School
Of Education commencement ceremonies.
The 2003 Honorary Doctoral Candidates, led by four-term North
Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., were of Olympian quality
as well. Hunt, who served from 1977-85 and also from 1993-2001,
was called “the nation’s first and only Educational Governor”
in an introduction by Dean of the Graduate School of Education
Jon Snyder. “Under his leadership, North Carolina led the nation
in board-certified teachers,” Dean Snyder said. “We need him in
are so impressed with the work you do here,” said Hunt. “The entire
Bank Street approach is unique and wonderful: teachers learn in
the same classrooms where the children learn. And, first and foremost,
the students are treated as individuals here.”
you would ask the nation’s 50 Governors how they feel about the
issue, 40-45 would tell you that Colleges of Education must change,”
said Hunt. “I feel that this change should be in the direction
of the Bank Street approach. In particular, we must stress two
most important areas: the first is early childhood education.
The initial 2-3 years of a child’s life is where he develops his
capacity for intelligence, yet I feel that this country is still
not serious enough about early childhood. And the second is the
field of teaching: it should be a birthright of every child in
the USA to have a caring, competent, qualified teacher.
if you find yourself in tough environments, and some of you will,
you Bank Street graduates must take on the challenge of transforming
America’s education,” Hunt said.
The next Honorary Doctoral Candidate, Superintendent of the Newark
Public Schools, Marion A. Bolden operates in one of those environments.
“One of every three children in Newark lives in poverty,” Bolden,
a former mathematics teacher who’s been Superintendent since 1999,
said. “Even today, according to all research, the worst place
for a child in New Jersey to grow up is in Newark. So, even though
we’ve a come a long way in the last couple of years, we have a
still longer way to go. As my mentor Marian Wright Edelman said,
‘this nation sows its own destruction in its abandonment of children.’
We must change our priorities as a country. The village of support
our children need must become universal.”
have the power but we must become a different people with very
different priorities and goals,” Bolden said. “And number one
among those must be our children.”
The third Honorary Doctoral Candidate, Joan Cooper Bacchus Maynard,
was the founding member of the Society for the Preservation of
Weeksville Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant and has served as the
Society’s first Executive Director until 1999. “We are starting
to build a new museum on the site,” Maynard, a trustee emeritus
of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said. “The preservation
of communities, and every caring person in those communities,
is invaluable. We must save the memories of self; that’s what
people who like themselves do. The artifacts for our children
are precious in this great tapestry of life we know as New York.”
am here to promote history,” Maynard said. “And I am here to do
it in this magical space called Bank Street.”#
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