A free and excellent public education is the right of every child, and a democratic society will only succeed if there exists an educated public. Public education is, therefore, a moral imperative -- a process in which every child is enabled to reach his/her God-given potential. In this week the Department of Religion brings to the conversation on this perspective on Public Education experts in the field of education from both the private and public sectors.
Dr. Cathy Battaglia
Dr. Cathy Battaglia serves as Community Superintendent for the Buffalo Public Schools, where she works with 22 of the District's 57 schools to supervise the instructional programs and coach and support principal leadership. Prior to this she was the principal of City Honors School in Buffalo; a 5 & 12 authorized MYP/DP-IB (International Baccalaureate) School. Under her leadership, Buffalo has included a PYP school at the Makowski Early Childhood Center, and is currently participating in the pilot project to launch the IBCC at the Emerson School of Hospitality. She is President of the Guild of IB World Schools in the North East United States (GIBS).
Teaching teachers continues to be Dr. Battaglia's passion, and she endeavors to do work in the area of staff development whenever she gets the chance. Before coming to Buffalo, she was the staff developer for the Niagara Falls School District, where she researched, developed, and delivered professional learning for all teachers, administrators, and support staff in the District. She is certified to teach and has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Her current practice involves working with aspiring, new, and veteran leaders as both a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership & Policy Program (LIFTS) at the University at Buffalo and as a faculty member in the Buffalo Leadership Academy.
In May of 2001 she was awarded the Business First Pathfinder Award for community leadership, and Buffalo Spree Magazine counted her among the group of "Western NY Women Who Make a Difference" in the summer of 2002. Her most recent accolade was earned in the spring of 2003 when she received the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration in recognition of her work in the University of Buffalo LIFTS Program.
Dr. Battaglia loves to write, and she enjoys teaching and working with those interested in studying leadership and instructional practice. Recent publications include a book entitled: Constructivist Strategies: Meeting Standards and Engaging Adolescent Minds (Eye on Education, 2001) and an article published in the journal, Leadership and Policy in Schools, entitled, "A Response to School Leadership in Support of Teachers' Learning: The Dramatic Differences that Financial Resources Make" (2009). She holds a BA from the State University College of NY at Geneseo; Ed.M. in English, Secondary Certification, and N.Y.S. Elementary (N - 6) Certification, as well as an Ed.M. in Educational Administration, SEA Certification, and her Ph.D. in Social Foundations - all from the University at Buffalo; and R.T.C. Reality Therapy Certification from The William Glasser Institute.
Paul Campbell is head of regional development for the IB Americas. In this role, he oversees the region's work with interested schools, universities, governments, school districts, educational organizations, and associations of IB World Schools. He also oversees the IB support desk and the region's annual conference.
An IB employee since 1988, Paul has served numerous roles for the organization, most recently as the head of outreach and volunteer services at IB North America.
Prior to working for the IB, Paul was a staff writer and colum nist for several daily newspapers in northern New Jersey. At the same time, he worked for two large non-profit organizations, expediting cultural exchanges between lay people from the USA and the former Soviet Union. Paul's education was from the University of Michigan, where he studied journalism and history.
Marion Pittman Couch
Marion received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Winston-Salem State University, and Master of Art degrees in English and Administration from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She also holds Specialist Certifications in Curriculum and Instruction and Supervision from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. In addition, Marion studied at Cambridge University in Cambridge England concentrating in English Literature. Her career in public education includes high school English teacher, Curriculum Facilitator, Assistant Principal and retiring in 2007 as Principal of the first fully authorized IBO World School, Paisley IB Magnet School, in Winston-Salem.
After a successful career in education, Marion now consults, advises, and coaches staffs at other schools and school districts showing them how to achieve the same success. Passionate about all the International Baccalaureate Programmes and the opportunity for achievement they present to schools, she provides services that help teachers, parents, and administrators understand and begin the steps of IB implementation. She has served as a guest speaker for the IBNA Annual Conference, led workshops, and delivered motivational speeches to staffs and administrators around the country. Marion now works as an IB Outreach Field Representative for IBA.
Maria Hersey is currently serving as Program Specialist for the International Baccalaureate (IB). She previously served as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) regional manager for the IB. Ms. Hersey's prior educational experience includes that as PYP coordinator, and assistant principal at Westward Elementary IB Magnet School. In addition, she has worked as an elementary curriculum coordinator and classroom teacher and has served as an IB workshop leader and site visitor. Maria holds a specialist degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University, Florida, USA, and a bachelor of arts and a master of arts in education from the University of Florida. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in education with a focus in international education.