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Say Yes: Relevant experience creates relevant education

In most academic hiring situation, the first thing considered is the candidate's academic credentials. Those credentials tend to indicate the classroom achievements of the candidates, and, to some extent, their potential to succeed. Logically, the more classroom achievement, the more potential for success.

What follows is a summary of the credentials of the Site Directors and Program Coordinators of the SCSD's Say Yes to Education Summer Camp. What you will find missing is reference to academic credentials. Of course, they are well credentialed. All 12 have bachelor degrees, seven have at least one master's degree, three are pursuing their masters, there is one Ph.D. and three are studying for doctorates. What makes them ideal for their Say Yes positions are their achievements outside the classroom, achievements that prove them to be, in the words of Rachel Gazdick, director of the program at Syracuse University, "well rounded people, that enhance our learning as a staff because of their unique experience."

Say Yes's summer program is based on creating a "real world" experience for the 7-10 year old participants, and what better way to show them the relevance of education than to have people with relevant experience as the directors of the program.

Their interaction "creates a rich experience for the students and for us as a staff and a learning community," says Gazdick.

The site directors and program coordinators for the Corcoran Quadrant actually got the innovative program rolling last December, navigating somewhat unknown waters with what will become a city wide program, with three more quadrants implementing the program over the next three years.

We have met some of the people responsible for bringing Say Yes to Syracuse, now we meet some of the people whose job is to make it work.

McKinley-Brighton Magnet

Roshana Daniel, Site Director at McKinley-Brighton Magnet School has more than 10 years of experience in child welfare and maternal and child health services and has planned, developed and implemented health education and outreach programs for Syracuse Healthy Start and Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center in Chicago. She was an officer in the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 2006.

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