Dr. Michelle Herczog, an internationally known expert on civic education, will deliver the keynote talk, “Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life” at Fresno State’s 32nd annual Conference on Character and Civic Education from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at the Fresno Convention Center’s Exhibit Hall in downtown Fresno (700 M St. at Inyo Street).

Awards will be presented to 25 exemplary valley elementary schools of character at the daylong conference designed specifically for students in the teacher education credential programs at both Fresno State and Fresno Pacific universities. The conference will offer 30 workshops on professional ethics and professional decision-making.

The keynote speech and the school recognition award ceremony will be part of the opening General Session, which begins at 8:30 am.

Also honored will be two teachers of the year: Fresno County’s Renee Gomez of Washington Unified School District and Kings County’s Lisa Butts, director of Bands at Hanford West High School.

Herczog, who is the history-social science consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education serving 80 school districts across Los Angeles County, is the immediate past president of the National Council for the Social Studies, the largest association in the nation devoted solely to social studies education.

She served on the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning led by California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and currently serves on the task force’s Your Constitution: The Power of Democracy steering committee.

Presented by the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, the conference is the oldest character education conference in the U.S., said Dr. Jacques S. Benninga, who coordinates the event with co-directors Jane Moosoolian and Dr. Susan Schlievert, fellow Kremen faculty members.

Benninga said the conference provides hundreds of prospective teachers with information on local civic agencies devoted to assisting children and families with life issues and presents them with ethical issues facing today’s teachers. They learn professionally appropriate ways of dealing with those issues and strategies to enhance character strengths in their students.

“The conference is intended to provide student-teachers with a number of important concepts and considerations related to the ethical implications of what teachers do as professional educators and to reinforce for them their vital role as shapers of children’s character,” Benninga said.

Local area schools to be recognized and honored at the event are:


SCHOOL                  DISTRICT
Harvest Elementary School Central
Century Elementary School Clovis
Copper Hills Elementary School Clovis
Dry Creek Elementary School Clovis
Fugman Elementary School Clovis
Garfield Elementary School Clovis
Nelson Elementary School Clovis
Reagan Elementary School Clovis
Riverview Elementary School Clovis
Sierra Vista Elementary School Clovis
Tarpey Elementary School Clovis
Temperance-Kutner Elementary School Clovis
Dawson & Sunset Elementary School Coalinga-Huron
John Fremont Elementary School Fowler
Malaga Elementary School Fowler
Marshall Elementary School Fowler
Martin Luther King Elementary School Hanford
Pioneer Elementary School Pioneer Union (Hanford)
Centerville Elementary School Sanger
Del Rey Elementary School Sanger
John Wash Elementary School Sanger
Reagan Elementary School Sanger
Sequoia Elementary School Sanger
Wilson Elementary School Sanger
Wilson Elementary School Tulare

For more information, contact Benninga at 559.278.0253 or jackb@csufresno.edu; Moosoolian at 559.278.0115 or janem@csufresno.edu; or Schlievert at 559.278.0348 or susansc@csufresno.edu.

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