Saturday, February 2, 2013

San Antonio Writing Project Conference

Today we held our 7th Annual San Antonio Writing Project Conference. Only people who are involved with conferences know the great amount of work and dedication that goes into making a conference a reality. With Kathy Bass as our only dedicated writing project graduate assistant, the task could have been overwhelming. But Kathy did an amazing job handling all the little details that make a conference a success with even her Mother and her daughter pitching in. Still, without our incredible San Antonio Writing Project Teacher Consultants, none of this could have happened. Co-director Pam Piedfort was the conference chair, and took care of the program and the presenters. TC Nora Gonzalez was in charge of the food contributions and the raffle items. So many TC's contributed by bringing food and providing raffle items. Without them, the conference wouldn't have gone so well. SAWP TC's presented at the sessions and volunteered behind the scenes. Somehow we converged and everyone just stepped in and got to work. SAWP TC Gretchen Bernabei shared a wonderful keynote that was practical and helpful for the participants. SAWP TC's Ernie Ramirez, Becky Palomo, Lorena Villarreal, Karen Mendoza, Valerie Harris, Sean Danweber, Diana Castro and Cathy Whitlow presented lively and informative sessions. Co-Directors Pam Piedfort and Dr. Lennie Irvin also shared their great topics as well as Sunkyung Chung and Linda Barron who presented how to use writing with immigrant students to build self-esteem. UTSA Literacy Professor, Dr. Misty Sailors was also with us sharing information on UTSA's Masters and Doctoral Programs. We also thank Heinemann & The Twig for providing books. It was wonderful to see Gakyung Jeong, and her mother and so many TC's show up and help and I'm sorry that I can't name them all in this space. TC's Troy Wilson, Catherine Stier, Shannon Blady, Kalpana Iyengar, Betty Hogan, Jeanette Pierce and Co-director Dr. Aurelia de Silva all were so helpful along with volunteers Jennifer Galvan, Tanis Lemons and Michelle Benavides. TC Lori Prior's daughter Kaitlin began the conference sharing her anti-bullying work in her high school while TC Amy Stengel's students from the North East School of the Arts closed the day by sharing their incredible poetry with us. All of this would be meaningless without an audience and what a wonderful audience we had! Filled with teachers and soon to be teachers, graduate students and undergraduate students, and SAWP TC's, it was a pleasure to be with such amazing educators. I left feeling how lucky we are in San Antonio to have such a special and caring community of learners. It's hard to describe my gratitude to everyone for such a wonderful day.

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