2017-2018 Educational Speaker Series Presents Distinguished Lineup

2017-2018 Educational Speaker Series Presents Distinguished Lineup


Nantucket Lighthouse School’s Educational Speaker Series has another impressive slate of educators and authors scheduled for the 2017-2018 school year. Generously funded by the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund, the Series brings prominent educators and industry leaders to the Nantucket community, providing parents with free informative workshops on timely topics and offering Nantucket educators and administrators free and accessible on-island professional development.

The first speaker, scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th from 6-7:30PM, is educator and author Meenoo Rami, (THRIVE, 2014). Her free evening lecture, ‘Future-Ready? What Does that Even Mean?’, will focus on the way technology and the inter-connected nature of our world is shifting things in the classroom. Rami will share how communities can proactively create environments for students that support life-long learning. The workshop will be hosted at the Whaling Museum in collaboration with the Nantucket Historical Association.


Prior to her evening lecture, Rami will lead an after-school professional development workshop for island educators entitled ‘Teaching and Learning with a Project-Based Approach.’ The workshop will be hosted at the Nantucket Lighthouse School and is open to all island educators and school administrators.


Shared Nantucket Lighthouse School Head of School, Emily Miller, “When I attended the Literacy for All conference several years ago, I was delighted to hear keynote speaker Meenoo Rami. Unknown to me in the literacy realm, Meenoo was a show-stopper; she was that dynamic speaker who ignited the room and made everyone excited to be an educator and eager to get back to their classrooms to connect with their students and with educators around the globe. So inspired by Meenoo’s morning presentation, I rearranged my schedule to participate in her afternoon workshop on project-based learning.” Continued Miller, “While Meenoo has an exciting career working in a variety of educational arenas, she is a teacher at heart and the kind of educator you wish for your children.”


Rami is an educator at the Science Leadership Academy, teacher-consultant for the National Writing Project, teacher-fellow with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and currently a manager for Minecraft Education at Microsoft. As a novice teacher, Meenoo Rami experienced the same anxieties shared by many:  the sense of isolation, lack of self-confidence, and fear that her work was having no positive impact on her students.  In Thrive, Meenoo shares the five strategies that helped her become a confident, connected teacher.  From how to find mentors and build networks, both online and off, to advocating for yourself and empowering your students, Thrive shows new and veteran teachers alike how to overcome the challenges and meet the demands of our profession.


One week later, the Educational Speaker Series, in collaboration with the Nantucket Community School, will welcome educator and Executive Director of Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cindy Horgan, back to Nantucket. On Wednesday, November 15th from 6-7:30PM, Horgan will give a free evening talk entitled ‘Raising Healthy Families – Discipline and Setting Limits. A few of the topics Horgan will discuss include: discipline without yelling, how to handle tantrums, understanding temperament and why our children do what they do, the value of routines, and setting limits and boundaries. The talk will be held at Nantucket High School and free childcare will be provided. Cindy will return for two future workshops on January 24th and April 11th.


“It’s always a pleasure welcoming Cindy Horgan to the island,” noted Miller. “Not only an experienced educator, Cindy is also the mother of five children. Her experience working with children and families is grounded in the practicalities of raising children of her own. A child whisperer of sorts, Cindy is a source of tremendous knowledge and comfort to all of us as we embark on this sometimes messy journey as parents.”


In March, the Educational Speaker Series will present a professional development workshop and evening with Zoe Weil of the Institute for Humane Education. Weil is the author of seven books including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries (2016), Nautilus Silver Medal winner, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life (2009), The Power and Promise of Humane Education (2004), and Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times (2003). She has also written books for young people, including Moonbeam Gold Medal winner, Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs (2007), about 12-year-old activists inspired by their teacher to right wrongs where they find them, and So, You Love Animals: An Action-Packed, Fun-Filled Book to Help Kids Help Animals (1994). She has written numerous articles on humane education and humane living and has appeared frequently on radio as well as television.


In 2010, Zoe gave her first TEDx talk “The World Becomes What You Teach” which became among the 50 top-rated TEDx talks. Zoe speaks regularly at universities, conferences, and schools across the United States and Canada, and is a frequent keynote speaker.

Now in its third year, Nantucket Lighthouse School’s Educational Speaker Series has featured an impressive lineup of notable presenters including: Dr. Ross Greene (Raising Human Beings, Lost at School and The Explosive Child), Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair (The Big Disconnect) and Tony Wagner (Most Likely to Succeed, Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap). “We are so grateful for the opportunity to bring such noteworthy industry leaders to Nantucket,” commented Miller. “We are thankful for the support from the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund. Their support of our school’s vision makes possible these unique opportunities for island educators and families to come together on such relevant topics.”


An independent day school serving children preschool through 8th grade, the Nantucket Lighthouse School is comprised of nearly 100 students spread over two campuses, a primary schoolhouse at Rugged Road and a Middle School Campus downtown at St. Paul’s Parish House. Co-founded by Lizbet Carroll Fuller and Elizabeth Edwards Sundell, the School first opened its doors in 2000 to twelve children and two teachers in a barn at Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts (NISDA). Over the past seventeen years, the School has grown tremendously, yet it has remained true to its founding ideals which include a developmentally appropriate education aimed at capturing the magic and joy of childhood while also instilling a love of learning, a deep respect for the natural world, and a sense of responsibility to all.