Sage Announces 4th Annual Esteves School of Education Spring Speaker Series

February 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

Troy, NY – Sage is pleased to announce its 4th Annual Esteves School of Education Spring Speaker Series, designed to bring students, practicing educational teachers and professionals, and the greater community together to listen to distinguished experts.

Are Hard Books Good for Children? – Dick Allington, professor of literacy studies, Univ. of Tennessee
Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., Bush Memorial Auditorium, Troy campus

Dick Allington, Ph.D., professor of literacy studies at the University of Tennessee and past president of the International Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association will address the current push to increase the levels of difficulty of school texts. Allington will present research to encourage teachers and others to question any attempt to impose more difficult texts on students in the elementary grades.

Allington has been principal investigator on a number of research projects funded by the U.S. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, and the National Institutes of Health. He received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from IRA and the William S. Gray Citation of Merit for his contributions to the profession. He has been twice co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris Award in recognition of his research contributing to the understanding of reading and learning disabilities, and has been named to the Reading Hall of Fame.

Poetry and My Personal Evolution/Revolution – Meg Kearney, children’s writer and poet
Wednesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m., Bush Memorial Auditorium, Troy campus

Meg Kearney, children's writer and poet, will read from her work and give a talk on "Poetry and My Personal Evolution/Revolution," followed by a book signing and reception.

Kearney is the author of several volumes of poetry, most recently Home By Now. Her novel in verse, The Secret of Me, was published in 2005 and its sequel, The Girl in the Mirror, appeared in 2012. The two novels tell a vivid, heartfelt tale of a teenager's poetic quest to discover her place within her adoptive family and within the wider world. Her first picture book, Trouper (the three-legged dog), has just been published by Scholastic. Widely anthologized, Kearney’s work has twice been chosen by Garrison Keillor for his Writer’s Almanac on National Public Radio.

The State of Education in New York State – Dr. John B. King, NYS Commissioner of Education
Thursday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., Bush Memorial Auditorium, Troy Campus

New York State Commissioner of Education John King Jr., J.D., Ed.D., will deliver his address on “The State of Education in New York State.” King oversees more than 7,000 public and independent elementary and secondary schools (serving 3.1 million students), and hundreds of other educational institutions across New York State including higher education, libraries, and museums. He is a strong voice for education reform, and he was a driving force in New York’s successful Race to the Top application. A former high school teacher and middle school principal, King has earned a national reputation for his vision and commitment to education reform.

Believing in “All Students Will Learn” – Ashli Dreher, 2014 NYS Teacher of the Year
Monday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., Bush Memorial Auditorium, Troy campus

Ashli Skura Dreher of the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, is the 44th New York State Teacher of the Year. Dreher teaches special education in an 8:1:1 high school classroom working with students with moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her teaching is embedded in the belief that all students will learn. A teacher for 18 years, Dreher is committed to developing partnerships with families, service providers, and community business leaders in order to advocate for her students that are differently abled.

Also a doctoral student in the Teaching and Curriculum Department of the University of Rochester’s Margaret Warner School of Education and Human Development, Dreher enjoys researching literacy, specifically the best instructional practices for teaching reading to her students with moderate intellectual disabilities.

The Inherent Worth and Dignity of ALL Persons – Bobby Newman, director of training, Room to Grow
Thursday, April  3, 7:30p.m., Kahl Gymnasium, Albany campus

Bobby Newman, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a licensed psychologist, author, and director of training for Room to Grow, which provides behavior intervention services for families, schools and agencies. People with developmental disabilities that result in unusual behavior are often excluded from places where one would expect full acceptance, including places of religious worship. Newman will provide an analysis of why this is often the case, and outline steps that can be taken to ensure access for all to live as unencumbered and limited a life as possible. He will also present concrete behavioral and educational solutions.

Newman is the first author on 12 books including Gentle Redirection of Aggressive and Destructive Behavior: A Support Manual to Accompany In-Person Training regarding behavior therapy, the philosophy of behaviorism, the autism spectrum disorders, crisis intervention and utopian literature. He has published over two dozen articles in professional journals, as well as numerous popular magazine articles and has hosted two series of radio call-in shows. He is the past president of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. A popular speaker, he also provides direct treatment, staff training and consultation around the world, and has been honored for this work by several parents and professional groups.

For more information about the 4th Annual Esteves School of Education Spring Speaker Series visit or call (518) 244-2326.

Media Contact: Deanna Cohen, director of external relations, The Sage Colleges
                         (518) 244-4593 (O), (518) 598-4927 (C), email: