A Brilliant Blend! 2003 State Conference
A Brilliant Blend and a Brilliant Success!
"A Brilliant Blend" was the theme for this
year's Kansas Migrant/ESOL/Bilingual/Refugee
Conference, held from June 4 to June 6, 2003,
at the Airport Hilton Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.
A record crowd of than 260 Migrant Directors, ESOL teachers
and ESOL teacher educators registered for the
event, which was sponsored by the Kansas
Association of Migrant Directors, the Kansas
State Department of Education-State and Federal
Programs, the Kansas Association of Teachers
of English to Speakers of Other Languages and
the Midwest Equity Assistance Center.
Cynthia Adcock, Cathy Ludwick and Steve Wolf, from the Kansas
Association of Migrant Directors, and Melanie
Stuart and Ron Johnson, from the Kansas Department
of Education, moved ubiquitously from venue to
venue, coordinating concurrent sessions, touching
base with publishers on display, interacting
with conference-goers on a personal level and
guiding everything with seemingly effortless grace.
The goal of the conference, according to the program
book, was "to increase statewide collaboration and
awareness for all professionals and community members
who serve Kansas migrant students and English Language
Learners; to provide opportunities for lifelong learning and
professional development in areas of ESOL techniques,
literacy development, assessment and resources through
delivery of high quality workshops and keynotes."
The conference committee hit the target squarely.
Kay Toliver kicked things off with a dramatic keynote, "Teaching and Learning: What Works,"
which showed how her personal style and bravado
has helped her connect with kids and colleagues
over the past 30 years, as a math teacher in Harlem,
New York City, and as an inspirational speaker. She
started by giving honor to her parents, whom she
referred to as "King John" and "Queen Cleopatra"
and she used to demonstrate how hard-working
parents without much formal education can instill
in their children a respect and desire for learning.
Ms. Toliver said that teachers need to be willing
to take risks and try something different in the
classroom to catch the attention of their students.
She showed a video clip of a lesson on fractions
from her Harlem classroom, where she dressed
up as a pizza chef and used pizza-based activities
to review equivalencies and addition of fractions.
The film, from her staff development series, "The
Kay Toliver Files," made it clear that this 1992
Disney Outstanding Teacher for Secondary Math
is a true master of the teaching art. Her students
were simultaneously challenged and encouraged
to apply their knowledge of fractions to activities
such as "the great pizza swap," in which these
middle-schoolers exchanged pieces of pizza made
of construction paper and decorated with cut-out
There were a total of 37 concurrent sessions
taking place in six different meeting rooms
during the course of the three-day Migrant Ed
conference in Wichita's Airport Hilton Hotel.
Several universities from the state system
offered one-hour credit courses to participants
based on the rich blend of topics represented
by the concurrent sessions. Migrant Program
ID & R credit was given to attendees who
attended nine selected sessions, on everything
from enrollment of the binational child to meeting
migrant children's health needs under No Child
Ten different sessions dealt with the "No Child
Left Behind" legislation and how it impacts those
who teach and assist English language learners
in Kansas schools. Ron Johnson, of KSDE, discussed how
the new law will affect identification and recruitment
of migrant students. Roger Rosenthal, of the Migrant Legal Action Program, gave a three-hour
double session on "Immigrant Children and ELLs in
Public Schools," focusing on the rights of these
students under current U.S. laws. Nancy Kraft,
of the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center,
spoke on new NCLB regulations regarding inclusion
of parents in school policy for English language learners. Judi Miller, of KSDE, explained
how Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) impacts Quality Performance
Accrediation for all public schools, districts and the state. Cyndi Treaster and Robert Stiles, of the Kansas State
Farmworker Health Program, spoke on "Meeting Migrant Children's Health Needs Under No Child Left Behind."
Joyce Lancaster, of Ballard & Tighe Publishers, showed
participants how to use Ballard & Tighe's IDEA Proficiency
Test (IPT) to determine skills in English or Spanish at
different grade levels. Stephan and Linda Jackson,
of Stephan L. Jackson & Associates, gave a session
entitled, "Exploring the Multiple Uses of the Language
Assessment Scales Proficiency Test (LAS)." The LAS
is published by McGraw-Hill. Another publishers session
was "Meet Adequate Yearly Progress and Make Quick
Gains with QuickReads and BookTreks," presented by
James Mayfield-Smith, of Pearson Learning/ Modern Curriculum
Press/ Celebration Press/ Globe Fearon.
For a complete list of presenters and session abstracts,
At the Wednesday evening banquet, attendees were honored by
the presence of Akot Arec, whose keynote address "My Life As
a Refugee" described the harsh realities of his experiences as
a young man fleeing political and religious persecution in Sudan.
He made an eloquent and persuasive case for greater involvement
by the U.S. government as well as private citizens to help improve
conditions in his homeland. Today Akot Arec is a caseworker for
Catholic Charities in Kansas City and is Executive Director of
Jump Start Sudan.
For more information or to reach Akot Arec, call (913) 558-7976. Donations may be sent to: JumpStart Sudan, P.O. Box 4470 Olathe, KS 66063-4470.
The Wednesday evening banquet was also an occasion
to honor Steve Wolf, who is retiring this year as Director
of Federal Programs for the Great Bend School District,
USD 428, where he has worked for nearly 40 years in
a career which included teaching 5th grade, being
an elementary school principal and his years of
dedication as Great Bend's point person for Migrant
Education and English language learning. Ron Johnson,
of KSDE Migrant Programs, read more than a dozen
heartfelt e-mails he had received from current and
former colleagues and friends of Steve Wolf's, describing
his many contributions to the Great Bend community,
including his vigorous support and spearheading involvement
in Great Bend's "Cinco de Mayo" celebrations. Ron Johnson
presented a plaque from the Kansas State Department of
Education and said, "Steve Wolf will always be part
of the Migrant Education family in Kansas."
The Wednesday banquet also included three sets of
Mexican folkloric dancing by the Newton High School
Azteca Dance Troupe, under the direction of Patrice
Olais and Crystal Sanhueza. At times nearly everyone
in the audience was clapping in rhythm and tapping
their feet in unison with the Azteca Dance Troupe's
spirited and beautifully rendered dances from three
different regions of Mexico: Vera Cruz, Northern
Mexico and Jalisco.
Throughout the three days of this year's Migrant Ed
Conference, the publishers display area was continuously abuzz
with conference-goers interacting socially as well as
learning about the latest materials and resources to
help schools and teachers meet the positive challenge
of engaging culturally and linguistically diverse newcomers
in the English learning process as well as ensuring
continuity in their cognitive development. Here is a
complete list of the publishers' representatives who
helped to generate a three-day-long series of learning
exchanges as everyone shared their experiences together:
Joyce Lancaster, for Ballard & Tighe Publishers
Robert Fanning/Margaret Walpole, for Diverse Educational Solutions, Inc.
Allen Schor, for EL MAR CORPORATION
Beth Hanschu, for Emporia State University's ESOL Lending Library
Susan Martinez-Riphahn, for Grandma's Tortillas
Marsha Krabbenhoft, for Great Source Education Group
Dorothy Hagen, for Hampton Brown
Nancy Kraft, for Kansas Parent Information Resource Center
Robert Stiles, for Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program
Matt Dow, for Lakeshore Learning Materials
Mona Stivers, for MetriTech, Inc.
James Mayfield-Smith, for Pearson Learning / Modern Curriculum Press / Celebration Press / Globe Fearon
Barbara Sihombing, for Pearson-Longman ESL
Stephanie Troglin, for Rosen
Angela Carroll, for Scholastic
Emilee Rose, for Scott-Foresman
Evelyn Dillon and Dorv Conell, for World Book Educational Products
At the noon dinner on Thursday, Cynthia Adcock, Chair of this
year's ESOL/Migrant/Bilingual "A Perfect Blend" Conference, announced
the winners for 2003 of the Kansas Association of Migrant Directors
"Gerry VanDaveer Scholarship" and the "Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education
Scholarship." Both of these scholarships are awarded from the proceeds
of the Migrant/ESOL/Bilingual/Refugee Conference, proceeds from the
"silent auction" at the conference and door prize drawings.
The scholarships are for $250 a semester for four consecutive semesters
at a post-secondary institution in Kansas. The money is sent directly
to the institution for the use of the student. If the student does not attend
school, the money is returned to the Association for future scholarships.
Students must enroll in at least 12 hours. Winners are selected based
on financial need, grade point average and the numbers of applications
The Kansas Association of Migrant Directors has awarded migrant
scholarships to 55 current or formerly migrant students since 1990.
Since 1999, ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarships have been awarded
to 10 ESL students currently in an ESL/Bilingual program. "Thanks
to your participation," Cynthia Adcock told those at dinner on Thursday,
"we have been able to award $65,000 in scholarships over the past 13 years."
This year's scholarship winners are:
2003 Gerry VanDaveer Scholarship
Anh Hoang, Salina
Bao-Tran Nguyen, Liberal
2003 Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarship
Phuong Tao T Le, Wichita
Ana Guadalupe Montanez, Ulysses
Anh Truc Ngoc Nguyen, Shawnee
Application letters from each winner can be viewed
at: http://www.katesol.org/winners.html .
At Thursday's noontime dinner, Cynthia Adcock was
also recognized by the Kansas Association of Migrant
Directors for her years of dedicated service to the
organization, and key role in planning the annual
Migrant/ESOL/Bilingual/Refugee conference. "This
conference would not exist if it were not for Cynthia
Adcock," said Steve Wolf, in presenting the honor.
Other highlights of this year's Migrant Ed conference
in Wichita were the following sessions: "Perspectives
of the Hispanic Community in Kansas," by Jaime Lopez;
"The Learning Needs of ELLs from Vietnamese Language
and Culture," by Anh Tran; "Understanding the Mennonites,
Their History, Culture, Language and Learning Abilities,"
by Don Blackman and Lisa Mays; "Refugee Children's Mental
Health, Coping with Acculturation and Trauma," by Burna
Dunn and Myrna Ann Adkins; and "ESOL Materials and Instructional
Strategies Using Multiple Intelligences," by Chris Renner.
For a complete list of presenters and session abstracts,
Any report on the Wichita conference would be incomplete
without a mention of the behind-the-scenes work of Judi Kutzke,
at the Kansas State Department of Education, whose help
made everything possible for this year's event.
The 2003 Kansas Migrant/ESOL/Bilingual/Refugee Conference
was indeed "a brilliant blend" of activities and exchanges
among many of the individuals who labor selflessly throughout
the year on behalf of the culturally and linguistically diverse
children of Kansas. This was a wonderful place to renew
friendships, learn new teaching approaches, appreciate the
needs and rights of immigrant families and experience ideas
and sensations which refresh our spirits and strengthen us
to continue advocating for English language learners
in our schools and in our communities.
The conference was a "brilliant blend" and a "brilliant
Report by Robb Scott
This page was last updated on 06/10/2003.