Head of School Corner
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
The Lippman School has been recognized for our work in creating North American First People’s Day in Akron by two prestigious national associations.
First, our school was featured in the summer edition of the National Association of Independent School’s magazine. This is a quarterly journal that features a handful of schools (less than 10) in each of its publications. The membership of NAIS is over 1500 of the nation’s most elite private schools. It is a significant honor that this association has recognized the good work of our school.
Second, The National Council for Teaching of the Social Studies has invited The Lippman School to present this learning module to their membership at their annual conference in November. When news of our groundbreaking initiative in Akron reached the press, Terry Cherry, who is the President of NCTSS visited out school to meet with us to learn about how we had accomplished this work. In our meeting with him, he called this project, “some of the best in social studies education he has seen” and at that time invited us to present at their national conference. We learned recently that the conference planning committee has accepted our proposal present a “clinic” which is a three hour session that will allow educators from around the nation to learn about our experience here in Akron.
As our students return from Montana tonight from their experience on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and Yellowstone National Park, I want to congratulate the 7th/8th grade class whose work with local retired Judge Marvin Shapiro and Curriculum Director/Humanities Teacher Matt Russ is being recognized as a model of educational excellence. This learning partnership with The Northern Cheyenne Nation is one example of how the “Global Perspective” of The Lippman School can lead to action and social change.
Our school uses the wisdom of the Jewish people and tradition as guiding principals for our school programs and how we help students develop a global perspective. There are many ways that this is exhibited through this partnership but one that resonates in particular is the concept that the Jewish people have lived for thousands of years as a minority. In our tradition and as we learn through the Torah (the five books of Moses) a small tribe of Israelites had to work against prevailing cultural and political forces to maintain our language, care for a sacred homeland and keep traditions alive in when facing peril. In today’s world, few of us connect with a sense of peoplehood or the positive elements of tribalism. When our students were immersed in the sacred homeland and traditions of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, they made connections to their work with Akron City Council and their own learning experiences at Lippman. They understand how difficult it has been for this tribe to maintain their traditions when faced with years of oppression. They also understand that through the struggle of maintaining identity a people can thrive again. And in fact, by helping our community recognize the contributions of native people in our land we are helping to shine a positive light on the people who our country has too often marginalized.
As we look at the end of this year, we have much to celebrate as a community which we will do together at 2:00 on Thursday when our 8th grade students graduate. We also have much to look forward to in the coming school year, including a historic moment when Akron celebrates its first, “First People’s Day” on October 1. I hope to see you at both of these wonderful milestones.
Head of School