A Letter From Your New Bank Street Alumni President Jim Clay

September 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Fellow alums,

It’s the beginning of another academic year at Bank Street College and for those of us working in school settings.  Lots of new beginnings for many of us.  I am just beginning my two-year term as president of the Graduate School’s Alumni Association, BSCAA, and I bring with me some new and some returning officers already known to you.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this message which outlines some of our projects this year on your behalf.

For those of you who do not know me, I have a degree in Early Childhood Educational Leadership ’88.  I am the director of a Quaker preschool in downtown Washington.  Serving on the Board of BSCAA has been a great opportunity to reconnect me with the College and enrich my professional life, and I have set up many alum programs in DC over the past seven years.  Thanks for electing me to this position.

First in importance to all of us – as you know, the College is in the midst of a search for a new president to succeed President Dickey, who leaves at the end of this academic year.  As president of BSCAA, I was asked to serve on the Search Committee, on which there are also representatives from the Graduate School and the School for Children.  We will be quite busy this fall and winter and have already had one meeting.  The Board of the College and the Search Committee consider the alums to be an important constituency and want to hear from us – please feel free to email me at jclay@bankstreet.edu with your thoughts about what we should be looking for in a new president.  You will also receive a survey via Survey Monkey sometime in early Fall.

Of course we want the best possible new president for the College.  If any of you have candidates you want the committee to consider, please contact me, or send the name to BSCE@storbeckpimentel.com, or simply ask the candidate to submit an application – there should be an ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education in September. Perhaps as leaders yourself, in your work circles you may know someone or know of someone who could lead BSC, taking our model of education into the future.

This fall, on November 21, we will be holding a Bank Street reception at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Washington, DC.  At that time, not only will alums in early childhood education have an opportunity to reconnect, but the Dean of the Graduate School, Virginia Roach, will also be present to explain some of the initiatives of the Graduate School this year, and we will of course be recruiting for new students.

In New York, in May we will host the event we are the most proud of each year – our Alumni Awards ceremony.  Alums who have made extraordinary contributions to education are lifted up for this honor, as well as faculty and other contributors to the College, give inspiring speeches and (last year’s are still available posted on the BSC website) and appreciate the recognition from their peers.  As usual the awards ceremony will be followed by our annual alum party – usually on the Tar Beach, but possibly at a new location near the College this year.  Look for updates.

We want to create a stronger link between current Graduate students and alums, and one way we do so, in addition to co-sponsoring events at the College, is to strengthen our alumni-student mentoring project.  This effort is in collaboration with the Council of Students.  This year we will focus on Museum Education and Museum Leadership students, Early Childhood and Infancy students, and Child Life students. We will seek out supportive mentors among the graduates from these programs for those students looking for firsthand real-world expertise and career advice.

The Graduate School Annual Fund – did you realize that last year 387 alums donated $222,236?  That money goes directly to scholarships for tuition for current Graduate School students.  The Alumni Association works with Caitlin Terry at the College to solicit these funds.  It’s a good way to reconnect with and give back to the College.

This is just a brief outline of our initiatives this year.

Looking forward to the year with you,

Jim Clay

Entry filed under: Alumni Accomplishments, Bank Street, mentoring, professional development, Uncategorized.

Summer message from a fellow alum Community Education Evening at Bank Street October 30

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Alisa Algava ‘08, leader of a small Hudson Valley progressive school
Gloria Arenson ’58, psychotherapist
Bill Ayers ‘84, UIC professor, Chicago
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David Bowles ’08 (SFC ’93), museum educator at the Rubin Museum of Art
Elena Canaras ‘07, Special Education teacher, Hawaii
Virginia Casper, Bank Street faculty member
Jim Clay ‘88, director of a Washington DC Quaker preschool
Mary DeCamp Cotterall ‘87, Reading Specialist, Michigan
Judy Coven ’77, retired public school teacher and former Antioch University faculty member
Leslie Day '93, adjunct instructor at Bank Street and author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City
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Preminda Langer ‘97, teacher trainer
Claire Milam ’97, life coach, Austin, Texas
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Barbara Silver ‘80, literacy consultant and former NYC first grade teacher
Andrea Penny Spencer, former Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bank Street
Debbie Stone ‘84, former teacher/co-director of High Valley School
Rachel Theilheimer ‘74, chair of teacher education at BMCC/CUNY
Theodore Timpson ’05, founder/president of Young Spirit Foundation
Eleanor Traubman '95, is Editor in Chief of Creative Times, a blog which promotes NYC's performing, visual and literary arts
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