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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Mahony Center educators to lead regional conference session

Officials with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education will present a session during the The College Board’s Southwestern Regional Forum in Dallas Feb. 26-27.

 Brent Mitchell, Fuller Middle School Principal; Rebecca Rogers, UALR  AP Institute Coordinator; Chardonnay Cisero, first year PCSSD teacher; Ann Robinson, Director, UALR Jodie Mahony Center; Laura Bednar, Assistant Superintendent, PCSSD.

Brent Mitchell, Fuller Middle School principal; Rebecca Rogers, UALR AP Institute coordinator; Chardonnay Cisero, Pulaski County Special School District teacher; Ann Robinson, UALR Jodie Mahony Center director; Laura Bednar, PCSSD assistant superintendent

The conference is intended to help participants explore best practices in educational access, instruction, assessment, and completion.

Mahony Center Director Dr. Ann Robinson and Rebecca Rogers, AP Summer Institute coordinator at UALR, will be joined by Chardonnay Cisero, 25, a new middle math teacher in the Pulaski County Special School District who teaches a Pre-Advanced Placement course for seventh graders.

Cisero is among 35 graduates of UALR’s 2013 AP Summer Institute program who benefitted from exposure to the program’s tools and resources prior to beginning her first teaching job at Fuller Middle School.

“I felt a lot more prepared before the first day of class (at Fuller),” she said. “The insight I gained, not only in regard to course content, but even classroom management, was extremely helpful.”

Chardonnay Cisero, UALR’s 2013 AP Summer Institute

Chardonnay Cisero, 25, a new math teacher in the Pulaski County Special School District teaches a Pre-Advanced Placement course for seventh graders.

Cisero, whose travel costs are sponsored by the Mahony Center, will join Robinson and Rogers for a session at the Dallas conference titled, “Investing in Future Educators: Advanced Placement Opportunity for Pre-Service Teachers.”

The term “pre-service teachers” refers to undergraduate students who have not yet begun teaching in their respective classrooms. The session will highlight the success of a pilot program conducted at UALR in collaboration with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The panel discussion will center on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in the pilot program including UALR as a metropolitan university and the host of the College Board-endorsed AP Summer Institute, UAPB as a historically black college, and the Arkansas Department of Education.

“The intent of this collaboration is to provide access to a rigorous, nationally recognized professional development program, and to increase the equity and diversity of future AP teachers,” said Robinson.

The session will also include strategies for engaging pre-service teachers in AP courses and introducing them to the community of AP educators.

Cisero was given a plaque recognizing her achievements in the pilot program on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Fuller Middle School.