Equity Conference to change perspectives changes date

Tulare County Office of Education’s virtual Equity Conference has been rescheduled to March 3

TULARE COUNTY – Change is a good thing when talking about equity in education, so don’t let the delay in the county’s annual Equity Conference affect your decision to attend.

Originally scheduled for Jan. 27, the Tulare County Office of Education’s Equity Conference has been moved to March 3. The interactive day-long virtual institute, appropriately titled Equity in a Changing World, will engage participants in a deeper understanding of what equity means, what it looks like in practice, and how it is manifested or stifled on their campuses and in their communities. A wide variety of breakout sessions will include conversations around equity challenges impeding student success and opportunities to brainstorm practical solutions that empower all members of the educational community. Institutions boldly addressing their own equity challenges will share their strategies, obstacles, and outcomes. The conference is not only open to educators but also parents and community members.

The conference will open with a keynote presentation by Dr. Sharroky Hollie, a national educator who has trained tens of thousands in cultural responsiveness. Since 2000, he has trained over 150,000 educators and worked in nearly 2,000 classrooms. Going back 25 years, Hollie was a classroom teacher at the middle and high school levels, a central office professional development coordinator in Los Angeles Unified School District, a school founder and administrator, and university professor in teacher education at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Hollie has also been a visiting professor for Webster University in St. Louis and a guest lecturer at Stanford University and UCLA.

Dr. Sharroky Hollie
Keynote Speaker

To close the conference, participants will hear from Thomas Valles and Johnny Samaniego, two members of the 1987 CIF State Cross Country Championship team that inspired the film McFarland USA. Thomas Valles and Johnny Samaniego were members of the 1987 California cross country championship team. Their state victory inspired the movie McFarland, USA, which is based on the true story of a small Central California high school coach that took an unlikely group of immigrant students and transformed them into a distance-running dynasty. Valles and Samaniego will discuss their historic and inspiring running careers, the challenges they faced growing up in a rural Latino farming town in the 1980s, and what it was like to see their life portrayed on the big screen.

Johnny is portrayed as the football player in the movie that helps recruit Coach Whites state championship cross country team. In real life, Johnny was on the 1987 state championship cross country team and after receiving his degree, he returned to McFarland to take over Mr. Whites role as Physical Education Teacher and has helped coach track and girls varsity basketball for many years in McFarland.

Thomas is portrayed as the troubled teen in the movie and also the number one runner. In actuality, Thomas was the number one runner for the 1987 State Championship Cross Country team for McFarland. Thomas received a degree and served our country before returning to McFarland to raise a family and also help coach the McFarland girls cross country team and continues to be a part of this amazing community.

At the end of the conference, participants will leave with ideas and strategies to implement on their campuses.

Those interested in attending the conference can register by visiting tcoe.org/EquityConference. The fee for Tulare County residents is $25 per person; attendees outside Tulare County may register for $50 per person. Information on breakout session presenters will be added to the site soon.

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