U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ’87 was honored with the Robert Coles “Call of Service” Lecture and Award at Harvard’s Memorial Church on Friday (Oct. 15) for his work in education reform.In a talk that outlined his experiences with public service at Harvard and beyond, Duncan called the battle for quality education a social justice issue, and urged the audience to take up the fight.“We need to make education our national mission. I invite you to a life of service that embraces that mission. Be a teacher. Tutor a child. Volunteer at a school. Transform the life chances of our nation’s young people.”Prior to joining the Obama administration, Duncan was chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, where he implemented a number of reforms, including expanding after-school and summer-learning programs, increasing access to early childhood education and higher education, and improving teacher quality.The annual event is sponsored by the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to public service. Past honorees include Al Gore, former vice president and environmental activist, Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Geoffrey Canada, last year’s recipient and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone.Inspired by the work of past honorees and by Coles, Duncan said another source of inspiration was his mother. He recalled that as a child growing up in Chicago, he took part in a free, after-school tutoring program organized by his mother for less fortunate children in the city’s South Side, first as a student and later as a tutor to other children.Through that formative experience, “I internalized the belief that quality education can literally transform children’s’ lives.”The event’s namesake, Robert Coles, professor emeritus of psychiatry and medical humanities at Harvard Medical School, looked on from the audience. For years, Coles, the recipient of many awards including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, taught the popular course “The Literature of Social Reflection.” Duncan took the course in the 1980s as an undergraduate and said it “did something for my soul,” adding that one of his best Harvard memories involved working with a mentoring program through PBHA.Evelynn M. Hammonds, dean of Harvard College and Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies, presented Duncan with the award. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ’78, J.D. ’82, introduced the secretary, saying he “brings a passion for what is possible for kids.”Duncan listed several Obama administration efforts aimed at “providing every child a world-class education,” and told the crowd, “We must have the courage to do the right thing by children.”
Congratulations to our area Football players on being selected for the 2017 Indiana Football Coaches Association’s All-State Team.Class 4AQB Alex Maxwell-East CentralClass 3AOL Adam Bedel-BatesvilleDB Trey Heidlage-BatesvilleClass 2AWR Zac Minnich-MilanRB Jed Minnich-MilanClass 1AOL Corbyn House-North DecaturKudos to Lawrenceburg LB Mason Parris on being selected to the 2017 IFCA Top 50 players in the state.
The South African Ambassador to Liberia, Masilo Mabeta, announced at the weekend that his government had decided to begin issuing visas to Liberians. This is wonderful news because it will save our people the costly and embarrassing inconvenience of traveling to neighboring countries to obtain S.A. visas.Ambassador Mabeta went to the Foreign Ministry last Friday to inform Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan about the S.A. government’s decision. Mr. Ngafuan thanked the Ambassador profusely and under the same breath pleaded with the European Union to emulate South Africa’s example. It is hard to understand why the Europeans are continuing to punish Liberians with the humiliating, costly and time-consuming necessity to travel to neighboring countries for visas to enter Europe.If each European nation thinks it too costly to set up a consular section in its embassy in Monrovia, why can’t the whole of Europe mandate the European Union Delegation to Liberia to handle this aspect and save Liberians all the trouble, including time and cost of traveling to Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Dakar, Freetown to get a European visa?In 2010 following a harrowing experience traveling from Monrovia to Accra and to Abuja in search for a Schengen for his scheduled travel to Austria and Germany, the publisher of the Daily Observer wrote an odyssey which was published in this newspaper. It claimed the immediate attention of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bodo Schaff, who said he had immediately reported the matter to the Foreign Office in Berlin. After reading Mr. Best’s odyssey, Ambassador Schaff did not only apologize to the Liberian people for all the inconveniences; he also pledged to work with his government toward redressing the situation. Alas, the good, friendly and effective Ambassador most probably did what he could, and has since ended his tenure and returned to Germany. But the problem remains. If a Liberian or person or any other nationality residing in Liberia wishes to travel to Europe, he or she still has to go to one of those African capitals to apply for a visa. In his September 28 and 29, 2010 odyssey, Mr. Best said he had first gone to Accra and the German embassy there told him to go to the Austrian embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. He traveled to Abuja the next day and was told that he should rather go to Dakar. He told them that that would make him late for the event in Vienna should he go to Dakar. It was upon the kind intervention of the Liberian Ambassador in Abuja, Alhassan Conteh, that the Austrian embassy finally relented, and the Observer publisher was able to get the visa.Mr. Best, a born Liberian, could not understand why it caused him so much trouble getting German and Austrian visas when Liberia has been for nearly two centuries Germany’s closest African friend. The Germanic states, Mr. Best said in his essay, became in 1848 among the first foreign powers to recognize Liberia’s independence. “There have almost always been cordial diplomatic and sisterly relations between Germany and Liberia. Indeed, before the Second World War, it was Germany that dominated the Liberian economy . . . it was German merchants that shipped Liberian produce, including coffee, cocoa, piassava, palm oil, palm kernels, pepper and other products to Europe and elsewhere. Most of the medical doctors in Liberia were German . . . until World War II when Germans had to leave Liberia. But following the War [long before most African states gained independence from their European colonizers] Liberia resumed very cordial diplomatic relations with Germany. President W.V.S. Tubman and Conrad Adenauer, [Germany’s] first post-war Chancellor, were very good friends, and exchanged state visits in the 1950s and 1960s. This friendship led to many, many Liberians pursuing professional studies in Germany in a wide range of fields, including Architecture, Engineering, Medicine, Natural Science, Philosophy, Social Science and Vocational and Technical training. In the mid-1960s German industrialists, Eugene Plotzky, invested in the Bong Mining Company . . . The German government built one of the biggest and most beautiful embassy compounds in Monrovia, which spanned Tubman Boulevard to the Atlantic Ocean.”We urge the EU and all European embassies in Monrovia to do their best to ease the pain of Liberians by pleading with their governments to mandate the EU Delegation in Liberia to start issuing Schengen visas in Monrovia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– Derek Gatopoulos (AP)ATHENS — Veteran striker Fanis Gekas has been recalled by Greece for the World Cup qualifying playoffs against Romania this month.Coach Fernando Santos named the 33-year-old center forward in a 24-man squad filled with veterans, including 36-year-old captain Giorgos Karagounis and 34-year-old midfielder Costas Katsouranis.The first leg is Nov. 14 in Piraeus, then Nov. 19 in Bucharest. Gekas, who plays for newly promoted Konyaspor in Turkey, has scored 24 goals in 68 appearances for his country and last played for Greece in June.Greece gained the most points as runner-up in European qualification — 25 from 10 matches — but lost out to high-scoring Bosnia on goal difference in Group G.Santos’ side, still rated 15th in the world rankings, struggled in recent qualifiers, finding it hard to score against lowly Liechtenstein on two occasions.They have missed the reassuring presence of Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a rising star at 21, who has been out all year following a right knee operation.Santos said he wanted to give little away before the first game at Karaiskaki Stadium, saying only that he would rely on experienced players.“I won’t say anything about any individual player. But we do have a lot of players who are under the threat of suspension, so we need give ourselves some options,” the Portuguese trainer said.“We have a lot of experienced players who will know how to win the first match without conceding a goal. The Romanians are an excellent team, but I believe we will be the ones to make it through.”Romania named foreign-based players last week, and coach Victor Piturca dropped veteran striker Adrian Mutu as well as Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. Piturca included Greece-based midfielder Costin Lazar of PAOK and defenders Dorin Goian of Asteras Tripolis.TweetPinShare0 Shares