NAIS Board Chair Katherine Dinh opened the morning session by describing one of the most iconic bridges located right here in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge, spanning more than 6,700 feet and located a mere 12 miles from the San Andreas Fault, was carefully created and built by a team of architects and engineers. Now, it’s one of the world’s favorite architectural stories, she said, seguing into this year's conference theme: "What’s Your Story?"
Katherine, an immigrant from Vietnam who has taught at four NAIS member schools and currently heads Prospect Sierra School (California), said she was humbled to speak before the 5,500 people gathered at the 2016 NAIS Annual Conference.
Katherine invited attendees to share their stories with colleagues throughout the conference. “May they inspire you to go back and build graceful, beautiful, and glorious bridges.”
Honoring Former NAIS President John Chubb
In a close-up, big-screen video, attendees watched John describe being the first person in his family to enroll in college. John noted that his 11th grade AP U.S. History teacher, Mr. Nickels, inspired him to pursue a career in education because he exuded passion about his work. “It was a model of what I wanted to do for myself.”
“A teacher is the most important part of the entire educational system,” John said. Education, he added, is the key to a good life. It enables you to have a good job and take care of yourself and family. You also learn how to contribute to your community and be a good citizen. You gain the ability to appreciate the finer things in life, and what is beautiful and practical.
“Education is a civil rights issue of our time,” he said, speaking from his multiple experiences in inner cities and rural areas. He noted that he was always attracted to the opportunities to innovate in education.
When the video concluded, Katherine said that John’s passionate voice for high-quality teaching and equity is how many of us will remember him. She noted that they spoke often when he was ill, and he always talked about how much he loved his job. “We’re moved that Angela Chubb and her family are here at our conference, and we hold them in our hearts,” she said.
Katherine concluded: “[John] spoke his deepest truth when he said that schools can save lives.”