Auburn’s College of Education to host community forum on school transformation

AUBURN – The Auburn University College of Education will host a community forum on education June 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Opelika Middle school.

This public forum will feature a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Heart of Stone” followed by small group discussions about the film and lessons learned about transforming schools. The documentary relays how students, teachers, community leaders and alumni worked to reclaim an inner-city high school in New Jersey that had deteriorated because of drug activity. “Heart of Stone’s” producer and director, Beth Kruvant, will be on hand to introduce her documentary.

“‘Heart of Stone’ is a story about some of the challenges and opportunities facing educational leaders today,” said Cindy Reed, professor of educational leadership and director of the College of Education’s Truman Pierce Institute, which is coordinating the summer program. “It’s a story that encourages people and shows that there are many ways for community members to be involved in public education. We’re hoping that, through our conversations, we can increase awareness about how we all need to work together to provide the best possible quality education for all of our students.”

The forum is part of the college’s Instructional Leadership Preparation Program’s Summer Institute that will focus on “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Today’s and Tomorrow’s Educational Leaders.”

The summer institute, June 7 and 8, will offer professional development opportunities for educational leaders, educational leadership students and faculty. Most of the seminars specifically target teacher leaders and aspiring principals, as well as practicing assistant principals and principals, central office leaders and superintendents.

Guest speakers include Frances Kochan, dean of the College of Education; Tommy Bice, deputy state superintendent of education; Tony Thacker, coordinator of the Governor’s Commission on Teaching Quality; Tom Taylor, retired superintendent and chairman of the College of Education National Advisory Council’s academic affairs committee; Charles Ledbetter, superintendent of Dublin, Ga., City Schools; Kristina Scott, executive director of the Alabama Poverty Project; Ray Landers, superintendent of Attala City Schools and 2009 National Principal of the Year and Ann Landers, assistant principal of Boaz High School.

For a full schedule of events, go to For more information on the summer institute, contact Cindy Reed at (334) 844-4488 or

Contact: Cindy Reed (334) 844-4488 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (