Nicole E. Lowen: The Teacher Who Was Elected to Hawaii’s House of Representatives

web1_Nicole-Lowen_5There are many fine examples of talented educators who also become successful politicians. Such is certainly the case with Nicole E. Lowen, a Montessori teacher and a Democrat who currently serves as a member of the House of Representatives in Hawaii. Nicole has represented Hawaii’s District 6 since January 16, 2013. District 6 serves Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, and Honokohau.

Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii. She has also earned a graduate certificate in disaster management from the University of Hawaii.

Her teaching experience includes teaching at Hawaii Montessori School from 1996-2007, working as a teaching assistant at the University of Hawaii Department of Urban and Regional Planning during 2011, and working as an admissions director for Hawaii Montessori School in 2012. She is obviously a strong supporter of quality education. “All children deserve access to a quality education,” she has said, “… and our schools must be given the resources they need to shrink classroom sizes and get the job done.”

In the House of Representatives, Nicole serves on the committees for Energy and Environmental Protection; Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs; Finance; and Water and Land.

In her spare time, Nicole is active with the Sierra Club. She has been a volunteer for the organization during 2011-2012 and served as a member of the Sierra Club’s executive committee during 2012.

Teacher Samuel Youngs: The Inspiration Behind Washington Irving’s Iconic Character Ichabod Crane

History abounds with school teachers who have earned fame outside of the classroom. Such is the case with Samuel Youngs, an American school teacher who was a close friend of famous American author Washington Irving. In fact, it has been speculated that Samuel served as the inspiration for the character of Ichabod Crane in Irving’s story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Samuel Youngs was born December 4, 1760. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a lieutenant in the 4th New York Infantry Regiment led by Baron Frederick von Weissenfels. Throughout the war, Samuel served the fledgling American army as a guide over the roads and trails in the county around his home. He was one of a dozen native soldiers who were known as “The Westchester Guides. His father’s farmhouse, located near the intersection of Bradhurst Avenue and Grasslands Road in Eastview, was the scene of a British raid during the Revolution.

After the war was won, Samuel served as a Federalist member of the New York State Assembly from 1796-1797, 1809, and 1810. Additionally, Samuel served as a Surrogate of Westchester County for terms of one or more years in 1800, 1807, 1810, 1811, and 1819.

The intrepid school teacher and veteran passed away on September 12, 7051406_1175741520611839. He was originally buried in the yard of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow in New York. There he was honored with other citizens of Tarrytown who fought during the Revolutionary War with a monument, pictured at left. The inscription at the bottom of the monument reads: “This monument is erected by Major General Aaron Ward, 9 division, N.Y.S.M. in testimony of his high appreciation of the services of a brave officer and a true patriot.” In 1851, Samuel’s remains were relocated to the Dale Cemetery in Ossining, New York. He was the first person to be buried in that cemetery.

Teacher Gabriel J. Campana: The Mayor of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

GabePhotoHow astonishing is it that so many politicians were once school teachers? Such is the case for Gabriel J. Campana, an elementary school educator who has been the mayor of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, since 2008.

Gabriel was born July 6, 1963, in Williamsport, one of eleven siblings. His father, Dr. Louis F. Campana, was a local physician, and his mother, Rose Campana, is a retired nurse. As a teenager, Gabriel attended St. John Neumann Academy, a local parochial school, where he graduated in 1981.  Following his high school graduation, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and his master’s degree from Wilkes University, a private institution located in Wilkes-Barr, Pennsylvania. He earned a doctorate degree in administration from the University of Sarasota.

MayorCampana_CLC1For twenty years, Gabriel served as a fifth grade teacher at Stevens Elementary School in his home town of Williamsport. In addition to this teaching experience, he taught master’s degree classes at the College of New Jersey and he served as an adjunct assistant professor at Gratz College. In 2005, this remarkable educator was a recipient of the YMCA Racial Justice Award, and he has been named in Who’s Who in American Education.

The talented educator also served on  his home town’s city council. In November of 2007, he was elected the thirty-ninth mayor of the town of Williamsport. He ran on a platform of public safety and economic development. During his tenure as mayor, Gabriel continued to find time to work with young children. He is pictured here visiting Penn College’s Children’s Learning Center during the Week of the Young Child in 2008. The former teacher read a popular book aloud to the children and then gave a copy of the book to each youngster.

Still living on the same block where he grew up, Mayor Campana lives with his wife, Sonia, and their five children.

Terry Marzell’s “Moonplay in Egypt” is Published on We Said Go Travel Website

stock-footage-full-moon-on-a-tropical-night-silhouette-palm-treesLike most teachers, I love to travel to intriguing and historic points of interest in both my home country and abroad. And just like many intrepid travelers, I wish I had the time and money to do more of it! Nevertheless, I feel very fortunate to be able to indulge in a semi-annual overseas vacation, because as a child from an impoverished family, I thought traveling was something only rich people could do. I never thought I would ever be able to muster the funds to go to any of the phenomenal places I was learning about in school. Fortunately, I have been able to quite a bit of traveling, actually.

It’s been a few years now, but it seems it was only yesterday I spent two weeks in Egypt, one of the most captivating countries I have ever visited. When I returned, I wrote a little piece I call “Moonplay in Egypt,” which not only describes an incident I experienced there, but also reveals an important life lesson. I’m very excited to announce that this piece has just been published on the very popular website for travelers We Said Go Travel.

The website was established by science teacher Lisa Ellen Niver, a talented and passionate writer, educator, social media ninja, speaker, and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. You might find her underwater, traveling to an exotic location, teaching in the classroom, or in print about social media, science education, lifelong learning, books, and travel.

To view the post and explore her website, click on: We Said Go Travel.

Veteran Educator Rita Pierson Advises: “Every Kid Needs a Champion!”

Every once in a while I come across an inspirational video that just resonates. This is the case with the video below, a recording of Rita Pierson, an educator with forty years of experience in the profession. As she tells it, she once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” This video presents a rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, and personal level. Enjoy!