News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 6, 2013

NAACP’s annual Statewide Education Summit coming to Terre Haute

By Dianne Frances
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Key players on education in Indiana will come together next month for a one day “dialogue” in Terre Haute.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be the keynote speaker of the 2013 Statewide Education Summit, an annual event by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted this year by the Greater Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP.

Organizers say Ritz will discuss “hot topics in education,” although specific topics are yet to be confirmed.

Another state official, State Sen. Tim Skinner, is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion at the event.

Valerie Hart-Craig, president of The Greater Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP said it is “a great honor” to have Indiana’s state officials, educators, parents and students convene in the city.  

“I will consider this a success if we can get parents in the room and allow them to ask the questions that concern them with regard to their children” Hart-Craig said.

 The one-day summit — now in its 13th year — will start at 8 a.m. Aug. 3 at the Indiana State University Scott College of Business. This year’s theme is “The 3 R’s — Rights, Respect, and Responsibility,” in education.  

Joe Williams, a member of the local branch’s Education Committee, said attendees will hear “hot topics and best practices that are being implemented here in Vigo County.”

“My hope is that they will take those best practices to their communities and implement them there,” Williams said.

Williams discussed the organizers’ plans for the day.

The event will kick-off with welcome remarks from Hart-Craig, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett and NAACP Indiana State Conference of Branches President Barbara Bolling.

Throughout the day, multiple sessions will be ongoing, some of them geared towards parents, educators and legislators, while others are tailored to students and the young people.

In one of the sessions, Vigo County School Corp. Superintendent Dan Tanoos will discuss graduation rates among the minority, specifically African American males.  Presenting alongside Scotia Brown, principal at McLean High School and Carolyn Roberts, diversity consultant at the Vigo County School Corp., Tanoos will also discuss diversity among students, faculty and staff in schools.

In another session, Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing will join in the conversation about police presence at schools.

Other presenters are Indiana State University professor Charles Norman and Eric Curry of Vanguard (Chicago). Kizito Kalima, a survivor of the genocide in the African country of Rwanda,  will serve as the motivational speaker.  

Theressa Bynum, treasurer of the NAACP Greater Terre Haute Branch and member of the education committee said the summit is an opportunity for legislators and the public to discuss recent laws related to education. It is also a chance for stakeholders in education to share information with each other, she said.

And Terre Haute educators have important information to share.

“We are very proud of the educational achievements … in the area and we want to showcase them,” Bynum said.

Registration is required. Attendance will be limited to the first 120 registered. Fee includes breakfast and lunch and materials. If postmarked by July 15, registration fee for adults is $20 and students $10; after July 15, adults $25 and students $12. For a registration form, contact Joe Williams at 812-234 3446 or

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or