Northwestern's SOEA attends national convention

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Northwestern's SOEA attends national convention

August 5, 2015

Roxann Clark, Dr. Martie Young, Karolyn Thompson, Micah Keith

Left to right is sponsors Roxann Clark and Dr. Martie Young, with members and officers Karolyn Thompson and Micah Keith at the National Education Association Student Program Convention.

The 2015 National Education Association (NEA) Student Program Convention in Orlando, Florida was attended by two of Northwestern’s Student Oklahoma Education Association (SOEA) members and officers.

Senior Micah Keith of Perry, and recent graduate, Karolyn Thompson of Alva, were local members, local officers as well as state officers of Northwestern’s SOEA.

“Anytime I was able to attend a conference with SOEA, it was a learning experience,” said Thompson, a SOEA member for two and a half years and a state officer for one year.

The two students attended the event with SOEA co-sponsors Dr. Martie Young and Roxann Clark, both Education Division professors.

“Sponsoring the leaders of Northwestern’s SOEA chapter to a national convention is such a pleasure and one of the best perks of our jobs as teacher educators,” said Dr. Young. “There are always new things to learn about the state of education and new people to meet from all across the nation.”

Three days of meetings, elections, and professional development were followed by eventful sight-seeing. The day spent at the Epcot Center was the most noteworthy for the future educators. It is dedicated to technological innovation and international culture and is often referred to as a "permanent World’s Fair."

“Each student was part of something much bigger than any experience ever before,” said Dr. Young. “Not only were there hundreds of other students from all around the nation but also many active and retired educators working alongside each of them, so they had experiences to pull from hundreds of others.”

EPCOT is an acronym for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”; a city of the future planned by Walt Disney. The Disney World Properties were the backdrop for the convention where many venues were readily within walking distance for the convention attendees.

In Walt Disney's words, "EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing, and testing, and demonstrating new materials and new systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world of the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise."

One of the three days was set aside for the SOEA participants to work with a school in the area of the hosted conference. Hundreds of NEA members joined the Student Program Convention attendees to kick-off a new program called Leaders Empowering Grassroots Advocacy for Communities and Youth (LEGACY) Project.

The project involved working with nearly 800 elementary-aged students at a community fair at Osceola High School and Thacker Avenue Elementary School. Each student NEA member had the responsibility of a class to sponsor at the fair. The convention was a successful journey of professional growth and collaboration which empowered future teachers and their sponsors.

“It is an amazing opportunity to work together and network with hundreds of educators for the good of our profession and those we serve,” Dr. Young said. “Because of support from our administration, we are able to allow our students to take part and learn from a higher level of experiences that the national convention offers. From these experiences, our students and future teachers return with fresh ideas and excitement for the field of education.”

“SOEA is a wonderful organization,” said Thompson. “I would encourage all education majors to take the opportunity to become a part of something that is supporting what they want to become.”

For more information about Northwestern’s SOEA please call Ms. Roxann Clark, Education Professor at (580) 327-8460 or contact her by email; or Dr. Martie Young, Education Professor at (580) 213-3195 or