MURRAY -- Nearly 1,500 educators representing 81 school districts across five states convened at Murray State University this week for a professional development conference that featured nationally-known keynote speakers spanning a variety of educational roles.
Through a partnership between Murray State's Teacher Quality Institute and the Kentucky Academy of Technology of Education, "The Summit: A Teaching and Technology Conference" offered educators innovative and collaborative activities, seminars and workshops that introduced new ideas to the classroom. Participants were eligible to receive six hours of Professional Development or Effective Instructional Leadership Act credit each day.
Now in its seventh year, the annual summit placed a strong emphasis on technology and its increased role in education. Keynote speakers included Marshall County School District Superintendent Trent Lovett, authors Kasey Bell and Matt Miller, kindergarten teacher Christine Pinto and licensed clinical social worker Angie Judd.
Principal and social media star Gerry Brooks capped off the two-day event, Tuesday and Wednesday, with a keynote held in Lovett Auditorium.
Brooks is well-known among educators for his informative and humorous video work, with more than a million subscribers between his YouTube and Facebook pages.
Kem Cothran, coordinator of the Teacher Quality Institute, said the 1,500 attendees on campus for the summit's second day nearly doubled last year's 800-plus educators. To accommodate the record interest, sessions were held in Lovett Auditorium and Alexander Hall.
"We're so excited to see this summit grow year after year," Cothran said.
"This is a unique professional development opportunity you'll only find at Murray State. I spent 27 years in public education, so I know how difficult it can be to get high-quality development; most events like this are far away and expensive, so to be able to provide this right here at our university at no cost to educators is something special."