Friday, July 27, 2001

Miami-Talawanda partnership expected to benefit community

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        OXFORD — A partnership between Miami University and the Talawanda school district is expected to strengthen the ties between the two institutions and improve instruction.

        “The goal is to draw the community together and enlist the expertise and resources of Miami in helping each Talawanda student meet his or her potential,” said Phil Cagwin, Talawanda superintendent.

        The agreement means Miami will mentor its first-year teachers who are hired by Talawanda, and Talawanda will provide increased career preparation opportunities for Miami students, and both institutions will promote the Talawanda school district as a desirable place to live. Miami also will assist Talawanda in providing professional development programs, seminars or speakers for teachers.

        “There's been many positive things occurring on an informal basis over the 20 years I've been here,” Mr. Cagwin said. “They've not always been focused in the direction we wanted. We're hoping this partnership will make our entire community a better place.”

        Miami President James C. Garland said universities around the country are recognizing the advantages of developing strong partnerships with their local school districts. That effort would please many in the district, says Talawanda Board of Education President William Vollmer.

        “We've had complaints about Miami sitting there and not doing much,” Mr. Vollmer said. “This will be the diving board to jump in and try to help one another.”

        Mr. Garland said he would like to see Miami assist Talawanda High School's staff in expanding advanced placement opportunities, begin a mentoring program for Miami graduates who become Talawanda teachers, and assist in establishing after-school reading programs for high-school students. Of particular interest, Mr. Cagwin said, is allowing Talawanda teachers to participate in programs when Miami brings in national speakers on education.


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