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Learning Choices Network

Film Series & Panel Discussion

Monday, April 22, 2013
6:30 to 8:30 pm
at the Amherst Public Library
350 John James Audubon Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14228

The Learning Choices Network announces a free public viewing of World Peace and Other 4thGrade Achievements, where “students discover that they share a deep and abiding interest in taking care of each other”, Monday, April 22, 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Amherst Public Library, 350 John James Audubon Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14228.

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements weaves the story of teacher John Hunter with his students’ participation in the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood school to citizens of the world.

John Hunter gave his TEDtalk in March 2011. Since then it has been viewed by over 569,000 people. In addition, his TEDtalk was selected by TED and the Huffington Post as the most influential idea of 2011. Time magazine also named John Hunter as one of “12 Educators to Watch in 2012” for his innovative and impactful teaching approach. John Hunter and the film have recently presented at the Pentagon, the United Nations, Google, Harvard, Georgetown, Aspen Ideas Festival and continue to be written about widely.

A community panel discussion will immediately follow the film. Panelists include Jody Douglass, Head of School at Buffalo Seminary, Emily Eisenbaum from Bornhava, Dr. John Newton of Mandala School, and Bradley Rogers, Headmaster at The Gow School.

The Learning Choices Network is a community coalition of educators, independent schools, community activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, homeschoolers, friends and families working together to create, facilitate, and promote alternative opportunities for authentic learning in the local community. For more information, visit


Jody Douglass is in her sixth year as Head of School at Buffalo Seminary. Her positions of leadership in education have included roles at some of the best schools in New England. Prior to moving to Buffalo in 2007, she served as Head of School at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, where she helped start an international boarding program. She has served as Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts; Associate Dean of Admission at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont; and Assistant Director of Admission at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She has also served as Director of College Counseling at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 2001, Ms. Douglass and her husband spent a year in Beijing, China, teaching for School Year Abroad. Ms. Douglass is an active member of the Garret Club and currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). During AY 2011-2012, she chaired the NYSAIS Accreditation Committee for the Masters School in New York City. She holds her B.A. in sociology from Bates College and her M.A. in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting and walking around the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo.

Emily Eisenbaum has worked in the field of special education for 35 years, teaching youngsters in both public and private schools. She has worked with students from the ages of 2- 12 years in a variety of settings, and served as a practicum supervisor for the Infancy/Toddler Special Education Masters Program at Buffalo State College, overseeing and supervising the student teachers and graduate assistants in that program. Emily conducted educational seminars for professionals through Buffalo’s SETRC (Special Education Teacher Resource Center) for many years, and helped organize the Very Special Arts Festival for children with various challenges in Western New York. She has published articles for both educational and local publications, with a weekly column in a Maryland paper. Emily contributed in the writing of the textbook, A Practical Guide to Infant and Preschool Assessment in Special Education, as well as having presented in national conferences. Having adopted three children internationally, Emily was also involved in the local adoption community, and was president of Families Interested in Adoption, an adoption support group, and served as an adoption coordinator for eight years for World Child, Inc., an international adoption agency. She is currently teaching preschool in her eleventh year at Bornhava, a specialized Early Childhood Center in Western New York. In her free time, Emily teaches art at her temple, knits, reads, enjoys cooking and watching the growth and development of her four children, ages 12-22 years.

Dr. John Newton retired from public school teaching to follow his dream of over 35 years to provide a healthy, humanistic learning environment. He has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from St. Lawrence University, a Masters of Science in Early Childhood from SUNY-Cortland, and a Doctorate in Elementary Education from Temple University. He is currently an adjunct instructor for SUNY-Fredonia in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Dr. John was the New York State recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship for 1997-1998. This allowed him to be the East Aurora School naturalist for a sabbatical year. Always innovative, his work with students has included one of the first internet projects, an AT&T Learning Circle in the 1980s featured around the world; an environmental project on zebra mussels that resulted in a United Nations presentation and a spot on Japanese television; the creation of the Great Lakes Student Summit, student presentations to the International Joint Commission as well as the Canadian ambassador; and the student-created Friends of Emery Park. Dr. John was one of the founders of Explore & More Children’s Museum and is the founder of Mandala School, an independent democratic school located in East Aurora.

Mr. M. Bradley Rogers is very passionate about teaching students with dyslexia and related language based learning differences. This has been his focus throughout his 28-year career. Mr. Rogers holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Dayton, a certificate for teaching specific learning disabilities from Cleveland State University, and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the Johns Hopkins University. He has also attended leadership training coursework at Harvard Business School. Outside of the classroom, he has coached wrestling, lacrosse, football, and baseball. In 2004, Mr. Rogers joined The Gow School as its 6th headmaster. Mr. Rogers and his wife Anne have four sons and live on the campus of The Gow School. He is an accomplished marathon runner and percussionist. The Rogers family are members of Baker Memorial Church and enjoy old-fashioned summer vacations in Maine. Someday, Mr. Rogers hopes to be in a rock and roll band.