An interactive keynote address, a variety of breakout sessions, and casa discussions highlighted day two of the Huether Lasallian Conference in Denver, Colorado. Each part of the day tied into the conference theme of “One Call, Many Voices: Dialogue, Inspire, Transform,” which is based on the Lasallian Reflection for the 2016-2017 liturgical year, “One Call, Many Voices.”
The morning started with prayer, followed by a keynote address, which Christian Brothers Services sponsored, by Ann Garrido, D.Min., associate professor of homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. She invited participants into a discussion around difficult conversations and the differences between internal voice (what one is thinking) and external voice (what one is saying). She suggested tuning the internal voice to ask not “why am I right about this,” but “why do we see this differently?” She told attendees that differences among people do not need to break them down and fracture them, but that differences can build even tighter communities.
Sam Sourial, lead mathematics teacher at De La Salle “Oaklands” in Toronto, Canada, found Garrido’s address to be very insightful and plans to take the lessons learned back to campus.
“The same with our colleagues as with our students is that we have to listen to them and find out what’s really bothering them and find out what’s going on in their internal voice to bridge that gap, and then we can deal with the issues or problems at hand,” Sourial said.
After Garrido’s address, participants were introduced to their casa communities and spent time talking about the messages they have heard so far at Huether. Attendees were encouraged to create tweets as their responses to discussion questions.
Drew Diko, PE/health teacher and Lasallian animator at Ocean Tides in Narragansett, Rhode Island, appreciated the opportunity to talk with Lasallians from other youth and family services agencies to gain different perspectives and talk about ideas.
“How can we be more aware of helping all of our students, no matter what type of background they may come from?” Diko said in describing his casa discussion. “It’s Lasallian education. It’s our charism to educate these young men and women … Looking outside the box. How can we help all types of children?”
Two rounds of breakout sessions followed the casa discussions. Amanda Kintzi and Anna Washburn, students at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, presented a breakout session on diversity in curriculum. The students described their experience as exciting and enjoyed learning about the larger Lasallian mission.
“I think it’s very interesting seeing all of the different parts that make up Lasallian education,” said Washburn. “In our presentation, there were some people who were Lasallian social workers and some people who worked with campus ministry, and it was very cool being able to see how all of the different aspects connect and all of the different people who make up Lasallian education.”
Friday ended with casa conversations by District, followed by District dinners. Saturday will begin with a keynote address by Elizabeth Huntley, J.D., litigation attorney and child advocate, author and lecturer, from Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama, followed by a final round of breakout sessions and casa conversations and reporting. Huether will come to a close Saturday evening with Mass and the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Awards Banquet to celebrate outstanding educators in the Lasallian Region of North America.
Huether, hosted by the Office for Lasallian Education at Christian Brothers Conference, is an opportunity for educators to not only learn new techniques and find inspiration, but to build community, share best practices, and grow more deeply committed to their vocation of providing students with transformative, holistic experiences.