Friday - Breakfast with an Ambassador
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This morning I went down to breakfast and headed towards my assigned table. As I passed other tables, people were taking their seats wherever they wanted to sit and chatting with others.
Approaching my table, Table #1, my eyes got bigger and butterflies started to tumble in my stomach. My table had place cards. I found my seat and looked at the cards next to mine. On my right was Robert Pearson, on my left was Evan Ryan.
So what's the big deal with that?
"As Director General of the US Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, Mr. Pearson introduced critical changes in America's diplomacy, twice earning national awards for innovation and management improvement and preparing the United States for the challenges of the 21st Century. He served as Ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003 during a critical period and was previously posted in Paris, Brussels, Beijing, Taipei and Auckland, New Zealand..."
"On September 26, 2013, Evan Ryan assumed her position as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs...From 2009 to 2013, Ms. Ryan served in the White House as Assistant to the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement...Prior to this, she served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Biden for President Campaign..."
In his speech later on after breakfast, Ambassador Pearson expressed his sincerest appreciation for everything that teachers do. To illustrate his point, he mentioned how he had spent some time in China and there was a whole generation of people who, due to the uprisings and protests, didn't know how to read or write well. Ambassador Pearson said "the only way that we effectively take the knowledge and culture that we all have collectively and pass it on is through the work that teachers do."
There is so much that we are going to be bringing home and figuring out how to share with our co-workers.