Piedmont hosts third annual Perc conference [Slideshow]



Staff Writer

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The third annual Piedmont Educator Renewal Confernce, or PERC, was held on March 14 in the Swanson Center. 

This event was for educators and counselors around Georgia to come together and learn about the current research practices being used in schools as well as allowing teachers to share their experiences and lessons with one another. 

Many of the teachers that attend the event are Piedmont alumni, so it also gives them a chance to reconnect as well.

The first sessions began at 8 a.m. and ended around 3:30 p.m. There were many options for guests to choose from in regards to which sessions they could sit in on. 

The sessions included topics such as leadership techniques for teachers, how to manage certain types of students in the classroom and how to integrate different technologies in the classroom. The speakers were professors at Piedmont along with graduate assistants and other guests. 

At the conference, the classrooms in Swanson were used for the sessions, and there were booths for guests to browse through in the lobby. 

The booths included information about Piedmont alumni events, Piedmont advertisements and PAGE (Professional Organization of GA Educators). 

Breakfast and lunch were provided for guests as well as time for them to mingle and discuss their experiences. 

Senior secondary education major, Kelsey Schaffernoth, was a first time guest of the conference and said: “I attended a session about engaging students better and motivating students lead by two teachers from Cobb County. I’m student teaching right now, so these sessions gave me new things that I can incorporate in the classroom, which is nice.”

This conference is beneficial for both veteran and new teachers. It is a chance for them to keep up to date with what is new in education. It also gives them recognition for their accomplishments in their own classrooms. 

Education professor, Donna Andrews, was in charge of the conference, and she said: “The initial idea for the conference was to bring back together teachers who had been through the Teacher Education program at Piedmont College for the purpose of renewing their instructional practices. As with most majors, instructional practices change over time, and it’s imperative that teachers have an opportunity to learn about current changes and practices- also shines light on their achievement and skills,” she said. 

The conference benefits the college as well because it brings very experienced educators and counselors together here at Piedmont. All of their expertise on education benefits the program here and can only help it grow. 

It’s also a chance for people who don’t know much about Piedmont or the education program to come and see what it has to offer. 

This conference can help Piedmont shine a light on their teaching program.

The PERC conference has only been around for three years, but so far, it has been successful. It only continues to grow. 

Teachers from as far as Macon have travelled to Demorest to attend it. 

Dean of the School of Education Don Gnecco, said:  “This is a wonderful opportunity for people who came to Piedmont College, not just as undergraduates but came to one of our off, campus cohorts or who came as a graduate student, to reconnect professionally. It’s a reason to come back to the college. It’s their professional connection to Piedmont.”