Wallace Convening 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended the Wallace Convening from November 13-15, 2019. A big THANK YOU to site-level community spotlight presenters: Leah Rock and Courtney Prieto, Forest Hill Elementary; Kasey Nell, Elizabeth Grochan and Ivonne Pimentel, West Gate Elementary; Sharon Clark, Pahokee Youth Enrichment Academy; and Lori Seal, Egret Lake Elementary Afterschool. The community spotlights got everyone on their feet. Participants moved around the room and shared with their colleagues about the incredible work they’re doing in their communities.

Thank you to Lori Seal for leading the creation of the ocean-themed centerpieces featuring “random acts of kindness” contributed by OST children.

Thank you to Palm Beach County speakers Dr. Fennoy, Suzette Harvey, Knellee Bisram and Lake Shore Middle School eighth-grader Kil’mari Phillips. During our time together, we shared and gained knowledge from peers and partners, with a focus on deepening adult SEL practice.

Dr. Donald E. Fennoy II, Superintendent of Schools for the School District of Palm Beach County, welcomed us to the convening, noting “As colleagues and friends, we look forward to our continued work together. You have impacted students who will carry these SEL competencies up through their secondary school experience and beyond. Who knows where in our communities it may show up in the future, but rest assured, it will show up.”

Suzette L. Harvey, CEO of Prime Time Palm Beach County, shared some of the ways SEL “is changing our practice, and ultimately lives.” Wallace Foundation President Will Miller then offered insights from our collective work in Years 1 and 2, forecasted opportunities to adjust and hone our future work by leveraging data, and answered questions from participants. 

In the breakout sessions, PSELI partners and peers shared their expertise and learnings on various topics around the theme of deepening adult SEL practice. During intra-community time, teams gathered to discuss their learnings and make plans for the future. 

Keynote speaker Kil’mari Phillips, an eighth grade student at Lake Shore Middle School in Palm Beach County, reminded participants why their work matters when she talked about her own SEL journey. Click here to watch her speak.  

Gigi Antoni, Wallace’s Director of Learning and Enrichment, wrapped up the gathering by revisiting our vision for PSELI and by highlighting some key takeaways overheard during the convening. She also expressed gratitude for the hard work being done by all communities: 

“I just want to tell you from the bottom of my heart — and from my team — that it’s such an honor to be part of a learning community with all of you. We appreciate how hard you work, how you persevere through all the challenges to do this work for your kids, and how generous you are in sharing what you’re learning with all of us.” 

Click here to watch a video recap from the week and click here to review and share photos. And for those who attended, don’t forget to check out the Resources section of Guidebook for additional session materials!