AVID site coordinator at Mills Middle, Mr. Kwadjo Boaitey, came up with a unique idea to bring speakers to his classroom this school year. He created "AVID Fireside Chats" for students in the AVID elective classes as a way to bring speakers to the classroom to engage with students. during the pandemic.
These talks are pre-recorded and shared with the students once a week. Students take focused notes during the presentation and forward any questions and/or comments to the speaker after the presentation. The speakers agree to follow up with a response to student questions. In fact, the speakers who live in Arkansas would like to visit the classroom in person next semester pending the outcome of the pandemic.
Each week, we'll add the "fireside chat" with the featured speaker.
Week 10 (12.10.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Cortlynn Allen
The tenth guest speaker was Cortlynn Allen, a recent UAPB graduate (May 2021). Cortlynn majored in Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering. She currently works at L'Oreal USA as a COOP in the Performance Improvement Division.
Week 9 (11.17.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Jill Floyd
The ninth guest speaker was Jill Floyd, the director of community and client engagement for CDI Contractors. CDI has offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas and is licensed and/or available to perform any construction in 45 states across the country. Floyd also serves on the Airport Commission as well as the Arkansas Women's Foundation Board.
Week 8 (11.12.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Ken Milton
The eighth guest speaker was Ken Milton, an artist and art teacher at Dunbar Middle School (in Little Rock School District). Milton is also an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College. He spoke to the students about his passion of art and how it plays a role in his career.
Week 7 (10.29.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Dr. Charles McNulty
The seventh guest speaker was Dr. Charles McNulty, the superintendent of schools for Pulaski County Special School District. McNulty has worked in education for more than two decades, serving in roles as superintendent, associate superintendent, principal and teacher in the education sector. Recently, he was recognized as part of the inaugural "Men on a Mission" by Little Rock Soiree magazine in November 2021.
Week 6 (10.22.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Rachel Wimberly
The sixth guest speaker was Rachel Wimberly. She is the Executive Vice President of Mergers, Acquisitions and Business Development for the Tarsus Group. Her career in journalism began focused on business news working for CNN and the New York Times. In 2010, she started working for The Tradeshow Network and, ultimately, its parent company Tarsus Group.
Week 5 (10.8.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Tamika Edwards, JD
The fifth guest speaker was Tamika Edwards, JD. She is the Special Advisor to the CEO on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Engagement for Central Arkansas Water. She has 20 years of experience in public policy and community development.
Week 4 (9.24.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with James Mielke
The fourth guest speaker was James Mielke, a gamer and co-founder of Tigerton (a game development studio). His team developed the game "Jupiter & Mars" available for PlayStation4/PlayStation VR in 2019.
Week 3 (9.10.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Mr. Ethan Moore
The third guest speaker was Ethan Moore, a 6th and 7th grade teacher at Mills Middle School. He is also a Navy Veteran who served as Military Police. He's traveled throughout Europe and had an untraditional path to becoming a teacher.
Week 2 (9.3.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with Dr. Karama Neal
The second guest speaker was Dr. Karama Neal, Administrator for Rural Business-Cooperative Service for USDA. Dr. Neal was appointed to this position by President Joe Biden. Prior to joining USDA Rural Development, she served as president of Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a nonprofit community development loan fund and financial development organization promoting economic mobility in rural Arkansas and Mississippi.
Week 1 (8.27.21) - AVID Fireside Chat with David Raine
The first guest speaker was actor, David Raine. He was born in Philadelphia, PA and began theatre at age 13. He was the first actor of color to lead the case of "Hair" (in Europe) playing the role of Berger. He's been in TV shows such as "House of Cards," "The Blacklist," "The Americans," and "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to name a few.