Oct 14 “Beyond the Traditional Public and Private Schools”

Presented by Christopher Bernier,Ed.D,Associate Superintendent for School Choice for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS)

As a cabinet member of the 9th largest school district in the U.S., Dr. Bernier helps to support 207,000 students (reflecting 194 countries, 170 languages and over 51% are eligible for free/reduced lunch) and 24,000 staff members. Specifically, Christopher Bernier leads the Office of School Choice where he is responsible for all choice options including Alternative Education, Charter Schools, Orange County Virtual School, K-12 Magnet Programs, School Age Services, Student Enrollment, Teen Parent Program and Home Education.

Since 1987, Christopher Bernier has served OCPS exclusively, beginning as a teacher and entering leadership positions in 1995 that have included Assistant Principal, Principal (High School, Middle School, and Virtual School), Director of Professional Development and now currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of School Choice.His undergraduate degree in History was received from Le Moyne College, master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Bernier is also a current fellow in the KIPP Leadership Design Program, a commissioner on the Charter Schools Appeals Commission for the Florida Department of Education, and member of the Florida Ninth Judicial Advisory Board. ASAA SCHOLARSHIP

Christopher currently resides in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. When not working, he can be found with his two children and enjoying the outdoors. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail extensively. In 2016, he completed the 215 mile John Muir Trail and successfully summited the Grand Teton in 2017.

Sep 09 Raymer Maguire: Book Review

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve” by Professor Stephen Greenblatt Part 1

Review by Peter Conrad of The Guardian 3 Sep 2017 

Greenblatt – a professor of humanities at Harvard, academically celebrated as the biographer of Shakespeare and the founder of the new defunct fashion in literary criticism known as the new historicism – here picks apart the most invidious and onerous of myths. Genesis devised a story that told us where we are, why we are here, and established rules for our conduct. Human history in the Christian west has been a long battle to come to terms with that tale, whose inflictions include a drastic ban on acquiring knowledge and a baleful sexual morality, with the pain of childbirth and inevitable death imposed by God as penalties for disobedience. Greenblatt follows Adam and Eve out of the garden and shows how they were loaded with an extra burden of guilt by St Augustine, who invented the vile notion of original sin to make us all take the blame for an impromptu erection that embarrassed him in the public baths. Greenblatt welcomes the redemption of Adam and Eve by Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo or Dürer, who saw them as ideal physical specimens, not the harassed victims of a repressive God. Finally, a little relieved, he has Darwin kill them off.

Aug 26 Raymer Maguire: Book Review: “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan Peterson

Humorous, surprising and informative, Canadian clinical psychologist and psychology professor, Dr. Jordan Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.
     What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers. Also an introduction to  Dr. Stephen Greenblatt’sThe Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.”