Message from the Director

[Our first electronic newsletter is available online.]

Dr. Nicholas ColangeloThis is our first entirely electronic VISION newsletter and I think this new format will help the Belin-Blank Center stay in better contact with you.  We want to keep you well informed.  Reading through this first issue, you will note registrations for our programs as well as significant events.

One very significant event that is in the making is the 25th anniversary of the Belin-Blank Center.  It is a pleasure and honor to be able to say that the Center has been serving the nation and the world for the past 25 years.  Our actual 25th anniversary is the year 2013 and there are number of events planned to celebrate this milestone.  One event is a campaign to raise $2.5 for the 25th.  The success of this campaign has tremendous impact on the future and continued success of the Belin-Blank Center.  At this point we have raised $1.4 million towards the final goal.  This success has been largely due to two signature gifts.  One gift of $500,000 from the children of David and Connie Belin , two of our founders, will secure the continuity of the professional development program at the Center.  The other signature gift, also of $500,000 is from Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan and focused on advancing our Arts program.  You can read more about these two tremendous gifts here.

Another  significant event I want to share with you is that our Administrator for Arts Programs, Dr. Clar Baldus, received the Outstanding Higher Level Art Educator of the Year for 2012 awarded by Art Educators of Iowa.  Very well deserved, Clar.

The state of Iowa is undergoing major discussions regarding a transformation of its education K-12.  Iowa has had a reputation as an education leader and plans for reforming K-12 education have a goal of maintaining that leadership role.  Right now the changes to education are being debated in the state legislature, the Governor’s office, and the Iowa Department of Education—and literally in every district.  There is a lot at stake as to the new directions.  The Belin-Blank Center supports high standards for teachers, for students and for resources to help Iowa maintain a leadership role in education.  We want to keep education synonymous with Iowa.

The needs of gifted students are not always central to the discussions of transformations in education.  The Belin-Blank Center is dedicated to keeping these needs central to Iowa education.  Advanced Placement courses, acceleration opportunities at all grade levels, and advanced opportunities outside of regular  are among the array of options that the Center promotes.  Meeting the needs of all students in terms of what they are ready for is elegant and the essence of education.

We are gearing up for a high energy summer of classes and experiences for students and teachers .  We look forward to seeing you here.

Nicholas Colangelo, Director

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