Tremont School Forum

The Tremont School Forum is a series of complimentary lectures and events that explore contemporary issues in the field of education.

Upcoming Events

Reimagining High School: A Design Engineering Approach to Education for the 21st Century

Presented by Alec Resnick and Shaunalynn Duffy of the Somerville STEAM Academy
6:30 pm; Wednesday, March 12nd, 2014 at Tremont School     Register to attend

Join us for a collaborative discussion of "design thinking" methodology and applications in the education field. Alec Resnick and Shaunalynn Duffy will explore approaching secondary school issues from a creative design perspective. They will speak about their recent work founding the Somerville STEAM Academy and their efforts to reimagine school. Alec and Shaunalynn will discuss their interest in "working to create a community college that lives up to its name - not a college in a community or a school in a building - but a community of people who work together as colleagues to explore questions they care about."

Tremont's Head of School, Bill Wilmot, will also share Tremont's plans to launch a reimagined high school experience in the Fall of 2014. An open discussion will engage community members in a "design thinking" approach to the perennial problems of our educational system including issues like how to create authentic assessment and communication methods to capture student progress. This aspect of education is often framed merely as preparation for the next stage, thereby devaluing the essential value of the work of the present. Alec and Shaunalynn, as designers first and educators second, take a unique approach to these issues which reframes our thinking about education.

2012-2013 Events

The theme of the programming for 2012-2013 was, "Developing a Problem-Solving Mindset."

"BE THE CHANGE: Inspiring Confidence and Resilience in Teens"

Judy Giovangelo, Tremont School Forum

Presented by Judy Giovangelo
7:00 pm; Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at Tremont School    

Judy Giovangelo is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, "Ben Speaks" (www.benspeaks.org). "Ben Speaks" mission is to raise awareness and empower our youth to BE the change they want to see in their world.

Judy lost her son, Ben, to suicide after years of dealing with mental illness and bullying. Judy's organization works nationally to create more powerful, confident, compassionate and loving children.

Join us to learn how to empower teens, teaching them to take responsibility for their thoughts, words, feelings, and actions, and stop the growing trends of depression, bullying, and teen suicide.

"Countering Violence in Schools"

Presented by Jerry Sparby
7:00 pm; Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at Tremont School   

Jerry Sparby is a retired principal from Minnesota with thirty-seven years of experience as a public school teacher and principal. He is currently a professor of education at St. Cloud State University and travels extensively consulting and speaking to educators, parents, and families.

In 2003, Jerry Sparby experienced the tragedy known by a growing number of principals: two of his students were shot and killed by a third student in school. The shooter was only fifteen years old. That experience, and its aftermath, had a strong influence on the personal and professional journey he has embarked on to try and make sense of the tragedy. He came to believe that everyone involved – including the shooter – were victims; that the school culture, the emphasis on testing and measured success, the lack of social/emotional education, and the inability of our schools to meet the emotional needs of our kids has created an environment where acting out, bullying, anxiety, and depression run rampant. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Mr. Sparby is speaking out to share his experience with parents and educators, and what he thinks we as a society need to do in order to reverse the disturbing trends we see in our schools and communities.

"High School Reform in America"

Presented by Dr. Larry Myatt
7:00 pm; Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Tremont School   

Dr. Myatt, the founder of Fenway High School in Boston and a noted expert on high school reform, will discuss the current context of high school reform efforts around the country. Dr. Myatt has been engaged in high school redesign for over thirty years. He will not only speak from his experience as a longtime educator and consultant to schools and districts around the country, but will also engage the audience and the Tremont community in a conversation about challenging the core architecture of the traditional high school.

"The Intersection of Health and Education"

Presented by Dr. Lydia Knutson and Dr. Charles T. Krebs
7:00 pm; Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at Tremont School   

Drs. Knutson and Krebs will present a lively discussion about the effects of brain development, biomechanics, and the neuroskeletal system on students' academic performance, social skills and behavioral regulation.

2011-2012 Events

The first of our lecture series was entitled, "Self Portrait: Supporting Positive Self-Imagery for Middle School Girls."

"Building Strength And Character in Middle School Girls"

Dr. Diana Paolitto, Tremont School Forum

Presented by Dr. Diana Paolitto

Good and effective parenting has tough competition these days.  For middle school girls the voices of our culture are loud, whereas parents' voices are often drowned out by the din of peers, the social media and technology.  Psychologist Dr. Diana Paolitto, a twenty-year veteran of working in middle schools with adolescents, parents and staff, will discuss how parents can help to build strength and character in their young adolescent daughters.  Based on her career gleaning practical experience inside middle schools coupled with her research in her co-authored book, "Promoting Moral Growth: From Piaget to Kohlberg", she will offer practical guidance and a compelling rationale for positive engagement with one's children during this critical time of life.

About Dr. Diana Paolitto

For thirty years, Dr. Paolitto has been nationally recognized as one of the early pioneers and leaders in the field of values and moral education and has lectured and written widely, including the long acclaimed book, "Promoting Moral Growth: From Piaget to Kohlberg", now in its third edition, with translations in both Spanish and Japanese.

In addition to her recent role as psychologist in the Wayland Public Schools, she has been an educator, teacher, consultant, curriculum designer, program evaluator, and speaker locally in Massachusetts as well as nationwide for such organizations as the United States Air Force Academy, the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, and National 4-H.  She has held a tenured associate professorship in Counseling Psychology at Boston College as well as research and teaching positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Currently, Diana P. Paolitto, Ed.D. is a senior advisor and psychologist at the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.  Her interest and research is focused on the development of a philanthropic attitude, identity and engagement in young women.

"Building Strength And Character in Middle School Girls."


"Cultural Literacy – Educating Girls to Outsmart Stereotypes"
Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, Tremont School Forum

Presented by Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair

Although educators are making huge strides in closing the academic gap between girls and boys, girls are bombarded by cultural messages and images – from "anno chic" to "Gossip Girl" to "friends with benefits" – that leave academically talented girls vulnerable to making psychologically risky and unhealthy choices outside the classroom.  With laptops, the WWW and smart-phones, smart girls are consuming messages that parents find disturbing and difficult to control.  How can we support our kids who are growing up in a culture that normalizes all kinds of unhealthy, risky, mean-spirited behavior?

This talk will discuss ways that parents can raise girls who are culturally savvy and literate; to equip them with intellectual skills to deconstruct values and norms in the culture that undermine girls' ability to stay strong, healthy and focused in their development.  Parents will learn about how to stay connected to their daughters during these challenging years, and strategies for raising resilient young women.

About Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant, and author. Catherine has consulted to over 350 independent and public schools parents and students on a wide range of topics related to creating innovative approaches to education and school culture, strengthening children's social and emotional development, deepening parents' connections to their children, and closing the leadership gap for girls.

Dr. Steiner-Adair is writing a book called "Blackberries for Dinner: Nourishing Family Connection is the Age of Technology"– which is about the impact of technology on childhood, parent–child relationships, and family life. (Harper Collins 2013).  Her current research focuses on developing innovative curriculum and programs designed to strengthen children's social and emotional intelligence and competence as emerging leaders and strengthening children's resilience to cultural values which lead to risky behaviors.

"Cultural Literacy – Educating Girls to Outsmart Stereotypes."