Thursday January 4, 2007

Beefing Up Math and Science Education

Susan Bodary, the governor's education adviser, has been appointed to head efforts to improve math and science education in the region.

A top state education official, who spearheaded the new Ohio CORE initiative, will head a new joint effort of Miami Valley educational partners to beef up the region's math and science education at every level of education from preschool to college.

As executive director for the P-16 Education Consortium, Susan Bodary will focus on math and science to increase the number of highly qualified teachers and to create innovative, accelerated opportunities for students.

"No one in the state of Ohio has a better sense of the compelling issues confronting P-16 schools in the effort to enhance Ohio's educational competitiveness," said Thomas J. Lasley II, dean of the University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions. "Ms. Bodary will enable the Miami Valley to be more strategic in its efforts and collaborative in its educational endeavors, especially in math and science."

As executive assistant for education and workforce, Bodary was responsible for advising Ohio Gov. Bob Taft on primary and secondary education issues as well as higher education and workforce development policy.

Lasley said Bodary was "instrumental in making the CORE initiative a reality in Ohio," and her expertise should position the Miami Valley as a state and national leader in math and science education. Ohio CORE raises math and science requirements for high school graduation to include four years of math instead of three and toughens science requirements.

Bodary will be located at UD, one of several institutions including Wright State University, Sinclair Community College, the Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton, the Montgomery County Educational Service Center and the Western Ohio Center for Excellence in Math and Science Education funding the establishment of the consortium.

"By bringing together educational partners to work in concert with business and civic leadership, the P-16 Education Consortium can help the Miami Valley develop many more innovative, knowledgeable and capable young people prepared to compete in the global economy, particularly in the areas of math and science," Bodary said.

"There is a spirit of collaboration in the Miami Valley that is not seen in other communities. I am thrilled to be a part of that spirit once again and look forward to getting to work," she said.

Bodary will be responsible for several initiatives to strengthen the region's math and science education including:

* Encouraging mid-career professionals to teach math and science and accelerating licensing for these professionals.

* Establishing a regional institute for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering or mathematics careers.

* Creating intensive summer academies to help students prepare for advanced college-level learning.

* Examining how early learning can be enhanced to help children succeed in math and science throughout their school years.

Bodary will report to the superintendent of the Montgomery County Educational Service Center and will hold a visiting lecturer position at UD and a nontenure track faculty appointment at Wright State.

Before her state appointment, Bodary served as executive director of Project READ, a coalition of schools, businesses and community organizations dedicated to addressing adult and child literacy issues in Southwest Ohio. She has been active in developing literacy initiatives throughout the state.

She holds bachelor's degrees in public law and organizational communication from Eastern Michigan State University and lives in Kettering with her husband, David, and three children.