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Muskingum University students meet with U.S. Secretary of Education at Rural Education National Forum
National Rural Forum students with members around a table
Tori Stuard, Robbie Warne, Alicia Moore, Dennis Began (facilitator),
and Dr. King

Five Muskingum University students and a member of their faculty had a rare opportunity to meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John King, Jr. at the Rural Education National Forum, held recently on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Hosted by the National Rural Education Association (NREA) and Battelle for Kids, the forum attracted more than 500 attendees from 39 states and focused on the particular challenges facing rural education and how best to serve those needs. The event was held concurrently with the 108th NREA Convention and Research Symposium and was supported by both the Ohio and Kentucky Departments of Education.


The students attending the conference and meeting with Secretary King were Alicia Moore, a senior English language arts education major from Newcomerstown, OH; Victoria Stuard, a junior intervention specialist major and special education mild/moderate licensure

candidate from Lawrenceburg, IN; Robbie Warne, a junior mathematics education major from Cambridge, OH; Victoria Morgan, a senior Spanish education major from McMurray, PA; and Katie Rominger, a sophomore mathematics education major from Freeport, OH. They were accompanied on the trip by the Chair of the Education Department, Dr. Rae White, and the opportunity was coordinated by Dr. Barbara Hansen, Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning and Distinguished Professor of Education and liaison to Battelle for Kids.
The education secretary’s appearance was a highlight of a full program of five keynote speakers and more than 125 learning sessions available to the Muskingum group. During the session, the secretary asked the Muskingum students why they wanted to teach and encouraged them to talk about their own goals, particularly as they relate to teaching in Appalachia. The students also outlined for the secretary what they see as the needs in Appalachia and the challenges for schools in the region, including ideas they had for addressing the shortage of teachers in the region.

Of their interaction with Secretary King, Dr. White said, “These five students certainly were stellar representatives of Muskingum University and were articulate in their interaction with Secretary King.”
National Rural Forum students in front of camera
Tori Stuard, Alicia Moore
and Katie Rominger
The National Rural Education Association was originally founded as the Department of Rural Education in 1907. It is the oldest established national organization of its kind in the United States. Through the years it has evolved as a strong and respected organization of rural school administrators, teachers, board members, regional service agency personnel, researchers, business and industry representatives and others interested in maintaining the vitality of rural school systems across the country.