PLTW CEO Surprises the Sunshine State

Throughout the summer teachers have been gathering across the country to participate in Core Training, an intensive and immersive in-person training experience held at one of PLTW’s Affiliate Universities. This past week 100 PLTW middle and high school teachers, 20 of which were brand new PLTW teachers, from Alabama, Washington D.C., Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas gathered in Orlando to complete the second phase of the PLTW professional development program hosted by the University of South Carolina. The teachers were aware that the week would be busy and they would play an active role in their training experience. Yet, they were unaware that they would receive more than curriculum instruction; they would receive a visit from the PLTW CEO himself, Dr. Vince Bertram.

"As one of the Master Teachers for the Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) Core Training in Orlando, I have had the privilege this week to work with amazing instructors from around the state who will be a crucial part of how we build the PLTW program in Florida," said Aurelien Mansier. "It was an honor to have Dr. Vince Bertram speak to our cohort about how we as educators inspire and create a lasting effect on the students that we come in contact with daily."

Teachers filled five classrooms to complete hands-on activities, projects, and problems, and Dr. Bertram spent time in every classroom observing, inquiring, and brainstorming with them, explained Jessica Hooper, PLTW director of school engagement east region. During his time with the teachers, he shared his personal story with them and encouraged them to share their gifts and talents with PLTW.

"I am continually inspired by the enthusiasm and expertise of PLTW teachers, master teachers, and affiliates," said Dr. Bertram. "The University of South Carolina hosted an outstanding training in Orlando, and I was pleased to visit with the teachers who are largely responsible for our students’ success."

Dr. Bertram’s visit "demonstrated his commitment to his work and appreciation for the organization and teachers," said Hooper. She explained that he "went beyond the training" and ate dinner with the teachers in the evening. During the meal he invited the teachers to express their ideas for the organization’s growth and improvement.

"It is thrilling to have a leader who is an experienced educator that has worked at the highest levels within our profession, and it speaks volumes about who he is as the President and CEO of PLTW that he would take the time to visit with us," said Mansier. "As I look back on this week, I feel strongly that what we are doing matters and that this program truly prepares our students to be leaders in a global economy."