Education, Youth and Families

Seattle University staff and community members talk about educational challenges.
By Annie Beckmann

Learning from one another about educational challenges and successes was the focus of a recent panel discussion at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School.

Sponsored by Seattle University’s Academic Salons and Center for Service and Community Engagement, the event brought together more than 100 parents, educators, students and community service providers from the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood.

Panelists included:

  • Kiseri Tensaew, a ninth grade honors student at Garfield High School who was born in Eritrea and hopes to become a medical doctor
  • Liban Ahmed, a Somalian father of six who teaches soccer to children in the area
  • Barbara Dixon, a kindergarten teacher at Bailey Gatzert for the past seven years who inspires literacy in elementary schoolers with an after-school soccer program
  • Greg Imel, principal at Bailey Gatzert and an award-winning administrator with Seattle Public Schools since 1980

The Seattle University Youth Initiative aspires to find ways to connect people, said moderator Rachael Steward, associate director of the Center for Service and Community Engagement.

Several in the audience suggested parents and families unfamiliar with American culture need more advocates and more opportunities to visit classrooms.

“The best humans are teachers,” noted Liban Ahmed. “They take you from mystic darkness to the light.”


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