Learn to be 'SHENSATIONAL'

SHENSATIONAL Global Expo 2010 is only in its inaugural year, but Dr. L. Oliver Robinson hopes and plans to make it an event that lasts for years to come. The Shenendehowa superintendent said the event, Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school, came about in light of changes like GlobalFoundries lending to the area's diversity, spurring a need to prepare students to live and lead in a global society. More specifically, he said, it's deeper than that.

"It's twofold. One is to recognize that the demographic of the community, both the school and beyond, is changing and will continue to change. When you think about companies like GlobalFoundries expanding into the area, you also think, 'how do we start to really recognize those differences and how does Shen fit into that global arena,'" said Robinson. "The other side of the coin is, as we speak about preparing our students for a global marketplace, how do we start doing things that truly provide exposure and celebrate that global perspective."

A diversity committee comprised of teachers, parents, students and community members of between 25 and 10 met at various times throughout the past year and a half. Robinson said they discussed how to propel the expo's message beyond one weekend, potentially in the form of speaker forums, discussions and other events that will provide a venue for students and adults alike to talk and learn together.

"We're not just talking about race and ethnicity, but also gender, disabilities, differences across the board. In many ways I think there's always a natural attention of race relations and tensions of class and culture clashing, in terms of rich versus poor," said Robinson. "One of the premises we had is we didn't want people to come out and fabricate something that didn't exist but to truly think about things and realize that whole notion of synergy; a collection of individual pieces which sends a much more powerful message than the pieces by themselves."

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