Thursday, 5/20/10, 7 p.m.: Bullying panel, hosted by Annarbor.com, at 301 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor.
Robin Batten, Washtenaw Area Council for Children
Annie Zirkel, a relationship and parenting consultant (and Ann Arbor Public Schools parent)
Michael Benczarski, principal at Whitmore Lake Middle School
The Washtenaw Area Council for Children is an excellent, if little-known, group in the county that works to prevent abuse and increase safety for kids. I've heard and read Annie Zirkel before and really like what she has to say. (See her work at practicehow.com.)And Michael Benczarski has a very interesting personal history and is living proof that you can overcome significant disadvantages. I'm excerpting his biography from this Annarbor.com article which gives more details about the event.
Michael Benczarski, principal at Whitmore Lake Middle School, was emancipated and became his own legal guardian at the age of 16. A high school dropout, he became a graduate of high distinction from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's in education in 1999, and graduated from Marygrove College in 2002 with a masters in education. Benczarski has 12-plus years experience in education including work as a paraprofessional, fifth-grade teacher, eighth-grade teacher, elementary principal, middle school assistant principal and middle school principal. He is trained in Love and Logic and has experience utilizing the concept of Restorative Conferences.