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Educators Gather at GCU to Talk About Achievements, Challenges

Annual Conference Brings Special Education Teachers to Georgian Court

Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 5, 2010—How to create the kind of classroom where every student has the opportunity and tools to succeed is one of many topics up for discussion at the annual conference of the New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children, hosted this year by the Georgian Court University School of Education.

Educators, including administrators, teachers, and other members of the school community, will participate in the conference, slated for 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 18, in the historic Casino Auditorium on GCU’s Lakewood campus.

"The goal is to assist educators in improving their practice so that all students will meet challenging academic standards, and to help them achieve success so that no child will be left behind," says Lynn DeCapua, Ph.D., an associate professor of education at Georgian Court and president of the 1,800-member New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children.

The keynote speaker is author Toby J. Karten, who has worked in the field of special education for more than 30 years, and has published several books aimed at helping teachers reach students with diverse abilities. Ms. Karten, who has twice been honored as the New Jersey Council of Exceptional Children’s Teacher of the Year, will talk about strategies to help youngsters achieve their goals in school and in their daily lives. She’ll also explore issues related to society’s attitudes toward exceptional children, teacher preparation, and collaborative support systems.

The annual NJCEC conference is the premier professional development event for special educators in New Jersey. This year, the School of Education at Georgian Court University is proud to host the event, which also includes poster presentations, vendor exhibits, and time for educators to collaborate and network. The conference will also honor Paulette Fox, 2010 NJCEC Teacher of the Year and a 2006 Georgian Court University alumna.

Conference breakout sessions will address a range of topics, including: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA); differentiated instruction; classroom management; transitions to college; giftedness; and creative dramatics and movement in the inclusive classroom.

Subjects covered in the sessions speak directly to the everyday issues facing educators and others—including parents—who advocate for exceptional children.

“Educators today are much more accountable in years past and face many more challenges in the classroom, diversity being one,” says Dr. DeCapua. “For inclusion to be successful, adequate support is needed but not always provided.”

This event aligns with New Jersey Professional Development Content Standard 10: Prepares educators to hold high expectations for the achievement of all students and to support their academic, social, emotional, and physical development in a safe, orderly, and supportive learning environment. Conference participants will receive certificates documenting three hours of professional development.

The conference is open to the public, but registration is required. Fees are $35 for CEC members and $50 for non-members. For more information or to register, contact the GCU Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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