To readers and contributors, much thanks

To readers and contributors, much thanks

The “I Dream” wall at the 2015 Park Avenue Festival

I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.”

Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

A not comprehensive list of thanks:


To Dilia Olmeda for taking pictures and making the first post—and all the others on Monroe High School—possible One Parent Resource Center at a time at Monroe

To Gwynne Mosche for pursuing the grant that made The Word Café happen. Getting the “Word” out at East And for her decades of service to readers—young and old—in the RCSD.

To Laura Barstow for arranging the field trip to the Eastman House and making sure we made the News. And to Eric Leroy for joining our expedition. See the “News” at Northeast: Booker T. Washington’s visit with George Eastman

To Patrick Rausch for all his tireless work in bringing history to life Looking at “1964″ across the generations at World of Inquiry

To Sue Hollister for taking the time to make sure her student’s art is recognized and enjoyed Youth Art worth supporting

To George Payne of the Gandhi Institute for teaching me how non-violence can work Gandhi Institute reaches out to city school students

To Wegman’s Ty Kelly for his being there almost every day after school Moving forward after school at Northeast; Wegmans stays the course

To Principal Marlene Blocker for making sure I got the story of Early College right. Getting a head start on college at Early College

To Kyle and Brett Crandall for welcoming me to East baseball games for several years now East baseball takes the show on the road. Destination Pittsburgh

To Principal Idonia Owens for her open invitations for me to see all that is The School Without Walls Holocaust survivors tell their stories at the School Without Walls

To Brian Bailey of Nazareth College for providing me with several leads to great stories East student documentary premiers in San Francisco. To be shown in Rochester today.

To Jeffrey Green for first introducing me to the Wilson Chess Team dynasty Wilson chess completes season in spectacular fashion at the Super Nationals

To Alan Tierre of SOTA who helped arrange this post and many others on the fine work of his students, staff and volunteers Flower City student musicians set to bloom at Lilac Festival on Friday

To Rajesh Barnabas for his tech wizardry and media savvy that brought Tavis into the classroom Tavis Smiley joins the conversation with Northeast Prep media students

To Liza Steffen for her tireless work keeping her Monroe students’ eyes on the prize In its first appearance, Monroe video club wins big at Digital Media Festival, “The Digies.”

To Logan Newman and Paul Conrow for envisioning and bringing to reality the Optical Program at East East’s Optical Program helping students see a brighter future

To Jeremy Boehlke for always making sure his students can make it in the real world More success stories at Robert Brown’s innovative construction co-op program, “Getting Ready for Life.”

To April Luehmann of the Warner School for her devotion to science education. And for buying stuff at my garage sale. Budding scientists make cinematic splash at East

To Alex White for his commentaries on chess and politics Alex White on charter schools and school funding

To Dan and Laura Delehanty for their insights and belief in better city schools Inspiring aspiring teachers at East High

To Janet Siegel for showing that students can save lives Community Service thriving at the School Without Walls

To Jennifer Rees for making sure we got the surveys right Teaching teens how to understand and transform anger at East

To Elizabeth Vasquez for everything she does at RIA  For some, a Thanksgiving first at the Rochester International Academy

To Wilson Chess Coach Tom Mueller for sharing pizza at chess with the Wildcats Another RCSD success story. Wilson completes sterling season. Claims 2nd place in the States. Falls just short to Brighton in Rochester Area Interscholastic Chess Playoffs.

To Tom Pappas of Monroe for putting words into actions Celebrating diversity at James Monroe High School

To James Fitta without whom there would be no eagle eyes East’s Eagle Eye Report delivers homeroom announcements with 21st century flair

To the entire East athletic staff East’s Coach Brigandi proved the value of sports extends beyond the playing fields

To Regina Neri for encouraging the artists of the future RSCD Art Exhibition showcases extraordinary range of student talent

To Rob Snyder for generously sharing his time and thoughts “Teaching with poverty in mind:” One teacher’s perspective

To Liz Hallmark and what she brings to the Rochester School Board “See Your Future Experience:” RIT and Charlotte complete innovative mentor program.

To Corey Skinner for showing me technology in the classroom done right Bridging digital divides at Rochester International Academy

To Lisa Scott for making Vernon Henry’s trip to Rochester a reality Instruments tuned up by their creator, Urban Steel is set to sway Rochester. Next stop, Antigua?

To Jason Muhammad for finding me memorabilia and for making Monroe football happen Football returning to Monroe after 30 year hiatus

To Alexci Reyes for sharing his labor of love Monroe’s Latin American Lit course breaks new ground

To Mary Aronson for supporting the “Make City Schools Better” blog from the beginning Northeast and Northwest respond to community behavioral health crisis

To John Gabrielle for his insights musical and educational No highly effective teachers at SOTA? Something is not right.

To SOTA’s Kenny Cruz for his passion for baseball No off season for SOTA’s rising baseball star. Oh, Kenny also currently has the highest GPA in the entire RCSD.

To Charles Avino for saving the murals Charlotte High’s unparalleled and almost lost murals

To Walter Larkin for welcoming me to his school Getting back in synch at LyncX Academy

To Rita Gaither for inviting me to two memorable days at Edison Hands on at Edison with Rita Gaither

To Charles Price for showing me his remarkable picture and telling its story When Martin Luther King was at the home of Charles Lunsford

To Ruby McClendon, In Memorium Ruby McClendon always believed students deserve more chances

To Stephen Eubbing of the Warner School for twice meeting me at Panaras to answer all my questions What the new East will and will not be

To Julianna Wise who didn’t mind that I misspelled her name in the print version Altrusa of Rochester brings the love of reading to RCSD students

To Suzanne Johnston for sharing memories and memorabilia of a special day When President George H.W. Bush visited Wilson on May 18th, 1989

To Jason Wasserman for his coaching Brighton fans celebrate hometown hero Ernie Clement in victory

To Patrick White for giving me the background on this remarkable recovery Quickly overcoming adversity at the Highland Bowl

To Lu Harper for her multi media help In Mount Hope Cemetery remembering the tragic vision of Adelaide Crapsey

To William Moehle for quickly providing me the information I needed Celebrating diversity on the Fourth of July at Meridian Centre Park in Brighton

To Mark Siwiec for explaining how it all came about in 1990 Remembering in 1991 when the RCSD proudly led the way against discrimination

To Shadi for being Shadi From Thurgood Marshall School of Law to Rochester Prep High School

To Calvin Uzelmeier for his scientific acumen How do the Whispering Dishes at the RMSC work?

To Chuck Bayliss for his expertise in this and other stories on the Military Society of Rochester Over the Top! Courtesy of the Military History Society of Rochester

To Mike DecCillis for bringing his memories and memorabilia That Championship Season thirty five years later

To Jeanne Carlivati and Michelle Woodworth of Partners in Restorative Initiatives.  Helping restore East through restorative classroom practices

To Judy Bello for staying the course The long vigil for peace on the corner of East and Goodman

To all the guys at the Cobb’s Hill game who took story telling timeouts Rochester’s own street ball Rucker League

To Patrick Robbins for making sure the games go on Promoting Wellness through softball at the URMC

To Elaine Spaull and the Center for Youth Building the new East one purple bookbag at a time

To Stephen Cady for welcoming me to his church Dreaming of Big Tents at Asbury First

To Darla Ferrante for her tireless work Healthy food stands stand for healthy communities

To Dr. Ruth Lawrence whose tour of the Medical Center during UR’s Meliora Weekend is on my list In search of Julie Andrews at the George Hoyt Whipple Museum

To Kitty Jospé for her poetic spirit Emotions recollected in tranquility on University Ave

To Jonathon Binstock for welcoming me to the Memorial Art Gallery An art museum as a place of meaning in a time of senselessness

To Billie’s Shape Up! A ray of light on 595 Frost Avenue

To Karrie Laughton for the evening of Summer 2015 On the Road. Destination Little Bohemia in the South Wedge.

To Susan Palermo for a complimentary soup and grilled cheese sandwich At a seat from the President’s table two years later

To Lynda Howland for a lifetime of good works From Rochester to Nepal with love. Aiding earthquake victims with your help.

To the Father’s Heart The Father’s Heart shines in Highland Park and elsewhere

To Richard Ide for letting me be a passenger in the pace car Join me at Twilight

To Stefan Cohen for his insights How do union teachers teach about unions?

To Roland Williams for joining Team Eagle at East. To Theresa Danylak for all her behind the scenes work.  “Team Eagle” set to open a new field of dreams at East. Roland Williams ’93 drops by for final summer tune up.

To Julie Everitt for a lifetime of good works On the Marketview Heights Neighborhood from Julie Everitt; 40 years later still optimistic

To Michael Boucher for putting up a sign On a “Black Lives Matter” sign in Brighton

To Sandra Frankel for her passion, knowledge and attention to detail At the Brighton Town Hall 1957 mural with Sandra Frankel

To Chip Partner for making this happen RCSD Superintendent Bolgen Vargas joins our conversation

To Daan Braveman for being a good sport The underground history of Nazareth College with President Daan Braveman

To Richard Henshaw for his wisdom On the 22nd of October 1844 on top of Cobb’s Hill/

To my father On Yogi Berra and Dale Berra and the 1973 World Series and Willie Mays and my father


And to my musing 28S who has quite possibly read every one.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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