If your children want to be teachers, send them to East

If your children want to be teachers, send them to East

Rochester Education Foundation Partnership Awards Dinner, October 9th, 2013. Laura Delehanty, center.

Last Monday night in the Village Gate, twenty years of history was packed into the north side of Lento Restaurant. From Clinton to Obama with Bush in between. From No Child Left Behind to its discontents. From the dawn of the internet to digital classrooms. From when the Delehantys were young to the Delehantys . . . in their prime!


Left to right: Andrella Hurley, Leslie Rivera, Anthony Plonczynski, Rebecca Hein (all class of 2002) 12/21/15

You first met Dan and Laura Delehanty in Inspiring aspiring teachers at East High about East High’s Teaching and Learning Institute explained in a nutshell:

Created in 1995 with a Ford Foundation grant, TLI’s mission is to help the RCSD grow its own teachers. Through this rigorous program taught by East teachers from all disciplines, students learn the nuts and bolts of lesson and unit planning, lesson organization, preparation of materials, delivery of instruction, classroom management and reflection upon classroom performance.


Science STARS, 12/13 at East


Rob from his UR football days (East trophy case)

And on Monday night we celebrated TLI’s 20th Birthday. Expecting a turnout of about 50, the extended happy hour bash drew over 100 TLI alums, teachers and supporters. Including Robert Snyder and April Luehmann who you have met before.

The rather quickly ravaged appetizer bar (I did manage to grab a squid thing) attested to the success of the evening and the loyalty of TiLIes from all over.

The other day I talked with Dan, reflecting on the two decades. I expected Dan to give an involved story about the early years when no one knew if the Institute would survive through dramatic breakthroughs and obstacles overcome to an uncharted future. (You met Dan in What the new East will be and not be)

dan erica

D & C columnist Erica Bryant with Dan, 5/5/15 Great Schools for All Conference (Mt. Olivet Baptist Church)

Actually, the more prosaic story Dan gave made complete sense. TLI’s tale today is not that different from 1995.  TLI was a good idea in 1995 and it’s a good idea still. In 1995, there were RCSD students, even at an early age, who wanted to be teachers. And TLI met that need.  In 2015, there are RCSD students who want to be teachers. And TLI meets that need.

As Dan said:

TLI is in search of the “C” Student.   TLI looks for students who can contribute the following to their  community:  Commitment.  Cooperation.  Compassion.  Civic-mindedness.  Call it the 4  C’s.  We believe these character traits to be the basic building blocks of teaching and leadership.  And this what we look for in our students.

As Dan explained, TLI is not really looking for the so-called straight A student. TLI is not trying to be SOTA or Wilson IB.  That day Dan and I read that suburban students may be invited to selected RCSD programs.  As Dan said, if suburban students come to TLI, that’s great, but it won’t change TLI. It’s all about the 4 C’s.

Twenty years ago and, hopefully, twenty years from now. Just get to that reunion party early otherwise you may end up with squid things and aging french fries.


Never one to miss a photo-op with my hard-to-find East Athletics shirt. Courtyard of the Village Gate. Between gigs, James Sheppard, former police chief and councilman elect, joined the heady celebration inside. 12/21/15


Jamming and Slamming at East

East High’s oldest athlete, Morris Shapiro’s (1913 – 2016) love of wrestling never waned

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.


Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts