Director of Student Development for Upper School Dr. Martha Carmody was a presenter in the Expanding Resources III Strategies to Strengthen Native American Families: An Integration of Special Education, Gifted Education and Youth Oriented Resources for Schools. The conference, which was held in October, brought together parents, teachers, and students representing 42 tribal communities from New Mexico and other states including Arizona and South Dakota, among others. The conference sought to provide highly-qualified resources and unique experiences to those in remote communities and to identify areas of need for onsite follow-up.
Christine Becker, president and conference sponsor of Sundance Educational, said that individuals who attend the event often live in remote communities and don’t have access to the type of expertise available at the conference. Conference attendees are able to listen to highly-regarded speakers, like Martha, and identify areas of need which could be met by having the speaker participate onsite in their community. The conference topics were comprehensive as speakers presented on STEM, reading, wellness, cultural awareness, and performing arts.
Martha participated as a panel presenter on Strategies for Creating Compassionate Communities; she also developed and presented two workshops: 1). Encouraging Happy Workplaces & Homes: Happiness Custom Made and 2). Claim Your Best Self: Helping Participants Identify Themselves as Individuals Living with Optimism
“Martha’s presentations were rated ‘perfect, five out of five stars’,” said Christine, noting the accomplishment especially given Martha’s large group of about 30. “She had a lot of positive comments.”
"My experience as a presenter was so gratifying because the participants were open and eager to acquire new information,” said Martha. “They expressed intense interest and enjoyment of my two workshop topics that emerged from my study of the research related to the Science of Happiness. Participants, who were educators, parents, and children were generous in their feedback and detailed the useful "take-away" points that they appreciated with enthusiasm."
The event was also sponsored by Sandia National Labs. Sundance Educational Consulting is a privately-owned firm which specializes in servicing schools with significant populations of Native American students by providing training opportunities to the education community.
Conference organizations are already working on putting together another event set for February; they say they hope Martha will again share her valuable insight.
Former Bosque teacher, Heather O'Shea, also presented at the conference.
Martha joined Bosque School in 2014 as the Director of Student Development for the Upper School. She is a graduate of Boston University, earning a BA with distinction in Psychology, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She completed her PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from UNM.