Saturday, August 8, 2020
10:00 AM
Christianity is the faith of explanation and intelligence. In Jesus Christ are all the riches of understanding and learning. All good learning is a part of our Christian history. The new birth opens all human abilities. The new birth creates a desire for learning. The reason for education in the Kingdom of Christ is brought together with missions and  general kindness to others. There should receive the generous support of the churches. A system of education is necessary for a complete spiritual program for Christ’s people. In Christian education, there should be good balance between education freedom and education responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always incomplete and never final. The freedom of a teacher in a school, college, or seminary is ultimately controlled by the authority of Jesus Christ. The teachers in Christian education are controlled by the power of the Scriptures. The teacher is controlled by obvious purpose for which the school started and continues.
Forum Participants
Reverend Matthew Blackwood
Executive Pastor of Ministries
Reverend Matthew Blackwood is a seasoned ministry professional with 20 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles in various facets of congregational leadership. Matthew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, a Masters in Business Administration, and is currently working on his doctorate in Business Administration. Matthew is marred to the Lovely Rochelle Blackwood. He is a father to three beautiful children.
Ryan Coe
Director of eLearn, Fresno Unified School District
Ryan Coe is the Director of eLearn in Fresno Unified School District. Ryan also co-leads the Fresno Unified Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI), building on the student, teacher, and leadership strengths to shift instruction, implementing effective blend approaches at grade level and beyond, and supporting students’ preparation for the #AsYetImagined!. Ryan received his Master’s Degree in Secondary Literacy from Loyola Marymount University and will always be a middle school English Language Arts Teacher and Student (learns so much from current and former students and colleagues).
Reverend Adrian Lee
Director of Global Missions, Family Community Church
Reverend Lee is the Secretary of the Family Community Church Association and Facilitator of vParent Ministry Group. He has 20 years of ministry experience. Rev. Lee also has over 30 years experience in operations management, predominantly in Aviation, Distribution, and Logistics. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. Reverend Lee currently gives back to the community through his work with Cen Cal Impact Mentoring as a professional mentor to students at Central High School in Fresno. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University.
June Boyce
Former Business Development Partner at ValleyPBS
June Boyce is a former Business Partner Developer for ValleyPBS Fresno where she worked with various community partners to provide a platform to discuss and develop strategies to address important issues in a manner that opened a multi-dimensional discussion around impediments, opportunities and cooperative solutions relevant to the underserved. She is active in various community projects, with special emphasis on the, African American community. June has been a part of the Central Valley Media, Marketing and Public Relations community for the past 26 years. She has worked with various Fresno County community projects in the past years: the Tobacco Prevention Unit of Fresno County Health Department, the 2000 Census Project, the California Health Collaborative Breast Cancer Initiative and the Bicycle Safety Coalition are a few of the causes she has championed. She has also worked with the California Highway Patrol in past years to promote the Safe & Sober High School graduation and “Driving without Distraction-High School Project”. June earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Interpersonal Communications from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas. June is married and a mother of two and a grandmother.
Kathie Babigian
Assistant Director at College Planning and Tutorial Center
Kathie Babigian is currently Assistant Director at College Planning and Tutorial Center, where she advises and consults with students pursuing application to college and tutor students preparing for the SAT/ACT. Kathie worked for Fresno Unified School District for over 25 years. While working for F.U.S.D, she held positions as a teacher, coordinator of language arts and literacy, and Principle of Toby Lawless K-8. Kathie has received many award for her involvement in education. Kathie has received the Award of Recognition, CATE Administrator of the Year 2002, as well as, Classroom Excellence Award – California Association Teachers of English in Year 2000.
Zerina Brown
Principal of Elizabeth Terronez Middle School
Zerina Brown earned her undergrad degree in English/History Secondary Education from Jarvis Christian College in Texas. She attended Southern University in Houston, Texas where she successfully achieved her master’s degree. She taught for Aldine Unified School district in Texas. She later moved to Stockton, California, and taught English at Lincoln High School. In 2001, she moved to Fresno and worked as the VP/Director of Curriculum for Woodson Charter School. She transferred to Fresno Unified as a teacher, at Fort Miller and Cooper Middle Schools before becoming Guidance Learning Administrator at Sequoia Middle School, where she remained for three years. She was then promoted to Vice Principal at Cooper Middle School where she remained again for three years. She then spent one year as Vice Principal on Special Assignment, training, and mentoring vice principals for Fresno Unified. Since 2017, Zerina has been Principal at Terronez Middle School.
Felicia Burrell
Education Specialist at Fresno Unified School District
Felicia Burrell is an Educational Specialist with fourteen years at Fresno Unified School District. Felicia holds an Associate in Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Fresno City College, an Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Fresno Pacific University with an Educational Specialist Credential for Moderate-Severe Disabilities, a Certification in Interdisciplinary Professional Leadership Certificate in Autism, and an added authorization in Educational Specialist for Early Childhood from birth to pre-kindergarten. Prior to Educating the young minds of children, Felica spent 12 years as an Instructional Assistant to Individual with Special Needs in preparation to becoming an Educator. Felicia is an active member with California Teachers Association and National Education Association where she ensures student and teachers voices are heard. She has held active role as a lead teacher, Special Education Liaison, Negotiations member and chair to her local organization for teachers to ensure programs and services for all interested party are feasible and successful. Currently she was featured in the Fresno Unified June Newspaper Building Futures and the May Employee Zone discussing Distance Learning from a teacher prospective. Felicia believe that students are the future and ensures her students receive a rounded educational experience with a partnership with the community and parents alike. Embarking on the new school year will be different; however, a new adventure awaits us lets Trust in God and push through with the grace and determination He gives us.
Courtney Curtis
Principal of Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School
Courtney Curtis is the newly appointed principal at Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School in Fresno Unified School District. Courtney has been in education for 15 years now, which has included 10 years as a History Teacher at Tehipite Middle School, Duncan Poly High, and Gaston Middle School and 5 years as a Vice Principal at Hoover High and in the School Leadership Department at Fresno Unified’s Central Office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science, master’s in educational leadership along with a Teaching and Administrative Credential.Courtney Curtis has served for many years as a Sunday School Teacher at Family Community Church in Fresno for middle and high school aged students and strives to be a role model for children both in and out of the school setting. He is excited to continue carrying on the legacy of Bud Gaston, in serving as the first African American male principal in several years within Fresno Unified, working to ensure that Gaston Middle School is a place where students excel both academically and socially going on to do work that will better their community and world around them.
Marty Lewis, B.A., Th.M.
Vice Principal of Edison High School
Martin “Marty” Lewis is a Vice Principal at Edison High School. He has worked in education for more than 15 years with Fresno Unified School District. He has experience in school safety, coaching, Language Arts and Math instruction, tiered student supports, social and emotional learning, Special Education supervision, teacher mentoring, community engagement, and professional development. He is an alumnus of Dallas Theological Seminary (2004), a preacher of the gospel and missionary since 1995, with experience in New Testament languages and hermeneutics instruction. He is married to Alvina, and they have two children; Aida (7yrs.) and Matthias (1yr.) “My work as an administrator is not devoid of ministry; it is ministry. Now, more than ever, our disenfranchised communities need to have our voices heard.”
Valerie Martinez
Principal of Baird Middle School
Valerie Rivas Martínez is a school administrator dedicated to serving students from all backgrounds through transformation of school systems, commitment to equity and achieving sustainable access. She has served as principal of Baird Middle School in Fresno, California since 2013. During that time, she led her school to be named an AVID National Demonstration School, a California Gold Ribbon School in 2017 and a California Distinguished School in 2019. Valerie is a former social worker who chose the educational arena in the hopes of making a greater impact. She has five beautiful children who were born to her, and countless others who adopted her along the way. She considers herself one very fortunate human being.
Patti Patrick
Instructional Designer at Fresno Pacific University 
My life’s work and calling has been education. I currently serve as an Instructional Designer, supporting online and blended course development with the Center for Online Learning at Fresno Pacific University and have mentored student teachers for FPU as well. My experience in K-12 education includes 20 years of high school science teaching, school administration, and district educational technology leadership with Fresno Unified School District. I have a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Fresno Pacific University. My husband Randy and I are members at New Covenant Community Church and we have three adult children.
Iris Person
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Iris Person is a servant leader of The Most High God. She serves in the community as a Professor at California State University Fresno. Iris is also a Clinical Therapist, providing clinical and clinical faith-based counseling to individuals, children, marriages, families and groups, through her private practice, Person to Person Counseling. Iris is the cofounder of her        non-profit human services organization, Person To Person Inc., where she and her husband provide charitable human services to the community. She also serves as the Director of an internationally renowned ministry, AWANA ministry, through her local church. Iris received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the renowned, private, Christian college, Oral Roberts University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from California State University Fresno. She is currently a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Iris has an extensive history of service in the social work profession, ranging from Public Child Welfare specialty practice, School Social Work, work with mentally and physically disabled people, mental health, Congregational Social Work and marriage counseling.