On Monday, June 4th, attendees of the CALA general monthly meeting were joined by Vicky Oatley, president of the board of directors of MAGE, the Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education. Ms. Oatley, a resident of Cambridge, and former student at the Morse school, is a public school teacher in Waltham, and has students with a range of learning needs, including advanced learning issues. She received her professional development in advanced learning education from the University of Connecticut’s Neag Center.
At the meeting, Ms. Oatley took a few minutes to present Freedom Baird, the founder and coordinator of CALA, with MAGE’s annual Public Service Award. MAGE presented the award in recognition of Freedom’s role in founding CALA, advocating on behalf of Cambridge Public School students with advanced learning needs and their families, and reaching out to a broad range of community members to promote constructive discussion and shine light on the issue. Ms. Baird, in thanking MAGE for the award, emphasized that it was the work of the many parent members of CALA and other members of the Cambridge education community and leadership that have made the organization a success, and helped move their work with the district forward.