ACE Scholarship Recipients

Roland Faucher 2014 Scholarship Recipient

Old Friends and New Ideas

     Old friends and new ideas, sounds like a poem but actually it is the theme (in my opinion) behind attending education conferences. Recently many of “us” attended the 12th annual Professional Development Symposium which was a great success. When I refer to “us” I am referring to that hardy group of educators, administrators, and support personnel that have chosen to work in corrections. These are the same folks that I seem to bump into 7 to 8 times a year at similar conferences and other quarterly meetings who I like to refer to as old friends. Of course I don’t mean “old” as in age but “old” as in knowing them for a while, none of us are getting old, just more experienced. I consider these acquaintances friends because we seem to share a common goal of teaching those who others have probably given up on. They are friends because they too see the same kids as I do, but with different names. These old friends know that these kids are usually far behind their peers in the public schools, and fall further every new school year until it seems impossible to ever catch up. These friends also see these same kids entering back into detention several times a year, each time with the same story of failing probation and dropping out of school. But these same friends of mine never seem to give up on these kids, they just try something different, something that may work better this time, something that has been tried at another facility or presented at a conference, something that could be called a new idea.

     Individually in our separate county detention schools we may be small and single minded but collectively as an entire state of detention centers we are a large group with many minds and many years of experience. But despite the many years of experience between us we all know there is more to learn, such as a better way to teach those that don’t want to learn, or controlling behavior, and perhaps techniques we never thought of before. This recent ACE conference as with the numerous meeting and conferences before gives detention educators a chance to connect with others in the same field. To reaffirm what we are doing is working or to adjust our technique and move in a different direction. As always, I am looking forward to our next gathering to learn from old friends and their new ideas.  

2014 ACE Scholarship Recipient Daua Vidana

The ACE Conference is something I have enjoyed going to the past couple of years, and hope to continue to attend. It is a great time to get together with our colleagues and meet people from other departments. My favorite part has always been the inspirational speakers, I love hearing their stories. This year’s speaker, Antwone Fisher was no exception. His story really tied into this year’s theme ‘having hope.’

Antwone Fisher spoke about his life story, growing up in a difficult time with a lot that he had to overcome. It was very inspiring to hear his story. It reminds me of having more hope with the people we come in contact with daily. I don’t always know their stories and why they ended up in the situations they are in now. It is a nice reminder going to the ACE Conference to help me be more open-minded and hopefully we will help make a difference in some of their lives, as some of Antwone’s teacher did for him.

JakinDee Kosaka 2014 ACE Scholarship recipient

I really enjoyed this year’s Symposium. The committee brought together a great group of professionals with a nice variety of topics for the professional development. Although there were many great presentations, I particularly liked this year’s keynote speaker Antwone Fischer.

He was an excellent choice to speak about how he overcame adversity which tied in well with our theme about making hope happen. His message about being there and challenging teachers to continue to see the possibilities in every student was heard loud and clear.

It is challenging while in our day to day routine to remember that our key is to help our students to make that hope happen. I feel like the Symposium was a great time for us to network with our colleagues, discover and develop resources to help us help our students achieve success.

Carrie Lewis 2014 ACE Scholarship Recipient

Back to the Future: Making Hope Happen!

So much of what we do in our daily work is based on hope, I hope he/she understands me, I hope I reach at least one child, I hope I can find the right services, I hope he/she doesn’t hurt themselves, etc. This year’s ACE conference gave us, as educators and workers of the courts, hope that we can help these kids. To keep the optimism and belief going that what we do is worth something.

“We Make a Difference”

The information that was given through our key-note speakers and break-out sessions was outstanding. I love walking away from this conference with a new spring in my step due to a new outlook on the processes in place and what is coming down the pipeline.

Thank you ACE for all the help, scholarships, and continued support. Here’s to many more years of success.

Thank you,

Carrie Lewis

Transition Program Mgr.

Cochise County Juvenile Courts

Jennifer Taggart - 2014 ACE scholarship recipient

                                                                                                           REFLECTIONS WHILE DRIVING HOME

        On the drive home from the ACE Conference, I reflected on the events and new ideas presented. I wondered about the effectiveness of some and the relevance of others in implementing my work.  Unlike most correctional educators who work in detention facilities, I work with probationers.  I don't have a captive audience who literally have nowhere else to go.  My students are often instructed to attend classes and sometimes given incentives to come, but who ultimately, must be self-motivated to come.  It is almost always obvious from the first who will continue to attend and who will not.  Needless to say, this is very discouraging.  For every moment of triumph, there are hours worry, doubt and disappointment.  For each wide-eyed, eager student, there are many more who are devoting their mental energy to planning how to avoid class.  So,....., what did I came away with?

    The Conference was great!  The facilities were excellent and the food was delicious.  I was inspired but the words and work of Antwone Fisher.  The B.A.C.A presentation reminded me that there are good, caring people willing to sacrifice for others. I heard about and got to see new materials and practices and I got good advice from more experienced educators about focusing on what is most important, not worrying about what doesn't matter and to keep a sense of humor.  And I had the honor and privilege of meeting in person former AZ Chief Justice Frank X. Gordon, for whom my facility is named.  But......

    I've come to the conclusion that there is no magic formula for my success as a teacher.  Too much depends on the motivation and desires of others for me to say that I know "how it's done".  I must rely on my training, on accepted practices, materials and procedures and on my patience (such as it is) to present the material, in the hopes that the knowledge and understanding are going into receptive minds.  It's daunting, but I cherish a dream that among my students there are future teachers and mentors, future responsible fathers and mothers, and happy, smart, productive people.   So maybe, the best part of the Conference was this realization, which was really a reminder.


Ken Ruffins - 2014 ACE Scholarship Recipient

Who’s Watching You

When you stand in your classroom, who’s watching?   When you help some students and not others whose watching? When you only help the “smarter kids” whose watching?   When you end class early, whose watching?   When you bring your personal problems to work with you, whose watching?   We as teachers must set the example by being true leaders. Not only is leadership responsibility but it is also SERVICE.   Service we provide in our classrooms every day. Service is responsibility; it is our responsibility to teach our students to become better students and future leaders in our society.   It is our responsibility to teach all students especially the ones who we see as the “not so smart ones”. These students are calling out the best way or the only way they know.   These students are also watching everything you do in the classroom.   This is why it is important as teachers to see and observe everyone.   This is what leaders do.   It is leaders who observed and helped Antwone Fischer become a leader.   Through his leadership, he has taken the responsibility to speak to everyone across the country about what it takes to deal with the hardships that life brings. When the chips are down and your still manage to keep your head up – this is character.   When your student comes to you and says, “thank you, if it wasn’t for you I would not have made it.”   This is a leader, and I’m watching you!

Rhea Bowman - ACE 2014 Scholarship Recipient

ACE Symposium May 2014

Great hospitality was extended to the Correctional Education Association Juvenile Justice Advocate at the Twelfth Annual ACE Symposium.   The theme of “Back to the Future: Making Hope Happen!” was woven through every aspect of the conference. Keynote addresses given by Antwone Fisher, Frantz Beasley, and Rick Miller each carried   a strong message of the power of hope. There is no more powerful story of hope than that of Antwone Fisher. His story of triumph in the face of overwhelming odds is truly an inspiration for each of us in the field of juvenile justice and correctional education. Many times we plant seeds without knowing if any good comes from the hard work and constant effort. Mr. Fisher is a success story from the roughest of upbringings - to prison - to a well-respected screenwriter with numerous scripts to his credit. It is impossible to hear his story without being moved by the power of hope and determination.   With attendance of over 340 adult and juvenile staff, many of the Symposium sessions were filled to capacity including: Antwone Fisher’s Keynote follow up presentation, Jerry Balistreri’s “Detecting Lying & Deception via Body Language”, and Chuck Schoville’s “Arizona Gang Trends/Update”.   Several Networking sessions were set up throughout the conference that allowed time to share information about CEA and the new secure tablet. The tablet called IPEP (Incarcerated Persons Education Pad) was developed by Union Supply in collaboration with CEA. The tablet was successfully piloted in several prisons across the United States offering a safe option for use in high security settings. The translucent casing offers security staff easy viewing of internal workings. Content can be downloaded to the table by use of a micro SD card with a wide variety of content including: Ashland University College courses, GED, ESL, Adult Basic Literacy, Computer Literacy and Keyboarding, Reentry Skills, and the PremRawat Foundation Peace Education Program. The tablet works independently from the Internet, but Internet capability can be provided. Contact for further tablet information: Correctional Education Association (CEA) 443-459-3080,<>. Orders can be placed by contacting Kiara Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%3cmailto:<a href="/ mailto:kwilson="" ceanational="" org="">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

CEA continues working toward building bridges and develop networking among the leading organizations in the field. Last year CEA affiliated with National Partnership of Juvenile Services (NPJS) and Council for Educators of At-Risk and Delinquent Youth (CEARDY). There is strength in numbers and power in having a strong support base as organizations seek a voice to effect legislation, utilize limited resources, and provide mutual collaboration. The CEA National Conference is June 22-25 in Washington D.C. at Crystal City.

It has been a pleasure to be a liaison between CEA and ACE for the last three years. I look forward to growing a strong national alliance among all the organizations in the field of juvenile justice and adult corrections education Rhea Bowman, CEA Juvenile Justice Advocate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2014 Scholarship Recipient Rhonda Boales

The ACE Symposium has always been a fantastic way to reunite with friends and make new ones. I have learned so much from the presentations, but I feel I have learned more from the people who attend the Symposium. Listening to Mr. Fischer at the opening session re-enforced the commitment we all have to help children rise to their best. This past symposium was fantastic. The collaboration of the board members, the enjoyment on the faces of the attendees made my heart almost burst. This “Doc” says that it was the best ever, but somehow I think that the one next year will top even this one. Thanks to the association for the scholarship and the opportunity to attend and serve. Thank you again.