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Q&A With New Executive Director Jennifer Boyle

20 July 2015

Jennifer Boyle

What global experience has had the biggest impact on you?
For me, there has not been a distinct global moment that has had the greatest impact on my life; rather, it has been a mindset that gave me the freedom to create and appreciate various global moments. Growing up I was encouraged to explore, to be bold, and to chart my own course. I developed this mindset at home and at school as I learned about other cultures and spent time with friends and family from diverse backgrounds. When I reflect back upon my life, it is a collage of global moments that make me who I am. It is clamming in Cape Cod, making meatballs with my mom and grandmother, marveling at the Southern Cross under a pure Patagonian sky, dancing under the Kenyan sun, witnessing the horrors of the Rwandan genocide in the backdrop of a country filled with tremendous hope and opportunity, and a myriad of others. And it is with utter gratitude that I can say that I am, as we all are, a global citizen.

Given your diverse background in both the public sector as well as domestic and global education, how have your experiences led you to the role of Primary Source's Executive Director?
When I think back on my professional and educational background, I realize that each experience has broadened my perspective and helped me see the world through different lenses. It is an incredible privilege to join an organization that promotes a global mindset in all students. It is my hope that my background will help Primary Source achieve new heights; reaching more students, expanding our programs, and assisting more schools with integrating global education into their core curriculum.  

Why is global education important in the K-12 classroom?
With each passing day the world becomes more interconnected, and demographics are changing at home and abroad. Teachers and students need to be prepared to navigate the complexity and opportunity of culture, diversity, and globalization in their classrooms, in their local communities, in the broader world, and increasingly through the Internet. Global education and cultural literacy are no longer “nice to have”. Schools today need to prioritize them in their classrooms regardless of content, age, or location. Primary Source has been ahead of the curve, helping schools integrate global content and thinking for 26 years. As more schools and communities realize the necessity for a global approach to education, we hope to provide them with global learning solutions that are thoughtful, comprehensive, and easy to use.

What makes the Primary Source professional development model so effective?

What do Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Bill Clinton, and Bill Gates all have in common? They give credit to teachers for shaping their destiny, for giving them courage, confidence and the skills to thrive. And while I may not enjoy the successes of those mentioned above, I too, can credit teachers for making me who I am. In fact, many of us have experienced transformational teaching and learning. Primary Source honors and respects teachers as the backbone of our education system and provides them with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to globalize their curriculum and instruction. Those teachers then inspire and engage students year after year with dynamic learning opportunities. By providing teachers with high quality professional development, we are helping to open the world to thousands of students each year. 

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