Rider’s School of Education kicked off its centennial celebration 100th on October 17 in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.
Sean Ramsden

Rep. Rush Holt met students from the Council for Exceptional Children prior to his address on October 17.

On a night when Rider’s School of Education celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt championed the teaching profession during his keynote address on October 17 in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.

“As we think about the age of the School of Education, it’s important to think about what it takes to keep it alive,” said Holt, a Democrat who represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional district. “Everyone who was ever a student thinks he or she is an expert on education. They need to recognize that knowledge moves on and information gets old.”

Holt, who serves on the Committee on Education and Labor in the House of Representatives, including the subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, praised Rider’s School of Education, which launched its centennial celebration with the evening event.

“The work you’re doing here at Rider is critically important,” he said. “With each passing year, this country is losing teachers.” Holt cited the wave of soon-to-retire baby boomers as a primary reason, and that that the next few years are expected to bring great opportunity to young educators.

“By 2014, the nation’s schools will have 1 million new teachers, so I’m glad to hear that Rider graduates have no problem finding jobs,” Holt quipped, to the laughter of Rider Education faculty and students, before explaining that education funding is an investment in the future.

“The single best investment we can make is in teacher preparation and training to make them excellent educators,” he said, citing a study revealing that a good fourth-grade teacher makes a student one-and-a-quarter times more likely to go to college, and equally unlikely to have an unwanted teen pregnancy. Likewise, Holt said, that same student is likely to earn some $25,000 more in annual income.

“That is the residual effect of one good teacher,” he said.

Founded in 1913, Rider’s School of Education has become a cornerstone of the University by creating a diverse set of student-centered programs that address the needs of 21st century learners. Through partnerships with local schools, businesses, and government and community agencies, the School of Education works collaboratively to develop high-quality programs for its students.

The School of Education’s field-based programs and strong Rider alumni network provide important contacts and mentoring opportunities that lead to employment opportunities for its graduates. Rider students have been named New Jersey Distinguished Student Teachers of the Year for each of the past three years.