Yvonne Spicer, the first mayor of Framingham, spoke during World Teachers’ Day in the Forum on Oct. 3.
The event, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1994, is focused on celebrating the work of teachers, while also providing inspiration and encouragement for those willing to go into the field.
This inspiration was also showcased visually by the poster boards surrounding the seating area, depicting Framingham State alumni who have gone on to become teachers, such as Helen Higgins ’75, Michael Morris ’16, and Deona Villagomez ’16.
Juniors Jennie O’Leary and Mariah Prosansky, the president and vice president of FSU’s Education Club, respectively, began the festivities by welcoming everyone to the Forum.
Prosansky said, “The right to an education is also the right to a good teacher.”
Javier Cevallos, president of Framingham State University, discussed the University’s involvement with education on a global level. “We have a long tradition of being engaged with international and global education,” he said.
“And, actually, Argentina was the first country that our students, our graduates, went to and made a difference,” he added.
Cevallos said, “In 1988, faculty at Framingham State decided that education was the way to peace, and they wanted to share their education with the world. … Education is a vocation.”
Spicer took the podium to deliver her keynote speech, and told the audience how her career led her into education and then into politics. She said, “There’s something about being on a college campus that keeps the energy flowing. … It sparks curiosity and innovation and an opportunity to share and also learn.”
She also discussed the importance of college students in the contemporary age, “Thanks to my college students, I learned Twitter, I learned how to Snapchat, I’ve also learned how to do Google Docs, and this all came from the knowledge of my young people, and I appreciate you all very much.”
Spicer added, “World Teachers’ Day gives us an opportunity to discuss the awesome impact that educators have on our local community and beyond, in our classrooms as well as other countries.”
The topic of how education is different around the world was a central focus in her speech, as she brought up external factors such as family wealth.
Spicer also discussed how education is impacted by wealth and social status.
Spicer, who grew up in Brooklyn, said she “didn’t know that [she] would be the mayor of a major city … I actually thought I was going to be an architect.”
After Spicer’s speech, audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions.
Senior Diego Rocha commended Spicer’s support of the Brazilian community in Framingham, and said, “The Brazilian community, as much as the immigrant community of Framingham, is very happy to have you as the mayor of Framingham.”
Sophomore Luther Evans said he thought Spicer’s speech “was superb – she had so many words of wisdom and facets of advice that you can implement in your everyday life.”
Spicer said – “Be your very best at no matter what you do. Be your best. Do your best.”