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GRANTHAM, NH, September 10, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ --It was Socrates who said, "I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think." Considered by many to be one of the greatest thinkers of the Western world, the Classical Greek philosopher knew that in order to influence the intellectual capacities of others, he would need to change not what they knew, but how they came about knowing it. Keith Pfeifer believes wholeheartedly in a similar principle as superintendent of the Grantham School District. The district, which serves approximately 750 students, consists of elementary, middle and high schools accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges according to peer-reviewed best practices dedicated to continuous improvement.
A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Pfeifer ventured into education as a way of paying tribute to peers and friends who lost their lives in the war. He believed that preparing young people for the future was a patriotic duty integral to America's continuing as one of the world's great nations. This conviction defined his efforts as an educator for the last 37 years, during which time he impressed upon the supple minds of students the importance of self-sufficiency guided by qualified, diligent teachers. He always felt that in order to truly impact the future of a generation, it is necessary to first train its students to become independent thinkers and leaders who will use public education as a conduit for expression, cooperation and positive expansion.
Mr. Pfeifer serves on the boards of New Hampshire Partners in Education, NEASC's Commission on Public Secondary Schools, and the Home Education Advisory Council of the New Hampshire Department of Education, where he is instrumental in making decisions that affect policies and programs across his district and the state. In his tenure as the superintendent of another school district, he required that students be allowed to demonstrate proficiency to graduate in the way that they chose, be it passing the state test or presenting a portfolio demonstrating their skills and knowledge. "I am proudly opposed to having one test define whether a child is learning or a school is doing well," he declared. "Our children learn differently and I think they need to be assessed differently...I don't believe in the 'one size fits all' model."
An avowed continuous adult learner, Mr. Pfeifer earned a doctorate in educational administration and organization from The Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree in special education from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor of arts in political science and history from Hiram College. He frequently attends conferences hosted by his professional associations to exchange ideas on new developments within the public school system. Nearly four decades after embarking on his career, Mr. Pfeifer is as upbeat as ever about the role of public education in American society. "We may be scarce of resources but the job of public education is not finished," he declared. "I think we got to keep trying, so let's charge!"
Visit Mr. Pfeifer's website at http://www.keithpfeifer.com for more information about this lifelong educator.
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