July 12, 2020

Inspiring Array of Speakers Speak at TEDxTheCountrySchool Today

Sophia Harvey, a filmmaker and Country School and Lyme-Old Lyme High School graduate, speaks at the 2016 TEDxTheCountrySchool event.

On Saturday, March 3, The Country School will present TEDxTheCountrySchool, featuring short, thought-provoking talks delivered by a diverse and inspiring list of speakers. This family-friendly event, The Country School’s second TEDx conference, will also include fun, hands-on activities for attendees of all ages. All are welcome.

The conference will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the school’s DeFrancis Gymnasium. Learn more and register at www.thecountryschool.org/tedx.

Featured speakers include:

Robert D. Ballard, the renowned explorer and scientist who has taken part in more than 140 deep-sea expeditions. He is the Founder and President of the Ocean Exploration Trust, an Explorer-In-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Commissioner for the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and has served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years. A riveting speaker, Dr. Ballard is perhaps best known for discovering the RMS Titanic.

Fahima Ali, an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and girls. A first-year student at Columbia University, she plans to major in Human Rights and Business Management. Ali was born and raised in Somaliland, and has led efforts to help girls in her homeland gain access to education. She has also spearheaded a campaign to assist families affected by famine and drought.

Anders Waldo, a student at the University of Connecticut studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. At UConn, Waldo is involved in Husky Adapted Sport and Conn-Men, an all-male a cappella group. After graduation, he looks forward to attending graduate school to pursue his masters in speech pathology.

Theresa Govert, a community activist and founder of Together We Rise, a group founded on the notion that “no one is free while others are oppressed.” She served in the Peace Corps for three years and was the recipient of the United States Peace Corps John F. Kennedy Service Award.

John Fixx, educator, coach, and author. An educator for more than three decades, Fixx serves as Head of School at The Country School, where he also coaches cross country and has inspired scores of students to take up the sport of running. Several of those athletes have gone on to compete locally, regionally, and nationally. He is also an author; his children’s book, The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t, was published in 2016.

Marina Sachs, an artist and educator committed to empowering diverse young people through art-making. Sachs also coordinated The Country School’s first-ever TEDx conference in 2016. To learn more about her work with Lakota Youth Speak and developing TEDxTheCountrySchool, visit www.marinasachs.com. She is a 2007 Country School graduate.

Aristotle Mannan, founder of bosWell, a digital health startup aimed at improving coordination of care for our country’s most vulnerable citizens. His vision for bosWell came after leaving a job in cancer research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to volunteer at a mobile health clinic serving homeless people. Mannan is a 2003 Country School graduate.

Matthew Siracusa, CEO of WEWOOL, a business that works to provide socks to homeless individuals in Connecticut. Through WEWOOL, for every pair of socks purchased, one is given to someone in need. Siracusa had the vision for WEWOOL while running a breakfast outreach ministry in Hartford. Since then, WEWOOL has helped donate thousands of socks to those in need.

Mohamed H., a local 6th Grader originally from Syria.  Mohamed was born in Aleppo and lived there with his family until the war forced them to flee their homeland. Mohamed and his family ended up in Turkey with thousands of other Syrian refugees and lived there until, almost two years ago, they learned they had been accepted into a resettlement program and could move to a place called Connecticut. Mohamed loves his new life. He loves his friends, soccer, and spicy food, and he really, really loves school.

The Country School is a PreSchool-8th Grade coeducational independent day school serving students from across the shoreline. The TEDx program is a natural offshoot of the school’s Signature Programs, which include Public Speaking and Elmore Leadership as well as STEAM and Outdoor Edcuation.

Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org/signature-programs. This event marks the second time The Country School has held a TEDx conference. To learn about the 2016 event, visit https://www.thecountryschool.org/tedx/tedxthecouuntryschool-2016.

All talks and activities on March 3 will take place in the school’s DeFrancis Gymnasium, located on The Country School campus at 341 Opening Hill Road in Madison. This event is open to the public.


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