Starting at 12:30, President David led the Pledge of Allegiance and introduced Tony Cusack to provide the Words of Inspiration. 
Tony focused on the inspiration of the life of fellow Rotarian Ed O'Brien, who passed away suddenly last Thursday.  Tony spoke of Ed’s generosity as a mentor, including advising Tony on setting up his own charitable organization.  Then Tony read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life,” noting that Ed did leave “footprints on the sands of time” that do inspire others.  He ended with a prayer of thanksgiving for Ed’s life and asked for comfort for Ed’s wife, May, and their families.
Secretary Mike Carmichael introduced guests and visiting Rotarians:
Host or Home Rotary Club
Novin Afrouz
Bethesda, Maryland
Concert Pianist and Poet
Renato Romano
Beverly Hills, California
Alice Romano
Renato Romano
Renato’s wife
Andrea Sekora
Everett, Washington
Private Lender
Jideonwo Thelkma
Nigeria – District 9140
J.S. Verbiest
Bangkok, Thailand
Cody Andersen
David Treadwell
Central Union Mission
Matthew Bathon
Steve Adkins
Steptoe & Johnson
Josue Lopez Calderon
DC Rotaract, President
The Baseball Foundation
Paula Donham
Lynn Holec
Retired Teacher & Lynn’s sister
Kimberly Fogg
Sam Hancock
Founder & CEO, Global Sustainable Partnerships
Paul Holmes
Clara Montanez
Meg McKinney
Clara Montanez
Partner, Delaney & McKinney
Sona Mehring
Clara Montanez
Caring Bridge
Kaori Oka
Steve Adkins
Attorney, Iwata Godo
Michael Onyemelukwe
Abe Helal
Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Ruxanda Renita                               
DC Rotaract, VP
Habitat for Humanity
Justin Silvers
David Treadwell
VP Relationship Manager, Eagle Bank
Robert Stuckey
Donnie Shaw
Student, University of Notre Dame &
YMCA of Metro Washington
Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Kimbrough recognized the Rotarian celebrating a birthday this week:
  • Past-President Gerry Murphy - July 10. Gerry joined our club in 1973. He was club president in 2002-2003 and Foundation President from 2006-2007. His classification is Associations: Auto Dealers, and he was sponsored by Mike Murphy.
President David said he would have a committee report at each meeting.  The first was from Abe Helal, chair of the Membership Committee.  Abe was particularly thankful for the work of his co-chair and “Rotary wife” (as he described her), Monica Smith;  last year’s committee members and those serving this year; as well as powerhouse recruiters not formally on the committee—Andrew Clark, Sam Hancock, Lisa McCurdy, and Clara Montanez, among others.   He reminded us that we normally lose members through moves and other natural causes, so we always need to replenish our numbers.  We did not meet last year’s goal of 36 new members, but did manage to recruit 29.  A major aid to last year’s recruiting was the “Rule of 35,” but we have reached the club’s limit on those reduced-cost memberships for now.  So we all need to really recruit, or, in other words, give good people an opportunity to join. Abe said he regretted not joining Rotary sooner and not becoming active sooner.  Both really changed his life. We can help change the lives of others by introducing them to our club.
Alexander Kravetz announced the next Movie Night.  He said the club normally attends a movie on the second Thursday of a month at the E Street Cinema, and most attendees follow up with a happy hour.  This month the movie will be on July 23 (not the second Thursday), and will be “Sherlock.”   From now on, he hopes, we can call the event “Ed O’Brien Movie Night” because Ed was passionate about films and enjoyed watching them with Rotarians.
New member and former Rotaract President Marilyn Cruz introduced the new Rotaract President Josue Lopez Calderon and Vice President Ruxanda Renita.
Past-President Jennifer Hara presented the few remaining awards from the end of her Rotary year to Bill Dent, for co-chairing our “Trees for the Capital” Committee and leading our club’s engagement with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA); Sam Hancock, for co-chairing our “Trees for the Capital” Committee; Octavian Ionici, for chairing our Scholarship Committee; and Monica Smith, for co-chairing our Membership Committee.
President David presented the President Elect pin to Ross Grantham.
John Jackson asked for Grate Patrol volunteers for Friday, July 17, and Tuesday, July 21.
Steve Liston introduced speaker Dr. Irvin Scott, Deputy Director of College-Ready Education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Irvin Scott described the Gates Foundation as having basically three main program divisions:  Global Development, Global Health, and the United States.  Within the United States Division, the primary focus is on K-12 education and libraries. As Deputy Director in that division, Dr. Scott deals with college-ready education.
Starting with a story from his own life, he told of being a ninth-grader whose English teacher told students they would read, analyze, and recite poetry during the year.  He told the teacher he would do everything except recite. She firmly replied that he not only would recite a poem, but would also write his own poem and recite it, too.  He did recite a poem back then, which he was still able to recite for us—Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken.”  He also recited for us the poem he wrote and recited back then, dealing with a passion of his, football. Because of that teacher, he was able to move on to be an English teacher, himself, then a principal, then a system administrator, and now at the Gates Foundation.
Dr. Scott then asked us what the teacher had done. Rotarians suggested she had challenged him, seen in him possibilities he did not see in himself, set high expectations, and given him choice.  Then he asked us to think of one teacher who had made a positive impact on our lives—certain, he said, that all could think of at least one—and then had us all shout out the teachers’ names at the same time.   The lesson, he said, is that good teachers make a difference.
His main points: 
  • According to polls of high school students, 95% expect to go to college.Only 37% turn out to be equipped for college on graduation.The rest need remedial courses or cannot make it at all.
  • Part of the solution is to have high standards.Common Corps was about that, but not all states adopted it, and Dr. Scott said he would not get into that specific program.Massachusetts has had one of the most effective education systems, in part because it has had very high standards.
  • The greatest need for U.S. education is not really more money.It is more effective teachers, who can provide personalized learning.We have treated teaching as a “Lake Wobegon” profession, where all the teachers “are above average.”If you looked at a bell curve of teacher performance not long ago, the average was too far to the low side.It has gotten better and we need to have an even better bell curve.
  • A key tool is being able to evaluate teachers more reliably than just dropping into a classroom a couple of times a year and making notes.Can we evaluate teachers’ performance?Yes, if we use multiple measures.
  • We also need to do better placement of teachers.A major current problem is we are putting the teachers who are struggling most with students who are also struggling most.
  • Through the Gates Foundation, we are trying to help teachers get better feedback, more developmental opportunities, and better techniques to make sure students are ready for college when they finish high school.
Dr. Scott then answered a number of questions from club members, including one on how the U.S. compares to other nations in terms of effective education.  Dr. Scott noted that some countries may be known particularly for their stronger results in math and science education, but there are several countries from which we may learn to improve our education across the board, and we can also learn from the experiences of our different states.
President David presented Irvin Scott with a certificate indicating the club plants trees in honor of our speakers.  He then received the raffle bucket from Marilyn Cruz.   Tyisha Cottman won the small pot of $49, but she did not win the large pot of $1,196.
President David thanked Marilyn Cruz for conducting the raffle, and Balraj Gupta, Johnny Allem, and Stu Shalloway for managing the hospitality desk. He announced next week’s speaker will be DC’s first elected Attorney General, Karl Racine.
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.