The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 30, 2013

2012 Kansan of the year to speak at Friday event in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Norman Conard, executive director of the Lowell Milken Center and 2012 Kansan of the Year, will be the keynote speaker at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Breakfast on Friday, May 3.

Conard's presentation will focus on the Lowell Milken Center and the internationally recognized "Life in a Jar" project. The breakfast will be held at the Wilkinson Alumni Center, 401 E. Ford, in Pittsburg.

The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Cost for the event is $10, or $8 with a network pass, which includes a full buffet breakfast. RSVPs are required and may be made by calling the Chamber at 620-231-1000 by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Conard is a third-generation educator who has taught for more than 30 years, and in 2007 he became the executive director of the newly established Lowell Milken Center. He has received local, state and national recognition for his work and was named the 2012 Kansan of the Year by the Topeka-Capital Journal.

Other awards include the Milken Educator Award, Teacher of the Year, National Secondary Social Studies Outstanding Teacher, and USA Today All-American teacher. He received a master's degree in history from Pittsburg State University in 1992, and in 1998 was a recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award from PSU.

In 1999, a group of Conard's students from Uniontown, led by Megan Felt, created a history project that told the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The students wrote a play about Sendler called "Life in a Jar," which has since been performed hundreds of times throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Upon discovering that Sendler was still alive and living in Poland, the Uniontown students contacted and visited her. Since then, they have established a very close bond with Sendler, and have worked tirelessly to spread her story around the world. It was their efforts that helped lead to her nomination in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In April 2007, businessman and philanthropist Lowell Milken announced the establishment of the Lowell Milken Center and it was decided that the ideal location for the Center would be the heart of Kansas, where the award winning history projects originated. In August 2007, the Lowell Milken Center opened its offices in Fort Scott, Kan.

As of December 2012, the LMC has reached more than 5,300 schools and more than 625,000 students. They have recently announced the opening of the Lowell Milken Center Europe, which will be located in Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland.


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