Hi, everyone. My name is Su Reel, and I am a Program Assistant at the Rodel Foundation. I was born and raised in Thailand, and I have been calling the Philadelphia area home for 12 years. I found myself at the Rodel Foundation and Delaware by way of a degree in Psychology and Geography/Urban Studies program at Temple University. (GO OWLS!) Before Rodel, I had spent some time in local nonprofit organizations, primarily in the administrative support field. When I am away from my desk, I enjoy singing, reading new recipes, and watching Philadelphia sports teams almost winning another championship title each year.
Prior to Rodel, my experience in education came primarily from my undergraduate thesis project on the arts as educational tools. So when I started at Rodel, I quickly learned about the efforts for Common Core standards initiatives implementation in Delaware. The goal of the Common Core standards is to prepare students from K-12 to become college and career ready for an increasing technologized and globalized world. As I learn more about the Common Core standards, I realize that it has a lot of parallels to singing, especially with the emphasis on singers to know the importance of fundamental techniques. In order for students to be able to compete with their peers – whether it is in the classroom or in the workforce after graduation – they must have learned and mastered a varied repertoire of fundamental skills and knowledge. Just as much as a lack of vocal technique can leave lasting damages to a singer’s voice, a lack of fundamental academic skills can leave students unprepared for the increasingly interconnected world. Whether a student’s performance takes place in a kindergarten classroom, a board room, or on a white-hot stage – the discipline and persistence learned from mastering fundamental skills will push students to newer and higher frontiers, long after the last graduation tassels have been turned from the right to the left. In all, the Common Core standards help ensure that students have a fair chance at becoming proactive and productive adults, wherever their futures may take them.
As a formerly semi-serious singer, the Rodel Foundation’s work to support the Common Core standards initiatives is exciting to me – as I also believe that just about anyone can sing, provided that he/she is taught the fundamental techniques and that he/she is given the support he/she needs. Provided that the students in Delaware are taught the fundamental techniques and are given the support that they need to succeed, I look forward to seeing students in Delaware compete with the best of the best in an increasingly competitive world.