When Pace Academy students returned to school in August, they faced a fun and formidable task: understanding water. The school’s inaugural global theme, WATER, is part of the Isdell Center for Global Leadership
(ICGL), a co-curricular program that supports and enhances Pace Academy’s mission to create prepared, confident citizens of the world.
The ICGL launched with the start of the new school year and fosters a culture of global learning and leadership by ensuring that all educational experiences are viewed through an overarching global lens. Education around the annual theme is supported in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools by curricular, co-curricular and hands-on activities, as well as a visiting scholars program, leadership fellowships, internships, and domestic and international study tours.
The ICGL leadership team selected journalist Charles Fishman as its inaugural visiting scholar. Fishman, who visited Pace Academy from Sept. 12 to 18, is the author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water
. A reporter for Fast Company
since 1996, Fishman also has written for the Washington Post
, the Orlando Sentinel
and Raleigh’s News & Observer
. He has thrice received UCLA’s prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and is the author of New York Times
bestseller The Wal-Mart Effect
During his time at Pace Academy, Fishman spoke to students in the Lower, Middle and Upper School during assemblies and class visits. He addressed parents, faculty and members of the Atlanta community during two special events. He discussed essay writing with seventh-grade English students, talked social entrepreneurship with Upper School students, shared insights into the world of journalism with the school newspaper staff, answered countless questions from inquisitive Lower School students, explored environmental issues in science classes and much, much more.
While Fishman has concluded his visit, Pace Academy’s discussion about water will continue all year. “Pace Academy is embarked on a great experiment: to see if it can infuse an important global issue into the curriculum each year,” Fishman says. “I think it’s brilliant – it’s going to be hard, but it can give the work students do every year a sense of purpose and connection.
“Water is a brilliant theme for the first year of the ICGL’s efforts. Water is understandable. The problems are immediate and important, and they are both local and global. And we can fix those problems. Water cuts across politics, income, occupation and culture. It is, frankly, the perfect topic for learning about how to analyze something important in a way that allows [one] to take action.”