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Faculty/Staff Spotlight

Sept. 9, 2016

Horace Mann, Leet Center leaders attend international conference

Sandy Seipel, the principal of Northwest Missouri State University’s Horace Mann Laboratory School, and Cindy Rouner, the director of its Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families, represented the University recently at the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) Conference at the Universidad de Puerto Rico and Academia Ponce Interamericana in Puerto Rico.

Laboratory Schools from throughout the world were represented at the conference, showcasing innovative approaches to education while valuing the individual needs of the institutions at which they reside. Seipel and Rouner collaborated with laboratory school directors from the United States, South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad and the Czech Republic.

The conference theme was “Beyond Laboratory Schools: Transforming Lives.” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto was the keynote speaker and encouraged laboratory schools to instill passion and a love of learning for all students to excel and become change agents.

Laboratory schools are committed to educating children and teachers in training. They provide learning experiences that enable pre-service teachers to observe, implement and value developmental learning. Children receive a high-quality education with an emphasis on project, inquiry-based learning and low teacher student ratio. Laboratory school faculty are master teachers, researchers, and scholars involved in all levels of education from early childhood to higher education.

Northwest’s Horace Mann school and the Leet Center serve as clinical teaching environments for students in the University’s School of Education. Students reap the benefits of low student-to-teacher ratio in classrooms that implement innovative teaching practices and provide learning experiences designed to stimulate each child’s creative learning abilities and problem-solving skills.

Horace Mann has a long history of involvement with IALS, which provides support, collaboration and encouragement for solutions-minded schools and individuals. Member schools support innovative practices and programs, educational issue discussions, and research opportunities.

Dr. Arnold Lindaman, a former Horace Mann director, now serves on the IALS Board of Directors and received the IALS Distinguished Service Award in 2011-2012. Lindaman founded the International Collaboration Grant established by IALS to assist school professionals seeking to develop collaborative programs with laboratory schools outside the United States.

For more information about Horace Mann and the Leet Center, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468