Remarks by President Ronald M. Berkman at Campus International School Dedication



It’s truly a pleasure to see all of you here for this very special occasion: the dedication of Campus International School.

We’re honored to have Mayor Frank Jackson with us today.

Thank you, Mayor Jackson.

I’m also grateful to Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, for being here.

Thank you, Mr. Gordon.

Also joining us are Tom Adler and David Gunning from the CSU Board of Trustees, as well as Linda Kane, Lee Kohrman, Steve Minter and Daria Roebuck from the CSU Foundation Board of Directors.

Thank you, one and all.


From the moment I arrived at Cleveland State University eight years ago, one of my top priorities has been cultivating a dynamic neighborhood around our campus.

A great school for young students was a must.

You simply can’t have great neighborhoods without great schools.


Campus International School is that great public school.

This trailblazing collaboration between CSU and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District opened in 2010.

It’s the only school in the district with challenging International Baccalaureate Primary Years and Middle Years programs.

The rigorous curriculum includes instruction in Mandarin Chinese, beginning in kindergarten.

A lottery is used to select students, who come here from across the city and the surrounding communities.


Campus International School is also an invaluable learning lab for CSU students.

It provides hands-on, Engaged Learning experiences for those pursuing degrees in education, music therapy, occupational therapy and speech and hearing.

CSU students avail themselves of community service opportunities at the school, too.


Campus International School is making a difference in our community – and the rest of the nation is taking notice.

The school won the 2016 Shirley Schwartz Urban Impact Award from the Council of the Great City Schools, a national coalition representing nearly 70 of the largest urban public school systems in the U.S.

This prestigious award honors an outstanding partnership that has made a positive impact on student learning.


Collaboration is the key to the school’s success.

I want to thank the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for sharing our vision.

In particular, I’m deeply grateful to CEO Eric Gordon and Chief of New & Innovative Schools and Programs Christine Fowler-Mack for working with us to bring our dream of an outstanding public school in downtown Cleveland to fruition.

I also want to thank Mayor Frank Jackson, who immediately saw the potential of this partnership and enthusiastically supported the school from Day One.

The heart and soul of Campus International School are Principal Julie Beers and Ron Abate, our CSU professor in residence.

They alternate the roles of heart and soul.

Their passion for these students is unparalleled, and they have assembled a great faculty who share the vision.


When Campus International School opened seven years ago, there were 120 students in grades K through 2.

There are currently 740 students in grades K through 8.

The school also has 85 students in 9th grade.

With each academic year, Campus International School will continue to add one grade, until it becomes a K through 12 school.

The high school will be located less than one mile east of here, at the corner of Chester Avenue and East 30th Street.


Today, we officially dedicate the new home of our K-8 students: this magnificent, 92,000-square-foot learning space on the CSU campus.

Within these walls, young students who hold the key to the future of our community, our country and our world are advancing in knowledge, day after day, week after week, year after year.

Within these walls, faculty and staff with a passion for education are bringing out the very best in the next generation of global citizens.

Within these walls, the words of the great Nelson Mandela are taking root:

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

This is a very special place.

Thank you for being here today for the dedication of the new Campus International School.