CAMDEN – A nationally renowned teacher and administrator gave educators a pep talk on a gray Monday morning during Catholic Partnership Schools’ fourth annual education summit at Rutgers University–Camden.

During her keynote lecture, Kim Bearden, author of “Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me,” implored teachers to stay focused on their students. Speaking for 90 minutes without notes, she paced along the front of the stage, knelt as she told a story and, at one point, teetered on a seat in the front row.

“Every child needs you to believe in him, to love him, to encourage him,” Bearden told her audience at the Gordon Theater. “You are divinely created with a significant purpose. There are very few people fashioned on this planet who will have the opportunity to affect exponentially as many lives as you all do.”