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WJBD - Local News - Former Centralian and Educator Headlines KC Martin Luther King Celebration

Former Centralian and Educator Headlines KC Martin Luther King Celebration

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

A former Centralia resident and accomplished educator was the keynote speaker at Kaskaskia College's 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. Dr. Clara Coleman Rouse spoke about how everyone can continue the legacy left by Dr. King by not just making a difference, but becoming the difference in their communities.

"I believe that sometimes making a difference is not enough--sometimes you have to be the difference" Rouse said.

Rouse is a retired educator who has worked jobs across the educational spectrum, from teaching jobs and principal positions in Centralia and elsewhere, retiring from EdisonLearning in California as Senior Vice President and Regional Operations Officer. She is a Centralia Native, and attended Kaskaskia College before the school moved to it's current campus.

A key point in Rouse's speech was the older generation's need to assist the younger generation by teaching them the lessons of the past.

"Plan your work, and work your plan, and learn from those who've done it. Today's kids are in the race of their lives, and they need us to help them run it" Rouse rhymed, "Collaborate, and cogitate and pray for a little luck, beg borrow and steal--ideas, that is-- but never, ever give up."

By teaching the lessons of the past, Rouse said we can work towards the future that Dr. King imagined in his famous "I Have a Dream" Speech. The event included a showing of the entire "I Have a Dream" Speech, and featured performances by members of the Kaskaskia College Choir.

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