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Edition 2016


The School of Education NEWSLETTER

Co Teaching

Department of Curriculum and Education The curriculum and education department at Jacksonville State University has been busy enhancing how teachers are being trained. We are preparing our teachers to be 21st century leaders in their school communities. The Co-Teaching model is first introduced in our first block where teacher candidates are trained in and how the model work. They will have these new ideas reinforced throughout the education program. Cooperating teachers are trained in Co-Teaching by JSU instructors throughout the community.

To aid in this we have focused on four skills that can make our teachers the best in Alabama. The first is collaboration, we have trained our teachers about using the co-teaching model as well as training local school districts in this initiative. The second is communication, we are having conversations as a faculty and staff about how best to make connections between our department and those who are stakeholders out in the community including schools, districts, and state officials. We are focused on having our teacher candidates utilize critical thinking skills in the P-12 learning environment Finally, we are working on helping to prepare teachers who are creative and ready to tackle 21st century learning in the classroom. We do this by integrating both technology, sound pedagogical theory, and content knowledge into our classrooms on a daily basis. Our students begin learning and utilizing the co-teaching model in the Early Childhood Block and continue throughout. Each semester leading up to internship the students will continue to master the co-teaching model. The Co-Teaching model will culminate when the teacher candidates begin their internship (student teaching) experience. Each candidate will use the coteaching method all day every day. The students will also have to document these experiences as part of the internship requirements.

The School of Education NEWSLETTER


Collaboration between educational blocks

Department of Curriculum and Education The Department of Curriculum and Instruction focuses on educating teachers who will teach in the early childhood and elementary in general education and for preparing special education teachers to be able to teach PK-12 area. With the emphasis on collaboration between early childhood, elementary, and special education preservice teachers an Education Preparation Workshop Series (EPWS) is put in place. Students will deepen their knowledge of content and pedagogy. Allow for professors and instructors to model communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity for their teacher candidates authenticate learning across disciplines using this model, we have found benefits to both faculty and to preservice teachers. Some of the benefits to teachers include increasing interaction with the teacher candidates. Also, to utilize department assessment and reflection to identify areas of strengths and challenges. We know that pre-service teachers need learn from instructors and students from both areas. We want to cultivate the idea that we are a learning-centered community in our department, as well and providing enrichment for our students and our instructors. By doing this we are encouraging our students to learn key ideas from various disciplines as well as provide authentic learning opportunities for our student and to be able to support the diverse classroom. One example of this collaboration between both elementary education and our special education sections through our autism awareness training. Our pre-service students are instructed by both students in our special education program as well as instructors in best practices for working with students with autism.


The School of Education NEWSLETTER

Below are some of our future workshops that all students will attend. STEM and STEAM for Early Childhood : C & I Faculty Strategies for Gifted and Advanced Students: C & I Faculty CPR: American Red Cross Basic First Aid: JSU College of Nursing and/or American Red Cross Brain Breaks for the Classroom: JSU Kinesiology Tips and Tricks for Video Lessons: edTPA Team Digital Citizenship: C & I Faculty Instructional Technology Toolbox: C & I Faculty Strategies for P-12 Students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Continuum: C & I Faculty

Department of Curriculum and Education Jacksonville State University’s On to JSU, providing previously unavailable opportunities to students with Intellectual Disabilities. The JSU School of Education’s department of Curriculum and Instruction has been awarded a federal grant in order to establish a college based transition program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. On 2 JSU will accept its first students during the Spring 2017 semester. The program will consist of a combination of course work, community experiences, and internships. Designed as a person-centered model, students will participate in a custom program designed to meet academic, vocational, and social needs. The overall goal of On 2 JSU is to provide students with transition opportunities that have been previously unavailable. Students with intellectual disabilities have few options after exiting high school. Many of them simply stay at home and have little interaction with the outside world. This unfortunate reality is not uncommon. On to JSU will seek to break this cycle by providing a college experience that will prepare participants for competitive employment upon completion of this two-year certificate program. The program has been designed in a way that will allow students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to make decisions about their future in the same ways as traditional college students. Students will leave prepared for a career in an area of interest, rather than simply a job that allows them to earn a wage. It is all too often considered a success when an individual with an intellectual disability is employed. While this should be viewed as a positive, it is unfair to characterize it as a success unless it is in a field that is truly of interest to the individual.

Another key goal of On 2 JSU is to provide unique social opportunities not unlike those experienced by other JSU students. There will be multiple opportunities for socialization including tailgates for home football games, attendance of JSU athletic events, participation in various campus organizations, attendance of campus concerts and drama events, and many other opportunities based on the interest of the students. Although the overall goal of On 2 JSU is to provide successful career related outcomes, it is equally important for the students who participate to have as true of a college experience as we can provide them. Part of the process for providing support for these individuals will come through the use of peer mentors who will serve as guides as the students navigate their way through the various aspects of college life. Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2017 and Fall 2017. Applications and more information about On 2 JSU can be found on the program website @ Applications can be completed and sent electronically to abooker1@ or by mail to the following address: Tyler Booker Jacksonville State University Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction Ramona Wood Building Jacksonville AL, 36265

The School of Education NEWSLETTER


New faculty members

Department of Secondary Education In the fall of 2016, the Department of Secondary Education welcomed four new faculty members. Within this time of transition and change, this dynamic faculty brought forth a wealth of classroom experience and diversity among their knowledge and educational perspectives to help shape the future secondary candidates from the School of Education. Dr. Daniel Rubin is a New York native, and taught in New Mexico and Utah for 17 years before coming to JSU. When he was asked about becoming a teacher he said, “When I was a kid, I thought I would be an artist someday. When I hit college, I thought I’d teach graphic design at a university. I hated being a graphic designer in the real world, and I realized quickly that I wanted to teach High School English.” Dr. Rubin’s research interests are rooted in social justice and multi-cultural education. He recently presented at the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) conference. His presentation “Navigating the ‘Space Between’ for Jewish Multicultural Inclusion” addresses Jewish people’s positionality in the category of Whiteness, navigating a world of Christian privilege, and the “who has it worse” competition in current multicultural thought. One of the most influential people that influenced Dr. Rubin was his high school Spanish teacher. “My high school AP Spanish teacher, Joan Hirsch, was an incredibly important influence in my life. She was my teacher my junior and senior years in high school, and she was like a mom to me. She was warm, supportive, and let me be me in the classroom.” Dr. Basil Conway is from Auburn, Alabama and taught for 10 years in secondary education. When he was asked about becoming a teacher he said, “I originally felt called to work with children at Christian summer camps. 6

The School of Education NEWSLETTER

I knew a position as an educator would provide me the skills for such a position and offer me the opportunity to do this as an adult. I was able to work as a youth counselor at a church camp for three years and I hope to continue this in the near future. My drive towards a mathematics educator was provided by a teacher my ninth grade year who had high expectations of me. This teacher worked with me to break some of the barriers that had been formed and provided an opportunity for me to advance mathematically during high school.” Additionally, Dr. Conway’s passion for teaching was influenced by his grandmother. “I don’t come from a line of educators, but my grandmother had a passion for education in the church. She would sit down with me as a young child and read stories with me. She tells me stories of when she was a child and her grandmother provided a home for teachers at a community school. I have had a lot of great teachers that I could pay homage to including Merry Ledbetter, Steve Meredith, and Kyle Payne; however, my grandmother instilled a passion for others in me at a young age. I believe my passion began there.” Dr. Conway’s research interests include the opportunity gap in mathematics education, and the development of students’ statistical reasoning in mathematics. He is currently coauthoring a book chapter in press titled “Using Equitable Pedagogy to Increase Students’ Participation in AP Statistics.” Dr. Danielle Brownsberger is originally from Pennsylvania. She has taught in Pennsylvania and Texas for 7 years in secondary education. Dr. Brownsberger’s passion for teaching is from the teachers she experienced as a student. “Growing up, teachers were always the most reliable and steady individuals in my life.  I could count on them to be consistent when other adults were not. 

(continued from page 5) I knew if I performed well and met their expectations that I would earn their praise and words of kindness.  School was a place where there was always food, consistency of routine, and caretakers I could count on.   Teachers made school a refuge I needed very badly. I wanted to be like them.” Her research interests include composition studies and neurodiverse writers. Her most recent article is entitled “The Science of Teaching Autistic Students: Neurological Research in the Composition Classroom.”  This research is significant to secondary education because it weighs the benefits and problems of drawing from scientific research in the writing classroom. One of her inspirations for teaching was her grandmother. “My Nana was everything you would desire in a teacher- she was judicious in providing guidance, gracious in the face of human error, and a fierce advocate of kids.  Years after her death, I discovered that she wanted to be an English teacher. She never held a certification; instead she raised five children.  That does not mean she was not a teacher.  She was an English teacher to her five children in the evening hours as she helped them pour over their homework.  Later, she was an English teacher to me and twelve other grandkids.  Though I never knew of her aspiration to be a teacher until long after her death, my Nana certainly influenced my career choice.  My achievement now feels like a realization of her dream.  And though I have been mourning her loss for over a decade, there is something very comforting in that knowledge.” Dr. Russell Hammack is from Northport, Alabama, and taught for 13 years in secondary education. Dr. Hammack’s desire for teaching developed at an early age. “I was in junior high when I felt that my calling to become a teacher. I really enjoyed helping others grasp

difficult concepts; especially other students. I believe that this profession gave me the opportunity to have a huge impact on students.” Dr. Hammack’s research interests include high stakes testing and the use of primary sources to improve student achievement in Social Studies classrooms. Dr. Hammack recently delivered a presentation titled “Rock with Rockwell: Teaching American History with Norman Rockwell” at the Social Studies Council of Alabama. He will also be presenting “Ready to Sing and Dance? Inquiry through Civil Rights Music” at the National Council for the Social Studies. Like others colleagues within the secondary education, teachers during his experience as a student inspired him. “Probably the most influential teacher in my life was my 5th grade teacher Joan Shepherd. She was an amazing lady that believed in me as a student. She constantly told me how smart I am, and that I could accomplish anything. She gave me confidence in my abilities as a student, and this lit a fire within me. I will never forget her.” Although these new professors have uniquely different backgrounds that have impacted their educational experience, they have all one common mission in the Department of Secondary Education at Jacksonville State University; to help produce and prepare the best secondary teacher candidates to meet the needs of 21st century learners.

The School of Education NEWSLETTER


Trick or Treat

Department of Family and Consumer Science

Three and four- year- old preschoolers in the Cynthia H. Harper Child Study Center located in East Mason Hall went Trick or Treating at Ramona Wood, Bibb Graves, and the Library on October 31. They visited the President’s office and had their photo made with President and Dr. Beehler.

Preschoolers and Fire Safety The White Plains Volunteer Fire Department visited the JSU preschoolers on Tuesday, October 11 in honor of Fire Prevention Week. Volunteer Fire Chief Nathan Harper spoke to the preschoolers about fire safety and brought Sparky the Mascot with him on this trip.


The School of Education NEWSLETTER

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Department of Family and Consumer Science

Jeannie Frazier, who is teaching in the FCS Department, has completed the requirements for the EdD program at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Her degree is in Instructional Leadership and her dissertation is entitled, ‘Assessing the Attitudes of FCS Majors towards Online Learning’. Frazier’s study involved a mixed methods design. Her initial survey of the students revealed that well over half prefer on-site courses and they have many concerns about online learning. However, the final stages of the study revealed that even though a number of FCS majors prefer to take courses on-site, they plan to continue to take some in the online format because o f their busy schedules. Frazier plans to continue to study the attitudes and behaviors of FCS majors concerning online learning. Frazier came to JSU in the fall of ’07 as an adjunct instructor. She has 18 years of experience in the secondary classroom. As the generalist instructor, she has been teaching courses across the FCS curriculum. She is also the advisor for Hospitality/Culinary Management and Human Sciences students. As she makes the transition from instructor to assistant professor, she hopes to develop a master’s program in human sciences and spend more time in developing networks in that area. In addition to her teaching and advising duties, she is president-elect of the Alabama Affiliate of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, sits on the board of directors of 2nd Chance, and has been a member for the past two years of the Calhoun County Alabama Cooperative Extension advisory board. She also assists Ms. Robbie Boggs with the FCS Student Association.

The School of Education NEWSLETTER


Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Department of Family and Consumer Science Dr. Kim Townsel Named 2016 ACTE Region II Postsecondary Teacher of the Year In a recent conference of the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) held in Tampa, FL, Dr. Kim Holdbrooks Townsel was presented a large engraved silver tray for being named the 2016 Region II ACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. Dr. Townsel has over 22 years of CTE teaching experience at high school, middle school, and university levels. She earned her doctorate in Instructional Leadership at the University of Alabama and supervises the CTE teacher education program at Jacksonville State University. Dr. Townsel serves on several advisory boards of local schools with CTE programs. Dr. Townsel is one of five finalists for the 2017 national title of CTE Teacher of the Year. The winner will be announced at a dinner and award presentation on November 30 in Las Vegas, NV in conjunction with ACTE’s Career Tech VISION.


The School of Education NEWSLETTER

Mike Zenanko Retirement Instructional Services

On Thursday, July 14, 2016, the School of Education celebrated the retirement of Mike Zenanko, Director of the Instructional Services Unit. The retirement party was held in the Gold Room of Bibb Graves Hall. Attendees included School of Education faculty and staff as well as former JSU employees. Dean John Hammett led the festivities and presented Mike with presents from coworkers including gift cards from area restaurants and a memory book signed by JSU faculty and staff. Food and drink was provided by School of Education faculty and staff. Mike Zenanko worked in the School of Education for over 26 years. During that time, he oversaw the tutoring of over 6,000 local school children by over 9,000 tutors through the Teaching/Learning Center. With the Teaching/ Learning Center, JSU’s “Center for Two Learners,” both local school students and JSU pre-service teachers make significant academic and personal progress. Mike’s legacy also includes the installation of smart classrooms in several buildings on campus including Ramona Wood Building, Self Hall, Mason Hall, and Pete Mathews Coliseum. These classrooms The hardware involves Sharp Aquos HD televisons, Apple TVs, Smart interactive whiteboards, DVD/VCR Combo players, LCD projectors, Elmo document cameras, and computers. Pictured from left to right, Mike Zenanko, Marsha Zananko, Gabriel and Alex.

The School of Education NEWSLETTER



The School of Education NEWSLETTER

JSU School of Education Newsletter  

December Edition 2016

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