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8 Distinguished Series 9 Early College

Spring 2017

10 Academic Profile: Joanne Previts Dean Joe Peters Editors Revel Pogue Aubrie L. Sofala Photo Credits Anna Leavit Aubrie L. Sofala

12 Georgia College Rankings 13 Passport to the Arts 14 Faculty Highlights 15 STEAM Ahead

16 Featured Alumna 18 Teacher of the Year 20 Student Profile 22 Baldwin Life Enrichment Center 23 Call me MISTER

Campus Box 70 Milledgeville, Ga. 31061 University Printing | 06/2017

DEAN’S MESSAGE Welcome to the spring 2017 edition of the College of Education (COE) Newsletter. In the ensuing pages, you will find many exciting anecdotes and updates concerning our alumni, students, faculty and programs. This has been an outstanding year of accomplishments in areas such as the Diversity Speaker Series, John H. Lounsbury Speaker Series, national accreditations and rankings, and Dr. Joanne Previts being named the nation's Outstanding Professor of Middle Level Education. As you can see, our reputation continues to grow as we fully contribute to Georgia College’s path to preeminence defined by the latest GC strategic plan (1). Below are some specific ways we are supporting the strategic plan. Goal 1 GC’s Goal 1 is stated as “Recruit, admit, enroll, retain, and graduate highly qualified and diverse undergraduate students.” Our undergraduate cohort model continues to attract and retain excellent early childhood, middle grades and special education students. The Call Me MISTER, program also continues to grow and contribute to the increasing diversity of our undergraduate programs. Director Emmanuel Little is always looking for good MISTER candidates so please contact him with referrals at or 478-445-8594. Goal 2 Goal 2 is to “Develop and implement distinctive and transformative undergraduate curricular and co-curricular experiences. Transformative experiences include, but are not limited to: undergraduate research; creative projects; study abroad; service learning; community-based learning; leadership development; diversity and global learning; and field and clinical-based practica, apprenticeships, preceptorships, and internships.” Again, our undergraduate cohort model includes extensive field experiences, a yearlong internship, and intensive projects such as the teacher work sample. It also provides ample opportunity for undergraduate research, service learning, and study abroad. These experiences make our graduates highly sought after by employers. Our Chair of Teacher Education Dr. Holley Roberts (, 478-445-3340) can provide further information if you are a student interested in learning and teaching abroad (3) or other experiences. Goal 3 The GC strategic plan goal 3 is to “Offer a limited number of exceptional quality graduate programs that are highly relevant to workforce demand and supportive of the university mission.” Our COE programs continue to be restructured in support of this goal. This summer, the Department of Professional Learning and Innovation faculty will offer the Curriculum and Instruction Master of Education and Teacher Leadership Specialist degrees to meet graduate student needs in our region. The Educational Leadership team will also begin a new Tier I and Tier II Educational Leadership program in the coming year. The Teacher Education Department faculty are beginning a restructured master’s degree in Middle Level Education as well as a fully-online Middle Grades MAT that leads to certification. The Teacher Education faculty are also developing a fullyonline Secondary Education MAT that will be offered in addition to the regular offerings in Macon and Milledgeville. If you are interested in any of the new programs or other programs, please contact Ms. Shanda Brand at or 478-445-1383. If you have a potential cohort at your school or district, please contact our Associate Dean Dr. John Harrison at or 478-445-3225.

contain costs and redirect resources, Merissa Fedeli, our development officer, continues to grow our Advisory Board. That will not only help strategically direct our efforts but also help provide and identify the resources to support our students and important initiatives such as the diversity speaker series and John H. Lounsbury speaker series. If you are alumni or a current student and want to become involved, please be sure to contact her at 478-445-8548 or at Goal 5 “Enhance a professional environment that encourages the recruitment, retention, and success of an exemplary and diverse faculty and staff” is GC’s goal 5. The COE continues to increase the diversity of its faculty and staff while providing a quality working environment to retain all faculty. Professional development is an important goal for all of our faculty and we continue to support opportunities for engaging in scholarly activities and leadership opportunities. Goal 6 Goal 6 of the strategic plan is to “Strengthen community and regional ties through service, research, programs, and partnerships that enhance economic, educational, and cultural opportunities to improve the quality of life for citizens of Milledgeville/Baldwin County and the middle Georgia region.” One exciting recent development that depicts this goal in the path to preeminence is the creation of Georgia’s Center for Early Language and Literacy (4). One of the COE’s own, Dr. Linda Bradley, is now the interim director and leading efforts to get the Center up and running. I am also honored to serve on the distinguished board appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. The diverse and comprehensive board will guide early literacy efforts throughout the state. The work that will be accomplished by the Center’s staff is critical to helping Georgia’s children read on grade level by third grade. Georgia’s economic outlook continues to be positive for 2017 and beyond, meaning that there will continue to be a strong demand for a skilled workforce from our high schools, the Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia. Early literacy is the key to supporting K-12 success and higher education achievement. For more information, please contact Dr. Bradley at 445-3340 or at In closing, the stellar work of our students, faculty, and staff continue to build our reputation of excellence. I am privileged to work with such exceptional colleagues and undergraduate and graduate students. As always, please contact me with questions or ideas at or 478-445-2518.

Best wishes,

Joe Peters Dean of Education

Notes 1. 2. 3. 4.

Goal 4 Goal 4, “Align resources through generation, redirection, prioritization, cost containment, and stewardship to address strategic priorities” continues to be a priority for the COE. In addition to finding new ways to


mentor-led d e s a b d l e fi




Innovative ways of educating future teachers: Georgia College’s unique teacher ed program


ix future teachers sit in desks of a local middle

grades major. “I feel very prepared and am not worried to

school classroom. It’s 3:45 p.m. on a Thursday.

have a classroom of my own.”

After a full day of student teaching, now they meet

with their faculty mentor to go over their busy schedules

The program is threefold—the mentor-led, field-based

leading up to graduation.

cohort model.

They recently submitted their edTPA, a performance-

“There is no other program like this,” said Dr. Nancy

based, subject-specific assessment used by teacher

Mizelle, middle grades program coordinator, “students

preparation programs to emphasize, measure and support

take the majority of their courses together, the group has

the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from day

faculty mentors to work with and they get many hours in

one in the classroom.

the field.”

“It was challenging, but at the same time I felt so

The trifecta’s foundation is the mentor-led cornerstone,

accomplished,” said Callie Reynolds, a senior middle

meaning each cohort —or group of students who take

grades major. “I feel so empowered to go into the

most courses together during the program — has a faculty

classroom because of the experience I’ve had at Georgia

member assigned to it. Most are two-year programs


except the Master of Arts in Teaching, which is one year.

She’s not alone. Other education students echo her

“The mentor leader is key for students as they go through

feelings and acknowledge the benefits of Georgia

the program,” said Dr. Cynthia Alby, professor of

College’s unique way of educating future teachers.

secondary education. “Becoming a teacher is wildly stressful and for students, the mentor is the one constant

“Because of our program, I’ve been prepared so much

through their educational process. We know the big

more for classroom management—I know what works and

picture; we fulfill their emotional need for advice or

what doesn’t work, “ said Marisa Cervasio, senior middle

guidance; and we can help tailor their educational


experience because we know them

certain number of hours in local

partner teachers.

each individually.”

schools,” said Dr. Stephen Wills,

“Field placements allow students to

associate professor of special

experience things we can’t provide

Faculty mentor leaders not only

education. “We have field

on campus,” said Dr. Lyndall

guide students during the program,

placements where students spend

Muschell, program coordinator of

they serve as mentors throughout

entire days with their host teachers

Early Childhood Education. “Being

their career and stay connected

from start to finish. For juniors it’s

in school prepares them more

personally and through social

two days a week and for seniors it’s

effectively to deal with the real world


three. Their senior year, teacher

of everything from parent- teacher

candidates complete a yearlong

conferences to bomb threats or

“I feel like the mentor is someone

internship beginning at pre-planning

other emergency situations.”

we can go to for help with our

in their host school.”

classwork, questions about being a

Prime field placements and mentor

teacher, or even issues in our

Immersing students in the teaching

leadership is only successful in small

personal lives,” said Madison

setting gives them the “full

groups, so most cohorts range from

Daughtry, junior special education

experience of what it’s like to be a

20 to 25 students.

major. “I transferred to Georgia

teacher,” according to faculty.

College because of the highly

“Our cohort takes all classes

ranked programs here. When I came

“When they only spend a limited

together except one. They form

and interviewed with Dr. Wills, I

number of hours in a host school,

strong relationships, and they

knew this was my home.”

they aren’t fully invested and don’t

become a team that sticks together

feel like they’re part of the school,”

for years,” said Alby. “Cohorts

Just as pivotal to the program as

said Wills. “Our students are fully

develop into professional support

mentor leaders is the experience


groups. The students create social

students gain in an actual classroom with K-12 students.

media groups and plan getStudents attend Parent Teacher

togethers for years after they

Association or other meetings and


“Most universities have a field-

complete professional development

As students graduate, Georgia

based course where students work a

in their host schools alongside their

College boasts a 99 percent pass


rate on the edTPA, which is a new requirement for

cohort model and the cohesive curriculum in each

Future teachers shine at job fair

program, Georgia College already prepared students in

By Brittley Blount, Secondary MAT Program

educators. Many universities across the nation had to rework their educator prep programs to fit the new requirement. Because of the mentor-led, field-based

many areas required for edTPA. “With the new challenge of edTPA, we were wellprepared for that,” said Muschell. “We did very little

Jan. 27, 2017 marked the seventh-annual Teacher Recruitment Day. This career fair is one of the many on-going collaborations between the Career Center and the J.H. Lounsbury College of Education.

programmatic changes because we were already doing the kinds of things required.” The benefits of this unique, well-rounded program are recognized by current teachers and principals as well as by the students themselves. “It has been really helpful to have everything I need to be successful,” said junior special education major David Sloan. “I’m looking forward to next year in the program to prepare more for where I want to be after graduation. ” “Our candidates are well-prepared. They are more like second year teachers during their first year because they are in the classroom so much as an undergraduate,” said Mizelle. “They also stay in the profession longer. We are proud of that.”

Each year, Georgia College future educators get the opportunity to network with participating employers from across the state. Teacher Recruitment Day, hosted for seven consecutive years, is a partnership between the Career Center and the College of Education. The growth that has taken place over the years demonstrates the event’s success. A career fair that once included only 19 schools in the Kilpatrick Atrium is now an event that recently hosted 44 schools in the Magnolia Ballroom. There were also representatives from the Woodrow Wilson Program and the Department of Juvenile Justice. What keeps employers coming back each year? Great students, preparation, organization and collaboration. These are the things that stand out most to Career Center Director Mary Roberts. She received an email from Forsyth County shortly after this year’s event. The email contained many noteworthy things about the event and the 118 future teachers in attendance. Additionally, Gwinnett and Fulton County held many interviews as well as follow-up interviews.

The John H. Lounsbury College of Education (COE) at Georgia College offers several award-winning undergraduate and graduate degrees. Instructional and school leaders gain valuable opportunities and benefit from the meaningful partnerships the university maintains with schools, districts and other institutions and agencies. The COE is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). n

According to Roberts, preparation is what sets the college’s future educators apart from the rest. Prior to the event, over 100 students prepared with the Career Center. Some of this pre-planning included resume reviews and mock interviews. This allowed students to put their best foot forward on recruitment day. “Teacher Recruitment Day is such a success because it’s a collaboration between the College of Education and the Career Center,” said Roberts. “Because we are able to work with students ahead of time on their resumes, they are very prepared and that makes for a better experience for the employers and the students. The faculty makes it really easy for us to do that.” n




College of Education hosts Social Justice Dialogue Series Throughout the spring semester, the Diversity Committee in the College of Education hosted several events and speakers aimed at raising awareness of diversity from a social justice educational perspective, broadening the basic scope of knowledge in the College of Education culture. As part of the series, GC’s Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Veronica Womack gave a talk on the economics of diversity. During Black History Month, the series included a screening of “Selma” followed by discussion. Dr. J. Luke Wood gave a talk in March on “Black Minds Matter: Towards Educational Practices that Support Black Boys & Men.” Woods is the co-director of the Minority Male Community College Collaborative at San Diego State University and director of the Center for African American Research and Policy. The series closed with Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Dr. Sonia Nieto. Nieto spoke on “Educating a Diverse Society Through the Lens of Social Justice.” n



The John H. Lousbury Distinguished Lecture Series on American Education Verda Colvin, Superior Court judge in the Macon Judicial Circuit, presented “Teach to Reach,” April 18, 2017. Colvin was the first AfricanAmerican female appointed to the Macon Judicial Circuit and is committed to service professionally and personally. Colvin spoke on the topic of teaching today’s youth to become tomorrow’s service leaders. n


Early College students gain skills for college life and after Created in November 2016, the Man Up

In another session, they focused on social and

program, directed by Georgia College Early

presentation skills. A grooming lesson was

College (GCEC) instructors Nicholas Matteen,

given that included how to tie a tie andbarber

Tim Pendleton and Dawson Roberts, provides

skills. The students also participated in a

young men of GCEC with the opportunity to

communication activity where they learned

learn and acquire essential life skills to take

how to network with others and lead one-on-

with them as they embark on their academic

one conversations.

and personal journey from GCEC to college and after. Skills introduced to the young men in

Taking what they learned during this session,

the Man Up program are introduced in three

the young men then participated in a formal


meet and greet. During this event, the members of Man Up demonstrated their

• Learning Your Way Around The House

knowledge of grooming and

• Presentation/Social Skills

social/communication skills through

• Learning Your Way Outside Of The House

networking with invited guests from the Georgia College and Baldwin County

In the first section, participants learned how to

community such as Emmanuel Little, Peter

iron and fold clothes. This was followed up by a

Rosado, Judi Battle, Vickie Harmon, Sarah

money management seminar hosted by BB&T

Weese, Claire Garrett, Julie Knighton, CC

Branch Manager Chris Gibson. Gibson spoke

Sinclair, Shannon Hill and Stephen Stuart. This

on how to open a bank account, different types

event was a huge success as the community

of accounts, credit management, dos and

members were very impressed with the social

don’ts of taking out a loan and receiving

etiquette that the members of Man Up

financial assistance for college.

displayed during this event. The young men concluded this section by participating in a

The young men were also introduced to the

mock job interview activity where they learned

skill of detailing a public venue. With the help

rules of how to conduct yourself during an

of the staff at Georgia College, students were

official job interview.

provided with household cleaning supplies and were given the opportunity to detail various

During the current section, the members of

classrooms throughout the Kilpatrick Education

Man Up will participate in activities focused on


learning their way outside of the house with activities such as car maintenance/detail and

Participants then learned how to prepare a full

grilling a meal. We would like to thank the

meal of chicken, tossed salad and homemade

Georgia College, Baldwin County and Putnam

dressing. They learned how to work their way

County communities for their continuous

through the kitchen, how to prep a meal as

support of the Man Up program and

well as practicing sanitation skills during the process. Afterwards, they were introduced to

continuous growth of its members. n

table etiquette skills as they ate the meal they prepared. JOHN H. LOUNSBURY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION NEWSLETTER | 9




Joanne Previts named outstanding professor of middle-grades education Middle school is a unique and complex period of rapid growth, where young adolescents develop identity and sometimes exhibit problematic behaviors like low self esteem and bullying. But Dr. Joanne Previts, the nation’s leading middle grades educator, considers these challenges remarkable opportunities for exploration, development and discovery. “There are a lot of misconceptions about this age group,” said Previts, associate professor of middle grades education at Georgia College. “These extraordinary young adolescents are going to soon be our voters and serve on juries and be members of our society, who currently now have the ability and desire of wanting to learn and belong.” “Yes, they may be acting out and testing boundaries,” she said, “but we know that’s part of their growth and development. In the middle grade years, they’re deciding who they want to be and whether or not they’re someone who can be successful.” This past fall, Previts was awarded Outstanding Professor of Middle Level Education by the National Professors of Middle Level Education. The organization honors professors who exhibit outstanding teaching qualities and excellence in supervising teacher candidates. “I feel genuinely honored and humbled,” Previts said. “We don’t do our work for recognition. I’m not a spotlight person. My work style tends to be more collaborative. My identity as an educator, researcher and advocate has been influenced by colleagues and mentors I’ve been fortunate to work with over the years and here at Georgia College.” Dr. Holley Roberts, interim chair of education, said Previts is a model for effective teaching. “She challenges middle grades teacher candidates to meet high expectations, so they’ll be well prepared for the demands of the classroom. Her colleagues and I are thrilled her work has been recognized in this way,” Roberts said.

faith” leaving the classroom to instruct teacher candidates, she said, but the experience has been rewarding. Since arriving at Georgia College in 2009, Previts has mentored three cohorts of teacher candidates. She learned the importance of guiding young minds from her mentor, Dr. John H. Lounsbury, who still serves as dean emeritus. The GC College of Education is named after Lounsbury, whom Previts calls the “conscience of the middle grades movement.” As a mentor, Previts works closely with teacher candidates to develop essential knowledge during coursework and field placements. She also finds research-based practices, observes them teach, attends school board meetings as an advocate and helps students present at national conferences. “We’re investing in what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives,” she said. “It’s taken very seriously. They’re going to be responsible for the cognitive, social and emotional development of young adolescents. It’s an awesome responsibility.” Georgia College teacher candidates graduate with a strong foundation, Previts said. One of her former students, Alissa Leugers, now works as a sixth grade teacher in Lawrenceville. Leugers said Previts exemplifies what it means to be a mentor. “Day in and day out, she models compassion, integrity and strength. She challenged me in every possible way as I prepared for a career in which I shape many young lives,” Leugers said. A few of the most important things a teacher can do are build relationships, generate excitement through creative learning experiences and let students figure things out for themselves, Previts said. “Don’t take away their sense of accomplishment,” she said. “Taking risks and making mistakes are essential to authentic learning and growth.” n

Previts taught fourth and fifth grades in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2004. It was a “leap of


Georgia College’s education programs score top rankings “We strive to have the best program in the nation for our teaching candidates and as part of Georgia College’s path to preeminence.”


he Georgia College Early Childhood Education program was recently ranked first in Georgia and in the top 10 percent nationwide by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) in Washington D.C.

In a separate ranking, the university’s secondary education program was rated best in the nation for affordability by Guide to Online Schools, an affiliate of the SR Education Group in Washington. Last fall, the early childhood program also ranked fourth in the nation by based on a variety of data points, including an integrated postsecondary education data system and the U.S. Department of Education data. “We strive to have the best program in the nation for our teaching candidates and as part of Georgia College’s path to preeminence,” said Dr. Joseph Peters, dean of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education. NCTQ looked at 875 undergraduate elementary teacher preparation programs. Georgia College’s early childhood program rated at the 92nd percentile nationwide - the only Georgia school to make the top 10 percent. The study identified 16 Georgia programs that ranked at or below the 45th percentile. "The best programs graduate teachers who are prepared by evidencebased content and teaching methods," said Stephen Buckley, a spokesperson for NCTQ. A key element of Georgia College’s success is its mentoring program, where a professor guides a cohort of students for two years as they teach in local schools. Only five percent of programs studied by NCTQ incorporated a mentor experience into their curriculums. “The unique combination of our faculty mentoring teacher candidates, while the candidates are immersed in courses and field experiences, has set us apart in these rankings. We’re pleased to be recognized,” said Dr. Holley Roberts, interim chair for teacher education. The Guide to Online Schools puts out a list of 25 schools that are the most affordable and academically rigorous for online secondary education degrees. It ranked Georgia College as number one for affordability - with an annual tuition for a master’s starting at $5,184 a year. n


Art serves as gateway to world cultures for local school students


irst-year, pre-education major Jasia Clark charges a group of Eagle Ridge Elementary students with an important question: if you could change the world, what would you change?

As they answer the question with “I would make inventions,” “I would help everyone have a great education” and vowing to “work real hard”—they do so on a drawing of a dragon in the shape of their handprint. “The book’s name is ‘Legend of the Chinese Dragon’,” said Clark. “The whole activity’s purpose is to make them think about what their impact could be. They can make a difference— they just have to realize they have the power.” Clark is part of the volunteer program Passport to the Arts at Eagle Ridge Elementary, led by Dr. Linda Bradley, associate professor of literacy education. Bradley created the program with funding from the Office of ENGAGE, with the goal of giving local school children access to literacy and the arts while exploring world cultures. “My hope is that by exposing them to a range of perspectives, they might get a sense of certain arts they would like to pursue further and might want to continue with. It’s all about uncovering possibilities,” said Bradley. She also says while Eagle Ridge students have access to music and the arts during school, this program gives them a wider variety. “They might learn they love painting or dancing or even practicing tai chi,” she said. Groups of Georgia College students flock to Eagle Ridge every Tuesday and Thursday to teach lessons showcasing the culture of China. Now in their third semester of implementation, Bradley says the plan is to focus on a different culture every school year. The program is also in collaboration with the afterschool Youth Enrichment Services (YES) program, which focuses on raising achievement and educational aspirations of Baldwin County elementary students. From painting, dancing, creating Chinese drums to even getting their very own “passport”—every activity focuses on guiding students through a journey of Chinese culture.

“My hope for our GC students, is that this sparks something in them to express their creativity as educators,” said Bradley. “This also serves as an opportunity for them to be mentored as well as to mentor others. Mentoring can be a key to classroom management—and this is such a great opportunity for practice.” Bradley says keeping the attention of a classroom of third- fifth

graders from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. is a tough job for even the most seasoned educator—not to mention those in their first year of college. Cameron Shuler, first-year pre-education major, took that challenge her first semester at Georgia College in the fall. Her excitement for teaching is apparent when she’s in front of a class, instructing animatedly how to use chopsticks. “This has been a super awesome opportunity for me to get experience and meet so many amazing students,” said Shuler. “I was telling my dad about it last semester, and he couldn’t believe I was already able to be in front of a classroom, teaching and interacting with students.” Shuler, a native of Savannah who attended a high school for the arts, innately understands the need for arts throughout a curriculum. “Art is always the first to be cut in schools,” she said. “What we’re doing with this program is so important. By bringing a culture to these groups of kids that they otherwise might not be exposed to, we’re giving them the freedom to explore all the parts of that culture through art.” Bradley’s motivation for creating the program stems from her time spent as an educator but also a mother and community member. She wanted to see opportunities for all children to grow up with access to the arts with a diverse group of engaged citizenry, she says. “There’s a great need for all children to have opportunities to get involved in the arts,” said Bradley. “Our goal as representatives of GC is to be a positive partner with the YES program, listen carefully to the needs and work creatively to meet those needs.” For Abby Hurst, first-year pre-education major, her first day with the program was spent instructing a group of Eagle Ridge students how to construct drums celebrating the Chinese New Year, which began in January. “My hope is to gain confidence. I want to be more comfortable in front of the classroom and answering their questions,” Hurst said, who comes from a family of educators. “I appreciate this opportunity so much, and the reason I wanted to become an educator was to make a difference in a child’s life,” she said. “This is just the beginning of that.” n



H I G H L I G H T S Christy Garrett Sutton, 2008 graduate of the Early Childhood program, was a finalist for The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. She was honored at the Georgia Department of Education on Dec. 1, 2016.

Dr. Nancy Mizelle received the The Dr. John Lounsbury Award from The Georgia Association of Middle School Principals.

Dr. Steve Wills and Dr. Roddran Grimes were recognized for the professional development they provided for induction support in Baldwin County– “Classroom Management: It’s more than Discipline.” Early Childhood graduate Megan Moss was recently accepted to Harvard for graduate school. Dr. Holley Roberts, interim chair of the Department of Teacher Education, and Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Roquemore were recently selected as the University Representative to the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute in Denver for summer 2017. Georgia College has been selected to serve as the Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA) National Host Site for the next two years. Dr. Sandra Webb presented a paper, “Peer Coaching Transforms Teachers As Reading Specialists in an Online Practicum Course,” in the symposium Coaching Contexts and Connections: University-Based Experiences That Promote Literacy Coaching Development at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association in Nashville, Tennessee, December 2016.

Dr. Angel Abney and Dr. Doris Santarone in the Mathematics Department and Dr. Sandra Webb from Professional Learning and Innovation collaborated with teachers leaders in grades K-2 in Baldwin County Schools. Two Saturday workshops were held in February that focused teachers on deepening conceptual learning in math through the integration of quality children’s literature, manipulatives and writing. After attending workshops, teacher leaders return to their grade levels and facilitate collaborative planning and implementation of lessons that are observed by Georgia College faculty and their colleagues. Dr. Sandra Webb, Dr. Stacy Schwartz, and Dr. Noris Price presented, “A Synergy of Balance and Momentum: Sustaining a PDS Partnership” at the annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Development Schools in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2017. Dr. Sandra Webb and Dr. Rob Sumowski presented, “University Educators as Boundary Spanners,” at the annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Development Schools in Washington, D.C., on March 11, 2017. Dr. Sandra Webb and Dr. Miriam Jordan of the College of Education, presented “STEAM Ahead: A Partnership for Innovating Middle Grades Education Through Interdisciplinary Projects and Professional Learning Communities,” with STEAM Ahead colleagues, Nikki Grimes, Lindell Dillon, and Tynisha Harris of Early College, and Barcado Styles of Baldwin County Schools at the annual, regional conference, Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Learning in Savannah, Georgia, on March 3, 2017. Assistant Professor Dr. Rob Sumowski was honored with a resolution by the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Commission commemorating seven years of service on the Design Review Board, the appointed body designated with approval and rejection of architectural changes within the Macon historic district. Dr. Warren Hope, Dr. John Harrison and Dr. Joe Peters all presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Education. n


STEAM Ahead sees semester of innovation Some Oak Hill Middle school students spent their spring

Sandra Webb, meet with teachers weekly at Oak Hill Middle

semester creating and designing biomes, earthquake resilient

School and at special planning days at Georgia College to

structures and creating musical instruments.

develop projects and focus instruction. Teachers then implement projects in their classrooms, observed by faculty,

These students are part of the STEAM Ahead program, which

as part of lesson study professional learning for teachers and

aims to engage students in science, technology, engineering

to improve learning experiences for students. During the fall

and math—to demonstrate the relevance of the middle

projects, 650 middle school students and 23 teachers

grades curriculum for real world applications.

participated in STEAM Ahead. Jordan’s Georgia College focus students provided additional support in STEAM Ahead

The program consists of faculty from Georgia College,


community partners and Baldwin and Early College teachers. The A in STEAM focuses on design and artistic innovation in

As part of STEAM Ahead, teachers visit campus for programs

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

with Georgia College Academic Outreach, led by Dr. Ruth Eilers, to provide background for STEAM Ahead projects.

STEAM Ahead projects involve opportunities to explore

Students have visited the Milledgeville Water Authority, the

contemporary problems, collaborate in teams to design

Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Aquarium. In addition,

solutions, evaluation of the project or model and presenting

students have taken campus tours and enjoyed lunch at the

results. Fall projects included a dream greenhouse for

MAX, a favorite experience of campus field trips.

sustainable agriculture, designing water towers and pandemic outbreak, among others.

STEAM Ahead is sponsored by a grant from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. n

Georgia College faculty, including Dr. Miriam Jordan, Dr. Catrena Lisse, Dr. Angel Abney, Dr. Doris Santarone and Dr.


Alumna Coreda Shaw, ’58, is a beacon in guiding students toward their goals After 40 years of working as a guidance counselor in Henry County, Georgia, Coreda Shaw isn’t ready to leave behind her love of helping students plot their future course just yet. Although retired, she continues her mission in coaching students toward success. Shaw learned how to be a leader while at Georgia State College for Women as the instructors expected much from their students including class preparation, responsibility, ethical behavior and leadership skills. She also served in leadership positions in class, clubs and student government. Although Shaw began her career as a science teacher, she felt something was missing. When she wasn’t teaching science, Shaw would often spend time with students, offering advice. The school principal observed this and encouraged her to attend graduate school and become a school counselor. “I took his advice,” says Shaw. “And, I found my purpose in life.” She went on to earn a master’s of education degree in counseling from Georgia State University plus an education specialist degree in counseling from the University of West Georgia. Then, her determination took hold when she became a counselor. She recounts many rewarding memories while serving her students, but one especially stands out in her mind. Shaw helped a student who had not been to school for several years. On the student’s first day of junior high school, she helped the student out of her mother’s car and escorted her to the front office. The next day, Shaw led the student to her office where she sat for several days. “I started giving her chores to do, including helping with standardized testing in the eighth grade,” Shaw states. “I asked her to take the test, and she scored well. I made her a seventh grade schedule and let her pick her teachers. She was in class every day, made Beta Club for two years and graduated from high school with honors.”


to help establish a scholarship fund for them.” Last year, Shaw provided over 20 scholarships at two Henry County high schools, 2 endowed scholarships at GC, and 7 scholarships to GCEC students. “Beyond financial support, Mrs. Shaw has donated her time,” says Runee B. Sallad, Ed.D., director GCEC. “We do not have an in-house guidance counselor for our program. When Mrs. Shaw learned of this, she began conducting informational sessions with our students to ensure they were aware of GPA, course and community service requirements for college/university enrollment. She visits us two to four times per year to make sure students understand what they should focus on in the fall, and then she follows up with them in the spring.”

“She has a heart of gold and goes above and beyond to make sure that you are a better person for having been in her life,” mentions Rodney M. Bowler, superintendent of Henry County Schools who served alongside Shaw when he started teaching at Eagle’s Landing High School. “Not only does she love everyone outwardly, but she works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that everyone is well taken care of. She passionately refers to so many as ‘her children!’ Simply put, Mrs. Shaw loves everybody and everybody loves Mrs. Shaw.” Recently, Shaw spoke to a former student who said that she was the reason he graduated from Emory University. “He had been told by his counselor that he could not attend Emory,” says Shaw. “So he and his mom came to see me, and we developed a plan for him. A bachelor of science degree from Emory now hangs on his wall.” Since she has retired, Shaw continues to help steer students toward reaching their dreams. At Georgia College, she interacts with the Georgia College Early College (GCEC) high school students about being successful in school, developing good study and testing skills, applying to college and finding financial aid. Shaw also meets with local eighth-grade students to tell them how they can be successful in school and take advantage of GCEC. Shaw also provides scholarships to the GCEC students. “When I started helping in the GCEC classes, they became my students, too,” Shaw states. “It was a natural progression

Last year, Shaw began meeting with the eighth grade students in the spring to prepare them for ninth grade. “When she comes, she always shares an abundance of information regarding scholarship opportunities as well as strategies for studying and time-management,” says Sallad. “We love her, and when she enters any room, she can feel the love from our students’ reactions to her presence.” Shaw’s generosity doesn’t stop there. She also contributes her time as well as gave an endowed scholarship to GC’s Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program—building educational leadership by recruiting and training students from under represented backgrounds to become transformational teachers. In her local community, Shaw speaks with high school students about being successful, applying to college and finding financial aid. In her church, she conducts sessions for high school students and their parents and teaches the senior ladies class. Shaw also serves on the Henry Youth Leadership Program Board, a program for 10th grade students to enhance their leadership skills and to learn more about their county. She also seeks 11th grade students to represent the American Legion Unit and Auxiliary to attend Georgia Boys State and Girls State. What are her hopes for all of the students she counsels? Shaw replies, “That they will become successful in college and will become excellent, productive workers in their chosen professions.” n


Georgia College graduates win Teacher of the Year in five local counties When a rollicking group of kindergartners are asked why

The four other alumni Teachers of the Year in 2016 are:

they think their teacher won an important prize, one little boy’s hand immediately shoots up and he solemnly states

1. Angela Robinson, a fifth grade social studies and

the correct answer: “For being good.”

language arts teacher at Wilkinson County Elementary School in Irwinton. She graduated from Georgia College

What’s she good at? “Everything!” the children yell,

in 1997 with a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education.

practically knocking their teacher over in a group hug. 2. Dominique Nichols, a 10th grade teacher and chair of LeeAnn Robinson, their instructor at Blandy Hills

the Language Arts department at Westside High School in

Elementary School in Milledgeville, was named 2016

Macon. He graduated from Georgia College in 2013 with

Teacher of the Year for Baldwin County. Robinson – and

a Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Education.

five other Baldwin Teacher of the Year finalists – are all 3. Jennifer Holland, a third grade teacher at Dames Ferry

Georgia College graduates.

Elementary School in Gray. She graduated from Georgia Four additional Georgia College alumni were named

College in 1998 with a B.S. degree in Early Childhood

Teachers of the Year in Bibb, Jones, Putnam and Wilkinson


Counties. A finalist for Bibb’s Assistant Principal of the Year 4. Jonathan Deen, an American Government and U.S.

is also a Bobcat.

History teacher at Putnam County High School in "It is not surprising that so many of our graduates are

Eatonton. He graduated from Georgia College in 1995

selected as Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year.

with a B.S. degree in History and a Master of Education in

We have outstanding programs at both the undergraduate

Social Science Education in 2000.

and graduate levels that prepare future classroom teachers and school leaders who are ready to make a

Georgia College was chartered in 1889 as Georgia

difference in children’s lives,” said Dr. Joseph Peters, Dean

Normal and Industrial College with a mission to prepare

of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education.

teachers, Peters said. The university continues to honor this tradition today by providing high-quality education for

LeeAnn Robinson graduated in 2000 with a B.S. degree in Special Education.

teachers, who enter the workforce and significantly impact communities they serve. n




STUDENTS JOIN COMMUNITY TO C E L E B R AT E A D U LT S W I T H D I S A B I L I T I E S tMore than 150 Georgia College students and 500 community

prom. We connected with the church who received $8,000 from

members spent Friday, Feb. 10 giving adults with disabilities a

the Tim Tebow Foundation to make it happen.”

night to remember. Georgia College, in collaboration with Northridge Christian Church and the Baldwin Life Enrichment

Students from the areas of mass communication, special

Center hosted the Night to Shine Prom by the Tim Tebow

education and music therapy volunteered to make it a special

Foundation. The prom featured professional hair and makeup

event for the 111 guests. Each guest was paired with a Georgia

artists, a dance floor, karaoke, a sensory room, a red carpet

College student. DeClouette says for many adults, this was their

complete with paparazzi and each adult guest ending the night

first prom.

by being crowned king or queen. “For me, I know that prom was one of my best memories from “We’ve had a Best Buddies Valentine’s Day dance in February

high school,” said first-year exercise science major Brennen

every year, and it’s always been a huge success,” said Dr. Nicole

Young, who volunteered to be a “buddy.” “I wanted to be

DeClouette, associate professor of special education and prom

involved in creating that experience for someone else who

planning committee member. “But this year, the director of the

might other wise never have the opportunity." n

Life Enrichment Center Barbara Coleman found out about the JOHN H. LOUNSBURY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION NEWSLETTER | 19

Making a difference in students’ education


ay 2017 graduate Chrisandra

I can only impact the students I teach, but by

Perkins was always destined to

starting a school, I can touch more lives by

teach. From an early age, her

hiring multiple teachers to make a difference in

preacher called her “the

more children’s lives.”

teacher” as she read church announcements each Sunday.

Her experience in the education program prepared her for her first job and allowed her

“I always wanted to be a teacher because I

to dream big.

love helping people,” said the middle grades education graduate. “I knew I didn’t want to

“I feel like we are better prepared because we

work with younger kids, and the upper grades

get to spend so much time in the classroom

were not for me, so I settled on middle grades

with students. From the time we declare an

kind of by default.”

education major, we have opportunities to work in the schools,” she said. “We’ve been

Once she started working closely with the pre-

able to implement lessons, mimic our host

teens, she found that’s exactly where she

teachers do so much in the classroom that


students in other education programs don’t get to do.”

“Now I love working with middle grades. The students are independent, but they also still

Her undergraduate experience allowed her to

need you to help guide them.”

not only grow professionally but personally as well.

With her first job already lined up to teach fifth-grade math at Lake Oconee Academy,

“When I first came to college I was quiet,

Perkins’ goals extend beyond the classroom.

reserved and shy,” she said. “The education program pushed me to stop being shy. I met a

“I’d like to open up a school in the next five to 10 years,” she said. “I feel like in the classroom

lot of really great people and got really close with my mentor leader.” n



MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT: Students collaborate with local Center serving adults with disabilities ith a bright green feather boa wrapped around her shoulders, first-year marketing major Bailey Kreinbrink grabs her masquerade mask she made moments ago.


She joins a photo booth group made up of other students, Baldwin Life Enrichment Center (LEC) staff and more than 20 community members with disabilities. Tonight, they’re crowning a king and queen that will lead them in a parade through the LEC, decorated in the royal tones of Mardi Gras. “In high school I took a couple classes that allowed me to work with people who had disabilities, so this isn’t entirely new to me,” Kreinbrink said. Kreinbrink is one of a group of GC1Y students who volunteer at the Baldwin Life Enrichment Center, a nonprofit that provides diverse programming for adults with intellectual disabilities in the local area. With the help of GC faculty, the LEC recently secured a grant that funds activities like the Feb. 28 Mardi Gras party.

First-year athletic training major Sophia LaMarca says using skills learned in DeClouette’s class and putting them into action at the LEC has changed the way she sees education. “It’s one thing to be able to sit down and be told you have to do something,” she said, “but this experience benefits not only others, but myself. I see it as so much more than community service—it’s enriching and powerful.” Barbara Coleman, executive director of the LEC, has seen the partnership between her organization and Georgia College grow in the past 17 years. She says without faculty and students, the LEC wouldn’t be able to provide the level of programming it currently does. “The students need experience and opportunities and what they find here is that and more,” Coleman said. “I ask them what they want to get from here—so it’s not like they’re free labor—it’s reciprocal. I want them to dream big, try new things and use all the skills at the LEC that they’re learning in the classroom. And use those skills without fear of failure.”

Students volunteer by being engaged with the adults with disabilities. Many times students will lead arts and crafts lessons, pick up a sport with LEC members or join in on a music therapy session.

LaMarca says the opportunity to meet more community members and to familiarize herself with a whole new group of people, has been the highlight of her time in the GC1Y course.

“One of my favorite parts about this GC1Y class is being able to interact with local community members one-on-one like this,” said Kreinbrink. “What I enjoy is that individuals with disabilities always seem to be more loving, open and caring—those are lessons that everyone needs to learn.”

“I feel the takeaway for me is knowing there are different parts of your community that you’re not always aware of,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean you ignore them. You have to find ways to involve them no matter if it’s something you’re comfortable with or not. It’s important.”

Dr. Nicole DeClouette, associate professor of special education, created the GC1Y course Representations of Ability and Disability five years ago. She saw first-year students in disciplines that would eventually need the skill of working with people with disabilities— but weren’t getting the experience. For many, this class will be their only exposure to this group before they begin their careers, says DeClouette.

While GC1Y students do volunteer at the LEC, the collaboration doesn’t stop there. Other disciplines along with the student organization Best Buddies, which creates opportunities for one-onone friendships between students and community members with intellectual disabilities, also volunteer at the Center.

“It’s different from other classes that they’re used to,” said DeClouette. “What they’re learning in this course is a life skill that they can use in their careers, but also for the rest of their lives.”

“Students have a new respect for individuals at the Center,” said Coleman. “They get to see that they’re photographers, dancers, singers, athletes—they’re everything that anyone else can be. They just do it a little differently.” n


Call Me MISTER continues to grow opportunities, outreach Highlights from spring 2017:

Congratulations to: MISTER Homer Jones, as he helped lead this year's GC

Leadership Seminars: Call Me MISTER holds

Tunnel of Oppression event, which focused on

biweekly leadership seminars that sometimes feature

spotlighting the experiences of historically-marginalized

special guests. Most recently, Donald Nicolas, second-


grade teacher at Pembroke Pines Charter Elementary School in Florida, stopped by in early April. Nicolas

Local Media Spotlights: Call Me MISTER was

offered valuable advice to MISTERs on what

recently highlighted in the local newspapers. Check out

ambassadorship and servant leadership mean to Black

these stories via the Union-Recorder and the Macon

male educators in particular. We are extremely grateful


for his insightful presentation. MISTER William Cooper for becoming a member of •

Student Teaching: MISTERs Brian Bowman, William

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Cooper, Seabon Davis Jr., Brian Johnson and Homer Jones will start their student teaching in their respective

MISTER William Cooper

cohorts for fall 2017. We are extremely proud of them

(center), standing with MISTER

and look forward to seeing their continued development

Brian Bowman (left) and

as impactful educators.

MISTER Seabon Davis Jr. (right), after joining them to

become an official member of

STARBASE 2.0: MISTERs this semester are working

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

with STARBASE 2.0, an afterschool STEM/robotics program focused on middle school students. This collaboration, based through STARBASE Robins, has allowed MISTERs to get more experience teaching children before officially beginning their student teaching. •

MISTER Pipelines: We are in the middle of our

selection process for both next year's MISTER cohort and the upcoming summer Rising MISTER Academy, which will be an overnight experience. The decision-making process for the next MISTER cohort is made on a rolling basis and will continue into summer 2017. Selections for this year's Rising MISTER Academy will be made by early May.

MISTER Homer Jones participating in a panel about diversity in education.




2017 COE Newsletter  
2017 COE Newsletter