Education Alumni Working in K-12 Classrooms
Education Alumna Naomi Hutchison Black ‘63 Presents at First Alumni Speaker Series
On October 10, 2013, alumna Naomi Hutchison Black ‘63 served as the inaugural presenter at the School of Education’s Alumni Speaker Series. Ms. Black’s presentation, “What’s Buried in the Sandbox: Fostering Creativity, Problem-Solving, Caring, and Independence in Young Children,” focused on her work as director of The Yellow School, a Texas-based, innovative kindergarten. To view Ms. Black’s presentation in its entirety, click here. To read a Q&A article with Ms. Black that appeared in the Bulletin, click here.
Kate DeLussey ’01 B.A. Early Childhood/Elementary Education:
Beaver College Experience as a Turning Point
Motivation is a huge factor in success, and my case is no exception. My academic career before I enrolled at Beaver College was less than stellar. I enrolled at Beaver in 1998 as an adult majoring in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, following a first career as a stay-at-home mother to four children. Since college, I’ve had a history of success that has led me to believe that education can change not only a child’s life, but anyone’s life.
Beaver College was a distinctly different educational experience for me than my high school experience. For starters, my professors valued my “questioning voice,” an experience I hadn’t had before in education. My classes also allowed me to think for myself and, most importantly, to argue back. In addition, the (at that time) Department of Education faculty were very supportive of students like me who were returning to school as adults. Former School of Education faculty member Dr. Cindy Reedy nominated me for, and I received, the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education Award, and another guided me towards Merck J. Fellowship. This partnership with Merck Pharmaceuticals and North Penn School District allowed me to complete a portion of my senior year working with teachers at North Penn and using inquiry based learning in the classroom.
Since my life after Beaver College, my teaching career has continued to develop. I received my master’s degree as a reading specialist, and obtained my National Board Certification in Reading Language Arts- Early Middle Childhood. Board Certification was one of the most difficult goals I ever pursued, but the process made me a better and more reflective teacher. Most recently, I was awarded the opportunity to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Teacher at Sea.” Chosen from among a pool of over 250 applicants, I joined the crew of the Henry B.Bigelow for 15 days, working as a member of the science team doing deep-sea coral reef surveys in the North Atlantic. Using underwater robotics, we studied corals and habitat. I posted a blog of my experiences.
Owing to my experience at Beaver College, I’ve tried to “give back” to the community. For instance, I wrote a grant to the Target Corporation and Heart Association of America and our school was awarded a $250,000 School Library makeover. The grant also made it possible for Philabundance to run a monthly food market in the schoolyard. Target helped not only feed students’ minds, but also their bodies!
I have been fortunate in my life to have such a varied and interesting career. I credit my transformative time at Beaver College, in large part, for my success. The faculty and curriculum, which helped me see that I had important contributions to make and a valid voice in my own education, were my launching pad.
Jason Pane ’13 Principal Certificate:
Arcadia Links to My Professional Life Every Day
Jason Pane is currently the Assistant Principal of Student Life and the Athletic Director at Springfield Township High School, where he oversees student-driven activities, including athletics, clubs, and school events. He also supervises the Health and Physical Education Department along with all of the para-professionals, and is charged with handling student discipline for two of the grade levels. His role is to foster a sense of school pride and find creative ways to mesh our community with his school.
Following is an interview with Jason about his experience in the Principal Certificate program in the School of Education’s Department of Leadership for Equity and Excellence in Education.
Q: What brought you to Arcadia’s educational leadership program? What appealed to you about the School of Education?
A: I was teaching at a public school near Arcadia when I decided to add a principal’s certificate to my resume. In looking at schools, I took into account travel time, commuting cost, and academic rigor. I came to an open house and met Dr. Bruce Campbell who really showed me that the Arcadia program was a great fit for my goals. He seemed genuinely concerned with meeting my needs as a student, and the program was challenging and appealing to me.
Q: What, in your view, is a hallmark or unique feature of our educational leadership program?
A: I believe the hallmark feature of the ed leadership program is the credibility brought to the table by the professors. I felt as though I was being prepared for a new profession by people who were achievers and experts in educational leadership. I felt their experiences were relevant to where I saw my career headed and therefore, trusted that I was being taught at a high level. Also, the requirements for completing the principal’s certificate were extremely challenging. I put significant time and effort into this program. The challenges I overcame prepared me to be an administrator and a school leader.
Q: Please give a specific example of how what you learned in our program has made a difference in your career or professional life.
A: I moved into an administration job immediately following my certificate completion. Almost every moment of my current professional day can be linked to lessons learned through my Arcadia experience. One stand-out aspect is the time I spent shadowing working administrators. Arcadia’s educational leadership program requires students to spend several days with principals from across building levels. One of my days was spent in the building in which I ended up getting hired. The assistant principal I shadowed is now a co-worker of mine and we work together on a daily basis. My shadowing experience helped show me what a real day looks like for a school administrator. This experience also ended up allowing for my new co-workers and me to learn about each other, a feature that created a strong professional and personal connection between us. This all took place because of the shadowing requirement at Arcadia.
Q: What do you think the long-term career and personal benefits are of your having gone through Arcadia’s education program?
A: My hope is this investment in my personal education will continue to make me a valuable commodity within the education field. Already my time at Arcadia has paid off with my new position, and this job is now allowing me to gain experience for whatever challenges I decide to tackle next. I believe that the time will come for me to add a doctorate degree, and this experience will certainly help prepare me for accomplishing that goal. Lastly, there are also financial benefits to adding degrees and certificates and moving up into administrative positions in K-12 education. Arcadia’s ed leadership program has set the stage for all of that future career growth.
Q: Is there anything else you wish to add about our ed leadership program that you feel was not covered in the earlier questions?
A: I’m most grateful for the people I have met at Arcadia, where I was not simply a student who sat in a room and absorbed information. I was treated as an investment. My professors had a vested interest in having me comprehend new information. They wanted to see that I was able to use this new learning and cared about my successes even after I left the program. I keep in touch with several Arcadia students and faculty and I’m proud to be a member of the Arcadia family.