Educational Leadership and Special Education Archives
Byon February 5, 2013 10:50 AM
Congratulations to School of Education Assistant Professor Megan Taylor for recently being accepted as a 2013 STaR Fellow! The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Project is an induction program for recent doctoral graduates in mathematics education. The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a 12-month experience that networks early career mathematics educators (in the first or second year of their first academic appointment). The Program focuses on three themes: research, teaching and service as well as leadership development To be eligible for this program you must have your doctorate in mathematics education and be in your first or second year of tenure track at an institution of higher education in the U.S. As a STaR Fellow, Megan will have the opportunity to attend a week-long Park City Mathematics Institute this summer, get extra support as she continues her research agenda and collaborate with a strong cohort of other mathematics faculty to strengthen her teaching practice.
Megan Taylor is the newest faculty member in the Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education department and the Single Subject Credential Program here at Sonoma State. Her research focuses on secondary mathematics and teacher education. Megan has taught 6th-12th grade for twelve years and believes that in order to improve public mathematics education in the U.S., improvements on teacher education are necessary. Her recent work investigates how mathematics teachers use textbooks and explores ways they can be do it more effectively to improve classroom learning.
Byon January 16, 2013 12:25 PM
The teachers at Mary Collins School in Petaluma are dedicated to teaching as a profession, one which mentors new teachers and fosters professional growth for experienced ones through collaboration, research and study. Each semester the Multiple Subject Credential Program places teacher candidates at Mary Collins to gain valuable clinical experience from their staff of expert mentor teachers and the guidance from School of Education faculty supervisors and gain direct experience working with children in the elementary classroom.
In step with this belief that a continual learning process is key for professional growth, Mary Collins teachers host an annual Symposium on topics related to curriculum, teaching and learning. The Symposium is not just for their own staff but is open to educators in the North Bay community. Motivated by the belief that parents are key partners in student learning, they include a parent night in the Symposium schedule so parents can listen to presentations by the guest speakers and discuss these topics too.
This year will mark the 11th time they have hosted the Annual Mary Collins Symposium, which will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2013 and features presenters Dr. Vivian Vasquez and Dr. Patrick Callahan.
Dr. Callahan will focus on the changed expectations for mathematics instruction with the Common Core Standards, specifically two of the mathematical practices: "Constructing Viable Arguments and Critiquing the Reasoning of Others" and "Reason Abstractly and Concretely" and Dr. Vasquez will focus on critical literacy across the curriculum--specifically: critical literacy and technology-- and place based pedagogy.
Registration is $25 to attend the event, which includes lunch. Registration is online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/308125
This a wonderful opportunity to network with teachers and educators from all across Sonoma County.
Byon December 19, 2012 5:14 PM
Person Theater's house was filled last week with people gathered to celebrate a new group of teachers who have completed their credential programs at Sonoma State. This group of students will move on to work as public school teachers in elementary, middle and high schools in California. Most have completed the program over the course of two or three semesters, including many hours of work in clinical practice, working with a mentor teacher and a university faculty supervisor to gain the important practical experience needed to begin their career as a teacher.
Dean of Education Carlos Ayala and President Ruben Arminana delivered opening remarks for the evening's celebration. Faculty from the School of Education's Credential Programs spoke, offering kind and supportive words to the students as they begin their teaching careers. A student speaker from each program offered remarks at the ceremony: Sarah Kremple, Yasha Mokaram and Jaime Alexander each spoke about their own experience in the program, and their passion for teaching.
In her address to the Multiple Subject Credential Candidates, Dr. Susan Campbell noted that this is an exceptional group of motivated teachers saying, "You have also taken your own students beyond their immediate worlds and shown them how to be active citizens in a humane democracy. With your guidance and leadership, your elementary students have cleaned up local creeks, sent letters to active military personnel, sent food and cards to needy families, started school recycling programs, and made scarves for residents in eldercare-all this within the umbrella of academic learning as they also learn how to read, write, research, and interact within school. You have changed the world and we are proud of you."
Dr. Viki Montera offered her congratulations to the group who completed the Education Specialist Credential Intern program, "who have earned their credential while also serving as full - time teachers in area schools." Dr. Montera acknowledged the tremendous effort that required, since these Special Education Interns "are responsible for their students' success at work while simultaneously being responsible for their success here at SSU. A balancing act and a remarkable feat."
Dr. Karen Grady acknowledged how challenging it is to earn a credential in California, and offered words of advice to the beginning middle and high school teachers: "
Remember to be kind to adolescents. Even when it is hard to do, put the kids first" and stressed she the importance of maintaining a professional community, advising "...remember that you do not have to manage it all by yourself--the Lone Ranger is actually not a good metaphor for being a great teacher. Find like-minded colleagues, go to conferences, become members of your professional organizations. You will need to do this to be your best, to stay sane and healthy, and to keep growing."
The inspiring ceremony concluded with a slide show of photos of the teachers at their student teaching field sites, and a reception for the graduates and their guests.
Byon November 26, 2012 2:33 PM
Imagine a classroom where middle school students learn geospatial awareness by taking a virtual tour of the moon, or a lesson where special education kids improve their vocabulary with Garage Band. These are just a couple examples of projects that will be featured at the Teacher Technology Showcase this Thursday at Sonoma State University. At the Showcase, twenty four pre-service and recently credentialed teachers will demonstrate lessons that they have created to help build student engagement and support student learning.
School of Education Assistant Professor Jessica Parker designed the event, which provides beginning teachers the chance to share creative ideas for ways they plan to use new media tools in classroom experiences. Dr. Parker, who teaches educational technology at SSU, notes that the focus of the event is not just on the technological tools the teachers are employing, but also on the content objectives as well; how are they creating a better learning environment for students through technology integration. At the showcase, presenters will have the opportunity to converse with experienced teachers and administrators from local schools, graduate students and faculty about the lessons they designed.
Presentations will include examples of lessons built for mobile devices, the use of web based collaboration tools, video screencasts for flipped classrooms, wikis and more. The presenters come from a range of teaching environments and student age groups, from early education, elementary, secondary, educational leadership and special education, and they will provide examples of for kindergarten through senior year of high school and beyond.
This is the second year that the SSU School of Education is hosting the Showcase, which this year has support from Google, KQED and Edutopia. The event will take place on Thursday, November 29, 5:00-7:00 PM in the Student Union Multipurpose Room and is free and open to the community. (Please note that parking on campus is $2.50).
Can't make it to the event? Follow us on Twitter for highlights: @educationSSU #ssuedtech.
Byon October 24, 2012 1:42 PM
The School of Education will officially launch a new undergraduate major in Early Childhood Studies with lunch hour celebration of children, learning and play on the Stevenson Quad on Thursday, November 1, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The new major will help prepare students to work or pursue graduate study in education, health and other professions that serve young children and their families, leading to better health and education outcomes as children grow into adulthood.
"Early investments in children help all youth, regardless of the barriers they may face, to increase their personal achievement, thus breaking the cycle of disadvantage that perpetuates inequalities in the United States," says Associate Professor Chiara Bacigalupa, faculty advisor for the Early Childhood Studies program.
"In order for these advantages to be realized, however, early childhood program need educated professional who understand the complexities of providing effective care and learning opportunities in today's diverse communities."
The major is a multi-disciplinary course of study will prepare students for a variety of career paths, including:
- Infant, toddler and preschool teachers
- Administrators of programs for young children and families
- Professionals in health fields, including child life specialists
- Pre-requisite work for the multiple subjects credential for elementary school teachers
- Pre-requisite work for the special education teaching credential.
The November 1 launch celebration will include interactive exhibits from the Sonoma County Children's Museum, play-based learning activities and the chance to meet representatives from agencies in Sonoma County that offer support services to children and families.
Byon September 28, 2012 10:31 AM
Janet Hardcastle retires today after twenty five years of dedicated service to Sonoma State University. When she started working here in 1987, her first position was with the Intensive Learning Experience Program for the Communication Studies Department. But shortly after that, she took a position with the School of Education, where she has worked ever since. From 1989-2001 Janet worked as the assistant to the dean in the School of Education, before transitioning to the world of educational technology grant work, where she has truly made her mark over the last decade. Janet has been the administrator of three major federal grant projects sponsored by U.S. Department of Education, and has worked closely with teams of faculty from Sonoma State and other partner institutions. These projects include Light Bridge: Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology, Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology (EnACT) and EnACT - Partnerships, Technology and Collaboration, EnACT-PTD.
Two weeks ago, the campus celebrated her retirement with a send-off party hosted by the School of Education. Faculty and staff from across campus, as well as other retired SSU people and family members came together at the Terrace Room and Patio at the Commons to thank Janet for all the good work she has done for Sonoma State, and to wish her well. Colleagues Gayle Graff, Jim Fouche, Brett Christie and Emiliano Ayala praised her for years of professionalism, precision, dedication and collegiality. They credited her with much of the success of their grant work, because she brought so much knowledge and expertise to the complex world of federal grants. Janet was at the hub of all their work, and for that they are forever grateful.
The School of Education presented Janet with a commemorative Waterford vase and a framed picture with photographs of campus to mark the occasion. Janet noted that she loves Sonoma State’s beautiful campus, and while she will no longer be working here, you will likely in the future see her here taking a walk, maybe pushing one of her grandchildren’s strollers, enjoying the beauty of the trees and gardens here at Sonoma State, truly taking time to make the most of her retirement.
Byon September 5, 2012 2:16 PM
As part of Sonoma State University's ongoing effort to improve student learning for all, the School of Education is launching its first Tech Infusion Challenge. The Tech Infusion Challenge is a project sponsored by the CSU Digital Learning Ambassadors Program and the Google Education Division.
School of Education students and a faculty partner are invited to design a lesson in mathematics, science or language arts that infuses technology in teaching based on a lesson the student observed at Sonoma State. The best lesson selected and re-designed will be awarded $600.
- Consider a lesson that you observed at SSU and how it might be improved.
- Invite a faculty member to be a partner in redesigning the lesson.
- Prepare an alternative lesson that infuses technology to help convey subject content and skills. Work collaboratively.
- Four workshops will be offered throughout the semester to assist with your technology planning and implementation.
- Submit your lesson (e.g., *video link, webpage, presentation) with any additional instructional materials that would be used by students (*video no longer than 10 minutes).
- Each submission will be reviewed by a panel of faculty.
- First Prize $600
- Second Prize $400.
Partner teams must REGISTER by SEPTEMBER 25, 2012
Only the first 12 qualifying teams will be selected to participate. All team members will receive digital prizes for participating.
Registration and challenge guidelines can be found online at:
Submissions are due by Monday, November 26, 2012. Winners will be announced Friday, December 7, 2012. For more information contact Dr. Sandy Ayala, 707-664-2972 or email@example.com
Byon August 30, 2012 9:02 AM
The Department of Educational Leadership and Special Education welcomes Dr. Viki Montera to the position of Department Chair for the Fall 2012 semester. Dr. Montera is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership for the ELSE Department which offers both advanced credential and master's degree programs for the preparation of principals, superintendents and education administrators. In addition, Dr. Montera is taking over the role of co-director of the CANDEL Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership this semester as well. Joining her in a department leadership role this semester is Dr. Sandy Ayala, who will serve as the program coordinator for the Education Specialist Credential program. Fellow ELSE Department faculty member Jennifer Mahdavi, on sabbatical through the end of this term, will move into the role of department chair in Spring 2013 upon her return.
This change in leadership follows former Department Chair Professor Emiliano Ayala's departure from Sonoma State University to a new position at our sister institution Humboldt State University as Associate Dean of the College or Professional Studies. Dr. Ayala was a member of the Sonoma State faculty since 2000, teaching in the Education Specialist Credential and Special Education Master's Degree programs. In addition to his recent role as department chair, he wrote and directed two grant projects here on campus related to adaptive technology and Universal Design for Learning, first as Project Co-director and Co-principal Investigator for Access by Design (AxD) funded by the National Science Foundation, and later, from 2005-2012, as Project Director/Principal Investigator for Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology (EnACT~PTD) funded by the U.S. Department of Education: Office of Postsecondary Education.
Dr. Ayala has been a valued scholar and leader at Sonoma State, and will be missed here on campus. Department colleague Professor Paul Porter remarked that "Emiliano is one of the brightest and most talented faculty members in the School of Education. His great organizational skills, vision, student-centered outlook, and always positive attitude will add so much to Humboldt State. We will miss him very much."
Byon May 8, 2012 3:51 PM
Jennie Snyder, Superintendent of Piner Olivet Union School District has been awarded a Circle of Excellence Award by the School of Education's Educational Leadership faculty. Jennie has served the district as Superintendent for two years. She is an alumna of the CANDEL Ed.D program, a joint doctoral program that Sonoma State offers in collaboration with UC Davis. Dr. Paul Porter, Co-Director of CANDEL describes Jennie as an outstanding educator and thoughtful leader who, since becoming Superintendent has "already begun to change and shape the culture of the district, stressing collaboration, team work, and highest standards."
At a recent visit to her office I had the opportunity to speak with Superintendent Snyder about her work and her experience in the CANDEL program. As a doctoral candidate, she appreciated the time and space for reflection, and the collaboration with a cohort of fellow students with a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds. In her role at Piner-Olivet she sees tremendous challenges ahead, yet is inspired by the opportunity to collaborate with teachers and administrators in an effort to find creative solutions for her schools and community. In the end she believes that each student in her district is entitled to an education that sparks their natural curiosity, builds on their capacity to learn, inspires their imagination and provides opportunities for them to express their ideas to their fullest. Jennie Snyder is receiving the Circle of Excellence Award because she is an accomplished scholar and gifted administrator. She is the kind of child-centered, collaborative, reflective and thoughtful leader that can make those goals come to fruition.
Byon May 1, 2012 10:16 AM
The SSU Educational Leadership Program will host a series of Information Meetings in May for educators interested in earning Administrative Services Credentials, Preliminary and Clear Credentials and Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.
- Sonoma Valley Unified School District
El Verano Elementary School Library
18606 Riverside Drive - Sonoma CA, 95476
Wednesday, May 2, 4:30 p.m.
- Napa Valley Unified School District
Napa Valley Adult Education, Room #15
Monday, May 14, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
- Solano County Office of Education
Wednesday May 16th 4:00 pm
The meetings will provide Information on how SSU's Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and/or Preliminary or Clear Administrative Services Credential Programs will prepares candidates for a position of leadership in K-12 educational settings. Public, private and charter educators welcome. Prospective candidates will receive information on the following topics:
Now accepting applications for Fall, 2012 admission.
Application Deadline: May 30, 2012