Western Kentucky University's Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research prepares aspiring leaders for high-impact careers in K12, higher education, and other organizational settings.
Carolyn is well-known to a generation of education administration students whom she supported with advising help, information, support, and friendly service.
“This job has kept me young,” she said. “I have most enjoyed helping students, and wish them all the very best and encourage them to continue their education and the good work they do with their students.”
Carolyn Hunt worked for 22 years in the insurance industry before coming to WKU, where she first served as office associate in the Department of Education Leadership, the predecessor to WKU’s current Departments of Counseling and Student Affairs and EALR. She estimates that over the years she worked with thousands of students and close to a hundred faculty members.
“Carolyn has been the glue that has held this department together through many transitions and program developments over the years,” said EALR department chair Dr. Marguerita DeSander. “She will be missed and we wish her all the best.”
Carolyn looks forward to spending time with her grandsons and volunteering in her church.
EALR students and alumni can send Carolyn congratulations and well wishes to her email address, email@example.com.
EALR professor Dr. Ric Keaster is also retiring effective December 2014. Read about his accomplishments here.
Dr. Berger was recognized for his outstanding service as Treasurer of AAACE the last three years. “The award is only given periodically,” Dr. Berger said, “so it is a great honor. I’m pleased and humbled to be nominated and to have received this award.”
AAACE is the field’s premier association for adult and continuing educators and is made up of professionals from around the world. Each year, around 400 members gather at their annual conference. This year, the conference was held in Charleston, SC and hosted members from across North America and internationally.
At the same conference Dr. Berger served as an invited panelist during the opening session of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education. In the session, titled “Focus on Mission, Money, and Strategy to Strengthen Adult Education Graduation Programs,” Dr. Berger and colleagues discussed pathways for supporting and enhancing the field of adult education at the university level.
SRCEA represents professors of educational administration and practicing school leaders from 14 states across the Southeastern U.S. The organization sponors an annual research conference, publishes a peer-reviewed Yearbook, and partners with universities and other professional groups to promote excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service within the discipline.
Dr. Keaster was recognized with the Jack Greer Lifetime Contributions Award for his many years of service to the organization, including serving as a member of the Board for 6 years, and as president of the organization in 2001.
At the same conference Dr. Keaster also participated as an invited panelist on “The Legacy of SRCEA.” Dr. Keaster joined other long-serving members of the organization to discuss how their participation in SRCEA has contributed to their professional success and how new members might leverage involvement in SRCEA in a similar way.
Dr. Keaster noted:
I think the panel of four had contributed a total of over 80 years of service to the organization and had some interesting perspectives to provide to those who were new to the group and even to those who had been members for awhile. We independently subtitled the panel as The Hoary-Haired Paleontology Session, as our combined ages were just as impressive as our number of years in the organization. SRCEA has been critical to me in my career for furthering my research and scholarly activity, in connecting to other individuals across the profession, and in establishing life-long friends and colleagues. I encourage all faculty to get involved in organizations like these.
Dr. Keaster has recently announced he will retire from WKU in December 2014 to spend time with his new twin grandsons. Dr. Keaster has been with WKU for 12 years, serving as associate dean for the College of Educational and Behavioral Sciences, coordinator of the Cooperative PhD Program between WKU and the University of Louisville, and as EALR professor where he has taught courses in secondary and post-secondary leadership in the Master’s and doctoral program, advising numerous students, and mentoring other faculty members.
Teaching at the university level is similar to teaching at the elementary or secondary levels; you are provided a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and careers. This opportunity is both an exciting challeng and a daunting responsibility. My goal has been to facilitate the growth and success of students I have had in class and those who select me as their primary advisory for the dissertation. I have tried to make their professional challenges as beneficia, yet as smooth as possible.
EALR congratulates Dr. Keaster on all of his career-long accomplishments.
“Catholic School Faculty Meetings: A Case Study Linking Catholic Identity, School Improvement, and Teacher Engagement” by WKU EDD alumnus Dr. Daryl C. Hagan (superintendent of schools for the Evansville, IN, Catholic diocese) and EALR professor Dr. Gary Houchens (advisor).
“Enhancing Instructional Leadership Through Collaborative Coaching: A Multi-Case Study,” by Gary Houchens, WKU EDD alumnus Dr. Tom Stewart (Kentucky Department of Education), and current WKU doctoral candidate Sara Jennings (teacher, Bowling Green Independent Schools).
“Risk Factors for High School Drop-outs in Kentucky,” presented by WKU EDD program director Dr. Tony Norman. Co-authors include WKU EDD alumna Dr. Chunling Niu, graduate research assistants Candace Elliot and J.P. Clark, and EALR professors Drs. Jie Zhang, Steve Miller, and Gary Houchens.
“Personalized Learning: A Theoretical Review and Implications for Assessing kid-FRIENDLy Student Outcomes,” presented by Dr. Gary Houchens and WKU EDD doctoral student Trudy-Ann Crossbourne. Co-authors include professors Jie Zhang and Tony Norman and graduate research assistants Laura Fisher and Morgan Schraeder.
“A Synthesis of Competency-Based Instruction: Implications for Developing Classroom Observation Protocols for Race to the Top-District kid-FRIENDLy Schools,” presented by WKU EDD doctoral student J.P. Clark. Co authors include professors Tony Norman, Jie Zhang, Gary Houchens, and Steve Miller, as well as EDD alumna Dr. Chunling Niu.
Conferences such as MSERA allow professors and graduate students to share and discuss their latest research, generate new ideas for future studies, and further prepare their work for publication. Congratulations to all of this year’s MSERA participants.
The GRREC/OVEC grant, administered as the kid-FRIENDLy (kid-Focused, Responsible, Imaginative, Engaged, and Determined to Learn) project, includes five major components: 1) promoting students as leaders (primarily through implementation of Franklin-Covey program Leader in Me); 2) encouraging the growth and development of teacher and school leaders; 3) implementing competency-based instruction, and 4) promoting personalized learning. The Rock Solid team works closely with kid-FRIENDLy to monitor program implementation and assess results. The team will present several papers summarizing the first full year of the grant’s implementation at the upcoming Mid-South Educational Research Association annual conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, November 5-7.
Dr. Shutt is herself an alumna of WKU’s EALR program and holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisville. Her dissertation research focused on school culture and she has worked closely with Dr. Chris Wagner, EALR transitional retiree and national expert on improving school culture.
Amy continues her duties as principal at Burns Elementary, where she has served for 11 years, while teaching at WKU. She said the experience so far has been “like coming home.”
“As I came through the principal certification classes at WKU myself, the faculty there created a foundation for my leadership in schools,” she said. “I hope to bring my own professional experiences to our graduate students that will equip them to be successful school leaders and keep their focus on what is best for students every day.”
Called Leading 2 Learn (L2L), the three-year grant will provide a variety of professional learning opportunities for leaders in the Allen, Barren, Grayson, and Todd County Schools. School principals will receive training in instructional rounds, data teams, visible learning, and other high-leverage school improvement strategies.
The grant will also provide a generous tuition subsidy and enhanced mentoring supports for three cohorts teachers from these four districts to participate in WKU’s principal certification program. Each cohort will include up to 20 principal candidates who will also have access to many of the same rich professional development workshops as their own practicing administrators.
Many of these aspiring leaders will be eligible for Level I principal certification by December 2015. Recruitment for additional L2L aspiring principal cohorts will begin in February 2015. Contact WKU principal program coordinator Dr. Gary Houchens, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
What started out as a science project in his classroom became a massive community-based agriculture initiative in which Ritz’s students have grown over 30,000 pounds of vegetables feeding over 450 students and their families. Ritz’s efforts have helped student attendance skyrocket and created 2,200 youth jobs.
Stephen Ritz will speak at 7:00 p.m. on September 9 in Van Meter Auditorium on WKU’s Main Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Educators, parents, and the community are encouraged to attend.
A 2012 graduate of Brigham Young University with a PhD in Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation, Kim has research interests in teacher evaluation and school accountability. Prior to her arrival at WKU, Kim was the Director of Academic and Institution Assessment at LDS Business College and has extensive experience teaching statistics and research methods. Her work on value-added measures of teacher effectiveness was recently published in the Harvard Educational Review.
“I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a lifetime of learning and researching together with students and other faculty at WKU, ” Dr. Everson said. “I appreciate the warmth with which I have been welcomed.”