Alumna profile: Mary Ann Anderson—early childhood education matters

MaryAnnAnderson_Photo_072914Mary Ann Anderson (BS ’73, MS ’75) has a lifelong passion for early childhood education and believes that it is the key to a community’s future.

According to Ms. Anderson, a substantial and compelling body of research agrees that early education programs have positive long-term effects on children’s school performance, educational attainment, and adult earnings. In other words, she believes that early childhood education is an investment in our future economic growth, which more than offsets its cost. She says, “The majority of neurons are developed between birth and age three, when the brain’s peak capacity retains new information. Eighty-five percent of who you are—your intellect, your personality, your social skills, is developed by age five. If we can provide quality education for young children before the age of five, the long-term positive results are simply overwhelming.” Continue reading

GSE alumnus joins National Geographic arctic expedition

Adam SmithHood River Middle School teacher, Adam Smith, GTEP ’10, got an offer he couldn’t refuse: a trip to the arctic as part of the National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow program (GTF). He is one of 25 individuals out of an initial 1300 applicants who were selected this year for an all-expense-paid visit to the archipelago islands of Svalbard, Norway.

Participants convene in Washington, DC for pre-trip workshops and to meet fellow teacher/travelers, then they travel to Norway where they stay on a ship during their expedition. Continue reading

GSE alumnae receive 2014 state school administrator awards

School administrators from across the state gather each year in June for the annual conference of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrator (COSA) that includes recognition of Oregon’s outstanding educators. The GSE has been well-represented on the dais, and this year is no exception. In addition to Superintendent of the Year, High School Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year and Middle School Principal of the Year, all announced earlier in the year, COSA named Pattie Waltz the recipient of the Bev Gladder Mentorship Award, and Harriet Adair as a recipient of the COSA President’s Award. Continue reading

GSE Graduate named 2014 Oregon High School Principal of the Year

HD WeddelBend High School Principal HD Weddel, MS ’85, has been selected Oregon’s High School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA). He received the award from State School Superintendent Rob Saxton, a former classmate, at a surprise assembly at his school this spring.

HD Weddel is a graduate of Fort Vancouver High School, has a BS from Oregon State University, and holds a master’s degree from PSU. He was a teacher and coach for 25 years and was named an assistant principal of Bend High School in 2005, and principal in 2009. He started college with the goal of becoming a physical therapist and soon decided he would rather work on brains instead of bodies. He says he never thought he would move into administration. Continue reading

GSE graduate Brett Bigham receives NEA award

Bigham, Brett_021_VertGSE graduate Brett Bigham, MS ’02, Oregon’s Teacher of the Year and this year’s guest speaker at the GSE Academic Hooding Ceremony, has been named a recipient of the 2015 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.Mr. Bigham will be recognized at the Salute to Excellence in Education gala to be held in Washington, DC, on February 13, 2015. He is one of 39 recipients across the country who have been nominated by their NEA state affiliate. Each educator’s school will receive a $650 award, and five finalists will be selected to receive $10,000. One finalist will be named the nation’s top educator and receive an additional $25,000. Continue reading

GSE Professor Cress serves as Fulbright Senior Scholar to Turkey

Cress Istanbul MosqueChristine Cress, professor of educational leadership and policy (ELP), served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Turkey in fall 2013. In this role, she offered expertise and consultation to Turkish public and private universities and to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on pedagogical strategies for diverse learners, techniques for assessing programmatic and educational outcomes, and methodologies for connecting campuses and communities through civic engagement and service-learning.

Dr. Cress’ primary location was Middle East Technical University (METU) (Orta Doğu Technik Üniversitesi) in Ankara, where she was sponsored by the Office of Student Learning and Faculty Professional Development (Öğrenme ve Öğrenci Gelişim Birimi) and by Assistant Professor Serap Emil, METU School of Education, and former doctoral graduate of the GSE (2011).   Continue reading