“When is your ride coming?” asks Meagan Williams, GSE master’s student. He doesn’t know. Meagan hands the student, Robert, her phone to call the TriMet Lift Service. The room begins to fill with the chatter of students arriving, greeting friends and getting organized for an afternoon of classes. Meagan is working part-time at PHAME Academy in NE Portland. She teaches theater class on Monday afternoons, and also serves as teaching lead/closer on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturday afternoons her students rehearse for the big spring musical production, Bye Bye Birdie. Continue reading
Laura LaMarsh is a dedicated PSU Viking. She earned her BS, MS, and Initial Administrator License all at PSU. Laura’s career in special education started when she became as an education assistant at Northwest Regional Educational Service District (NWRESD), working with a student with severe orthopedic needs. One day the director told her that she had been selected to be part of a pilot team working with children with autism. When she asked why she had been selected for this position, Laura was informed that it was because she “had a good record of showing up daily and on time.”
This quiet start has led to a remarkable career in the field. Laura is currently the coordinator of autism services and coordinator of the elementary deaf and hard of hearing program in Hillsboro, a facilitator of the Autism Statewide Leadership Grant through the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), a commissioner on the Oregon Commission for ASD (OCASD), and an adjunct faculty member at PSU. Laura emphasizes that her career is not just a job, but a passion for making a difference in the lives of children.
The GSE has received a new gift of $25,000 from Professor Emeritus Joe Kaplan to endow the Sandy Kaplan Scholarship, a fund established in memory of his first wife, Sandy. He has been supporting this scholarship annually since 2007, but this gift to endow it will ensure the permanent continuation of the scholarship for the future.
The Sandy Kaplan scholarship is intended for a student in a GSE teacher preparation program who has multicultural experience. Preference is given to students who intend to work with children or youth for whom English is a second language. Continue reading
Two GSE students were among 15 selected nationally for a fellowship at the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Institute. Phyllis Foster and Rian Hansen will travel to Chicago on April 18th to attend the event. Both are students in the Graduate School of Education’s Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) program, working toward licensure in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment.
The Portland State VIL program is one of only four programs in the nation to offer interstate online programming to provide maximum access for students in this critical need area. PSU students attend from many different states across the continental United States, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, where there is a huge shortage of teachers in this field. Continue reading
Donovan (Donnie) Kim-Nebrensky, MEd ’11, has won the Miller Foundation Teaching Award that is given to young teachers to “strengthen their commitment to, interest in, and effectiveness in a long-term classroom teaching career.” Mr. Kim-Nebrensky is a 2011 graduate of the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP). He works at Yamhill-Carlton High School teaching biology and physics and next year will be adding astronomy to the curriculum. The award includes money that will allow him to purchase Vernier science probeware for the school. He will be able to teach students to use the products with their classroom iPads to collect, analyze, and interpret scientific data. Continue reading
GSE alumna Barbara Kienle has received the 2012 Achievement of Excellence Award from the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators (OACOA). She was honored at the annual conference of the Confederation of School Administrators (COSA) in Seaside in June 2012, along with other administrators of the year, many of whom are also GSE graduates.
Ms. Kienle is the Director of Student Services at David Douglas School District. She is a graduate of a total of four programs in the GSE: the Initial Special Educator Licensure program in 1991, Special Education Master’s in 1998, Initial Administrator Licensure program in 2001, and the Continuing Administrator License in 2009.
Read the story in the David Douglas School News.