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Honoring outstanding student teachers

Standout student teachers recognized at 2011 mentor and supervisor reception

More than one hundred student teachers, mentor teachers, supervisors, faculty, and supportive friends and family attended the 2011 Drake School of Education Mentor Reception held last month in Levitt Hall.

“This is a powerful opportunity to celebrate who we are and all we’ve accomplished, whether you’re in the beginning of your career or more experienced,” said School of Education Dean Jan McMahill.

The event was an opportunity to give special thanks to the community of mentor teachers and supervisors who assist Drake’s education students with learning the way of the classroom, and to honor student recipients of the school’s awards for outstanding excellence.

The reception was an opportunity to recognize the work of mentors and supervisors who've guided student teachers.

McMahill also recognized Tom Drake, clinical assistant professor, for his years of instruction as director of student teaching. Drake officially retires this year, but will continue to teach one course next fall.

“You don’t say goodbye to someone like Tom Drake, but you do say thank you,” she told the crowd.

During the reception, attendees were treated to a buffet of appetizers and desserts, and the soon-to-be graduates mingled with their mentors. McMahill presented awards for outstanding excellence to graduating seniors and graduate students in their respective areas of study. Each award recipient received a certificate and a check for $100, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Dean Jan McMahill with the 2011 outstanding student teacher award winners.

The following student award winners were nominated by School of Education faculty and recognized at the event:

Lynda Brown received the Graduate Student Award in the Master of Science in Education in Teacher Effectiveness and Professional Development program. Brown’s nominator, Thalya Hanson, said she is known as “a culturally responsive teacher whose willingness to help others goes beyond the classroom walls.” Brown hosted several fellow students from South Africa for Thanksgiving.

Dana Dodson was presented the Graduate Student Award in the masters program in special education. Dodson currently teaches in the Prairie City Monroe Community School District, where she is active as both a teacher and advocate for students with disabilities.

Jessica Lang received the Graduate Student Award in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Lang worked in Drake’s Math Lab, and nominator Shelley Fairbairn highlighted her leadership in the classroom among other excellent characteristics.

Esther Locher was presented the Bright Star Award for her outstanding accomplishments in her undergraduate elementary education program. Locher has been involved with the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi and service projects such as Books and Bagels.

Jessica Tentinger received the Bright Star Award for her outstanding accomplishments in her undergraduate secondary education program. Tentinger served as a student representative for SOE’s technology committee, and a volunteer math tutor at PACE and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honors society and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Kelsey Zlab received the Graduate Student Award for the Master of Science in Teaching program.  Kelsey exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher, according to Dr. Jill Caton Johnson.  She is dedicated, compassionate, professional, ethical, and strives to meet the individual needs of students with whom she works.