COE Alum is Devoted to Life Long Learning


Robert Askren (BAE ’63) has been devoted to “life long learning”.  He earned a MEd in English and a PhD in Counseling as part of his learning career. Askren also earned a Master’s degree at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1966 to prepare for ordination as an Episcopal Priest. He served in parish ministry in Florida for 45 years before retiring in 2006.  During his ministry, Askren taught classes for local colleges. After his retirement, Askren began work at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida where he taught English, Latin, French and Spanish as adjunct faculty. In 2005-2006, Askren taught college writing for Purdue University in Indiana while serving as interim rector for a local Episcopal Church for two years.

Askren serves as Canon for Adult Education for St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jacksonville, where he is director of The Institute for Christian Studies.  He is a Florida certified teacher in Language Arts, grades 6-12 and is currently attending COE’s Distance Learning program to renew his teaching certification for 2013.





COE Alumnus Appointed Principal of Gainesville High

David Shelnutt ( EDS ’03, Ed Leadership) has been appointed the new principal of Gainesville High School.  He will replace another COE alumnus, Wiley Dixon (PhD ’84), who is retiring this month after serving as principal since 2002.

Shelnutt currently serves as assistant principal for curriculum at Buchholz High. He was the assistant principal at Fort Clarke Middle School in 2005 before returning to Buchholz a year later. Shelnutt was the 2004 Alachua County Teacher of the Year. He previously was an assistant chair in the social studies department at Buchholz, where he taught regular, honors and advanced placement classes in American history and world history for over six years. He has served as a board member on the College of Education Alumni Council since 2001.



Gainesville EduGator Named Teacher of the Year

Sarah Hickey Cheshire (MED ’06, Social Studies Ed.) has been named Teacher of the Year at Fort Clarke Middle School in Gainesville, Florida.

Sarah completed the Pro-Teach Master’s program and is still close to some of the professors and classmates. “The program offered at UF is invaluable and I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to attend,” says Sarah.

She has been teaching at Fort Clarke for 6 years. For 5 years Sarah taught regular and gifted Geography classes and this year she is teaching gifted U.S. History.

Sarah is the Social Studies Department chair at Fort Clarke and the 8th grade Student Council Sponsor.

“I feel that teaching is the best profession in the world.  I have never dreaded going to my job and I get the opportunity to laugh and see the world through a child’s eyes every day. Nothing beats that!”



2011 UF Homecoming Events

UF Homecoming week is always filled with fun activities and plenty of opportunities to show gator spirit.  This year the COE celebrated Homecoming with a variety of festive events and activities.

We kicked off the fun with the Dean Welcoming Reception Friday evening in the Norman Hall courtyard.  Alumni, faculty, and friends were invited to the event for a chance to meet the new dean, Dr. Glenn Good, and catch up before heading to Gator Growl that evening.  The event went very well, thanks to some great food and several outdoor heaters that kept our guests warm enough to enjoy the great evening atmosphere.

Saturday morning meant BBQ at the O’Connell center.  For several years, the College has hosted tables at the annual UF Homecoming BBQ.  Each year the event gets bigger and this year’s gathering included a game of corn hole, a raffle for a free engraved brick, and plenty of give-aways.  Our guests were able to enjoy lunch while catching up with friends and participating in activities hosted by the College before walking over to the stadium for the big game against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

To view photos from the events, please check out our Flickr page.



2011 Grand Guard Luncheon

From left: William and Sharon Sprott, Lynda Hayes, Dean Glen Good, DeAnna Jacobs, and David Murray














The UF College of Education hosted a luncheon on October 14th for this year’s Grand Guard visitors. The luncheon was held at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and activities included a tour of the school,musical  performance by PK’s students, and updates on the many exciting initiatives at the College of Education.

Attendees were also able to meet the new COE dean, Dr. Glenn Good, and PK’s newest director, Dr. Lynda Hayes.




COE Alumni and Supporters Meet the Dean

Dean Good (center) with Tony Domenech (left) and Lee Pinkoson

COE alumni & supporters and Alachua County school board members & leaders had the opportunity to meet the new College of Education dean, Dr. Glenn Good,  during a reception hosted at John and Pat Carlson’s home (BAE ’73) and co-hosted by Tony (MED ’79) and Lynn (Med ’78) Domenech on Wed, Oct 26, 2011.

Photos can be found on this Flickr set.











ST. PETERSBURG TIMES: Brian Dassler (2002 alumnus)

Brian Dassler (COE 2002 graduate)

COE graduate Brian Dassler (MEd “02, English Education) and David Colburn of UF’s Reubin Askew Institute co-authored a guest opinion column in the St. Petersburg Times urging policymakers not to embrace virtual schooling—especially for-profit virtual schools—as a cure-all for problems in public education.” Dassler is principal of a KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) High School in New Orleans.

COE Alum named Director of Center at College of Charleston

Courtney Howard (PHD ’03, Curriculum Instruction) was recently hired as director for the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Prior to this position, Howard spent seven years in the School of Education at Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC) as teacher education faculty member (2004-2011), Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (2008-2010), and Interim Dean (2010-2011)







’08 PhD graduate wins Initial Research Award

Todd Haydon, a 2008 UF doctoral graduate in special education, is one of two recipients of the second annual Ted Carr Initial Research Award, presented by the international Association for Positive Behavior Support.

Haydon is an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Cincinnati. His research involves examining classroom management strategies that modify classroom environments (general education and self-contained classrooms) in order to decrease problem behavior and increase academic outcomes for students with emotional behavioral disorders.

The Carr award is named after a founding member of APBS. Haydon will be honored in March, 2012, at the APBS 9th international conference.

Turkey is home to COE Alum

The EduGator Nation spreads far and wide, even Ankara, Turkey.

Our latest international update comes from Cagdas Kockan (MED ’01, Math. Ed.) who currently works as a civil engineer at the Disaster and Emergency Management Office of Ankara, Turkey. He previously worked as a research assistant at the Gazi University Kirsehir Education Faculty between 2002-2007 and held a position at the Directorate of Public Works and Settlement Office of Kırsehir, Turkey.