New dean's staff aims high as College nears 100th year

As the UF College of Education approaches its 100th year of preparing teachers, counselors, school administrators and other educators for their life’s work, several new academic leaders and top administrators will be on hand to help Dean Catherine Emihovich lead the college’s efforts to reach the top tier of American education schools.

The college, which held its first classes in 1906, currently ranks 15th among public education schools of the year in a row in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s top graduate education schools.

Emihovich, UF’s education dean since 2002, has been assembling a staff she thinks can help the college develop nationally reputed academic programs and attract eminent faculty and top students worldwide, moves designed to elevate the college into a top-10 national ranking.

The dean’s new “cabinet” includes a new associate dean for research, two new academic department chairs, and three new directors for programs in graduate studies, informational and instructional technology, and a novel university-schools alliance created to improve educational opportunities for inner-city high school students.

Here are brief profiles of the six new College of Education appointees:


Paul Sindelar
Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Sindelar assumes the new post of associate dean for research after five years as co-director of the Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education (COPSSE). He and his new Research Office staff will support college faculty in their efforts to obtain external funding for research and training initiatives. Sindelar previously headed the college’s Center for School Improvement for five years and was chair of special education from 1988-1996. His research interests include teacher effectiveness, alternative-route teacher preparation, and the cost-effectiveness of teacher preparation options. In his 17-year UF career, he has brought into the College of Education more than $11 million in external funding.

“Improving the research culture is a high priority,” Sindelar said, “and everyone here understands the importance of bringing in external funding for the research. My job is to put the infrastructure in place to move the college forward on both fronts.”


Linda Serra Hagedorn
Professor and Chair, Dept. of Educational Administration and Policy

Hagedorn is the former associate director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, and also co-directed the Higher Education/ Community College Leadership concentration of the Ed.D. program. She has written numerous articles on community college student success, equity issues and college retention of underrepresented student groups, and is the vice president of the postsecondary education division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

“Our department has changed its name to Educational Administration and Policy, so the new name and the new chair will usher in many changes,” Hagedorn said. “This year we will establish curriculum advisory boards to assist us to revise our courses and programs to attract top-notch students globally.”

Tina Smith-Bonahue
Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Dept. of Educational Psychology

Smith-Bonahue, an associate professor, recently added interim chair to her departmental responsibilities in education psychology. She also is educational director of UF’s Multidisciplinary Diagnostic and Training Program (MDTP) for children with complex learning, behavioral or medical needs, and teaches in the Unified PROTEACH Early Childhood Program. Her primary research interests include the temperament and behavioral adjustment of high-risk preschoolers, and inclusion of preschoolers.


Thomasenia Adams
Associate Professor and Director, Office of Graduate Studies

Adams, associate professor and former graduate coordinator in teaching and learning, is the founding director of the new office of graduate studies in education. She will work closely with the associate dean for research, department chairs, graduate coordinators, faculty and staff to enhance the quality of graduate teaching and research in the college. She also will assist in recruiting and mentoring strong graduate students as the college heightens its emphasis on graduate education. Her primary research interests focus on math and geometry teachers’ subject-matter knowledge, teaching math from a multicultural perspective, and mathematics as a language.

“One of my primary goals is to promote graduate education so we grow with the overall university goal to increase graduate enrollment,” Adams said. “We are looking to improve every facet of graduate education in the college.”

Bernard Oliver
Professor and Director, UF Alliance

Oliver, a veteran university and public schools administrator and a scholar in urban and multicultural education, is the new head of the UF Alliance, a school-improvement partnership involving UF and six under-resourced urban high schools across Florida. He most recently was assistant superintendent for high school education in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Oliver also has held faculty and administrative posts at several universities, including the Ewing Kauffman endowed chair at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and dean and professor at Washington State University.

Tracey (Trace) Choulat
Director, Informational and Instructional Technology

Choulat is no stranger to the special technology needs of higher education. In the past 10 years, he has designed, built or managed information technology groups, networks and servers, and academic computing environments for more than a dozen colleges and universities across the United States. He most recently was technical director for SunGard Collegis, Inc., of Maitland, Fla. At UF, one of his first tasks will be developing a technology strategic plan for the college.

“The Office of Information and Instructional Technology will be assessing the computing needs of the college, working to improve service levels and developing a strategic plan to align technology infrastructure with the goals and objectives of the college,” Choulat said.

* * *

“These new appointments continue the restructuring of the dean’s area that began when I arrived three years ago,” Emihovich said. “These appointments, along with all the other new faculty, st
aff and administrators that have joined us, will position our college very nicely to maintain our leadership in professional education across Florida and throughout the world.

“It’s a great time to be an ‘alumni’ as the college prepares to celebrate the start of our next 100 years in 2006.”

To Education Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina

If you are an education student displaced by Hurricane Katrina and are seeking to continue courses Fall 2005, we are anxious to assist you in any way possible.

If you are a graduate student, please contact Dr. Thomasenia Adams, Director of Graduate Studies, at 352-392-0726, ext. 305, or by email at

If you are an undergraduate education student, please contact Dr. Theresa Vernetson, Assistant Dean for Student Services, at 352-392-1058, ext. 400 or by email at

Also for graduate students, we extend an invitation to continue your studies long-distance by enrolling in any of our online graduate courses. We offer a variety that should transfer to most education majors at your home university. Learn more about our online courses and programs at:

The University of Florida’s College of Education wishes to extend our hand to all of you who desire to continue your program of studies during this time. Our process involves registering you as non-degree-seeking students which will expedite the registration process. We will do our best to match your curriculum needs with the coursework we can provide.

Best wishes,

Dean Emihovich
September 9, 2005

In memoriam: Hal Lewis, longtime UF and P.K. Yonge educator and crusader for school desegregation

Hal G. Lewis Sr., a Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in education at the University of Florida and a crusader for desegregation of Florida schools and college campuses, died at his daughter’s home in Livermore, Cal., on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005. He was 97.

Lewis, who lived in Gainesville, also was the principal of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the UF College of Education’s laboratory school, from 1944-48. He was a professor of educational foundations at the college for 42 years, spanning 1936 through his retirement in 1979.

He first came to the college in 1935 to take courses required for renewing his teaching certificate. G. Ballard Simmons, then principal at P.K. Yonge, was so impressed by the young teacher from Georgia that he invited Lewis to join his faculty. There were only six College of Education faculty at that time—more than a decade before UF became coeducational.

Lewis’s ties with P.K. Yonge lasted for more than 60 years—as a teacher, principal, parent and College of Education professor. He first taught social studies and then core courses at the lab school from 1936 until 1941. After obtaining his doctorate at Columbia University, he contacted Simmons, by then UF’s acting dean of education, about returning to P.K. Yonge. Lewis was hired as principal in 1944 and served for three years before returning to teaching at the UF College of Education, where he served as chair and sole faculty member of UF’s newly formed Department of Foundations of Education, which housed the programs in education psychology, research methods, and social and philosophical foundations of education.

Hal Lewis: through the years…
Hal Lewis Hal Lewis Hal Lewis

During the tumultuous period of desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s, Lewis focused his efforts on preparing teachers to work with children of a different race, a development that didn’t sit well with all teachers-in-training of that era. He served two terms as president and one as board chairman of the Florida Council on Human Relations, one of the first southern groups to work for desegregation. He also founded the Gainesville Council on Human Relations and served for 10 years on the Florida Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Behind the efforts of Lewis, J.B. White (dean of education from 1949-64) and other UF faculty and administrators, UF enrolled its first black student in 1958, into the College of Law. The College of Education soon followed suit.

“Dr. Lewis’s desegregation activism occurred at a time in North Florida when such behavior entailed serious risks,” said Richard Renner, a College of Education faculty member from 1965-2003. “His longlife contributed much to improve race relations.”

Professor Rod Webb, an education faculty member since 1971, said Lewis was “a proud son of the South, but he recognized in his teens the evils of segregation and fought furiously to end it. His dedication to equality was deep and his opposition to injustice was unequivocal.

“Hal scanned the social horizon. He dedicated the college and the P.K. Yonge School to innovation and to anticipating the problems that schools would face in the near future.”

Lewis remained at the College of Education until 1979, when he was appointed Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus upon his retirement.

“Hal never walked a well-worn path. He found his own way and did so with amazing and gentle grace,” Webb said. “When Hal was in his 90s, students he had taught 30, 40 and 50 years earlier would still seek him out to thank him for his guidance, kindness and inspiration.”

Lewis was born in 1908 in Greensboro, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1930, where he was in the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, before earning his doctorate from Columbia. In Gainesville, he was active in the Gainesville community and his church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Godwin Lewis, and son, Hal Graham Lewis Jr. Survivors include his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Lewis Costantino of Livermore, Cal.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the Lewis family requests that donations be made to the P.K. Yonge Alumni Fund, 1080 SW 11 th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601; or to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.


Dr. Lewis’s obituary includes biographical information from two reference books: “Exploration and Experimentation: The Road to Educational Excellence/The College of Education 1905-2001”; and “A History of the P.K. Yonge Laboratory School” by Louisa Bohannon Taylor (1995).

UF special education scholar garners national research award

Anne BishopUniversity of Florida special education researcher Anne G. Bishop has received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Early Career Publication Award for her landmark journal article outlining the most efficient and accurate timeframe and measures for early identification of kindergarten children who may struggle in learning to read.

Bishop is an assistant scholar at the UF College of Education and the project coordinator for the college’s Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, which generates and disseminates research-based information on special education workforce issues. She received the research award, presented by the council’s division for research, recently at the group’s convention in Baltimore.

The award recognizes outstanding research in special education conducted and published within five years of completing the doctorate degree. Her article, entitled “Prediction of First-grade Reading Achievement: A Comparison of Fall and Winter Kindergarten Screenings,”appeared in the summer 2003 edition of Learning Disabilities Quarterly.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization devoted to improving educational outcomes for exceptional, learning-disabled and gifted children.

Bishop, a UF faculty member since 2001, previously was chosen as the College of Education’s teacher of the year in 2003 and received the Council for Learning Disabilities’ 2002 outstanding researcher award.

Middle schools league names award for UF education professor

Paul GeorgeGAINESVILLE , FL—The Florida League of Middle Schools has established an annual lifetime achievement award in honor of a University of Florida education professor considered by many to be the nation’s leading expert on middle school education.

The 200-school league, founded in 1972, named the award for Distinguished Professor Paul S. George of the UF College of Education’s School of Teaching and Learning. George was honored recently at the league’s 34 th annual conference in Sarasota.

The yearly award will go to an educator selected for “leadership and service for the advancement of middle school education” in Florida. The first recipient of the Paul S. George Award was Orange County middle school educator Shirley Fox, who received her doctorate in special education from UF in 1993.

George has published 10 textbooks on middle school education and other topics that have been adopted for use by dozens of universities and school districts. The Middle School Journal described three of his books in one article as “classics in the field.” The journal also identified George as “the number one ranking scholar” in middle school education, based on a survey of 241 American university professors and deans.

The American Association of School Administrators has referred to George as “the foremost expert on middle schools in the country,” and he previously received the National Middle School Association’s Lounsbury Award for lifetime achievement in middle school education.

George has helped the UF College of Education maintain its reputation as the nation’s hub of middle-school education research and leadership. UF education professors were instrumental in advancing the middle school concept in the mid-1960s. They first proposed middle schools in 1963 as a preferred, transitional setting to the departmentalized junior-senior high school system for handling a child’s formative years. The college hosted a year-long institute in 1966 to study the middle school concept, involving 36 school teachers and administrators from around the South. Two years later, three UF professors co-authored what became the primary textbook on the emergent middle school at many universities.

George arrived in 1972 as the first professor hired for the college’s new middle-school teacher education program. By 1977, there were more than 5,000 middle schools nationwide. He has continued to carry the gauntlet for middle schools into the 21 st century, serving as an international consultant and publishing more than 150 books, journal reports, textbook chapters and multimedia presentations, many on middle school education issues. He recently has been investigating the change from middle school (grades 6-8) to K-8 schools in a dozen of America’s largest school districts.

George also has other research interests, ranging from Japanese education to the social organization of schools, and even the application of corporate organizational strategies to improving public education. H e also is one of the college’s most popular instructors and mentors for doctoral students in teacher preparation, having supervised some 35 doctoral dissertations.

Leadership in middle school education, though, is his legacy.

“This honor recognizes the important contributions Paul George has made to middle level education through over 30 years of extensive, carefully crafted scholarship,” said Tom Dana, chairman of the School of Teaching and Learning. “No one else in the world has had the impact he has had on policy and practice in quality middle schools.”

College of Education student scholarship recipients and the donors who fund their endowed scholarships

Dean Catherine Emihovich, Lacy Basfor, recipient of the Margaret Rosenberger Annual Award; and Margaret Rosenberger, donor of the award.

Dean Catherine Emihovich, Lacy Basfor, recipient of the Margaret Rosenberger Annual Award; and Margaret Rosenberger, donor of the award.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Erin Stacy, recipient of the Marjorie Schear Waggoner Fellowship; and Marjorie Schear Waggoner, donor of the Fellowship.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Erin Stacy, recipient of the Marjorie Schear Waggoner Fellowship; and Marjorie Schear Waggoner, donor of the Fellowship.

Carolyn Marty, donor of the Stella Meissner Scholarship Fund, in memory of her mother; Alea Prinzel, recipient of the Scholarship; Jennifer Marty, Carolyn's daugher; and Dean Catherine Emihovich.

Carolyn Marty, donor of the Stella Meissner Scholarship Fund, in memory of her mother; Alea Prinzel, recipient of the Scholarship; Jennifer Marty, Carolyn’s daugher; and Dean Catherine Emihovich.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Barbara Rodgers, recipient of the Dr. Clemens Hallman Scholarship; and Jo Anna Hallman, who funded the scholarship in memory of her husband, Dr. Clemens Hallman.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Barbara Rodgers, recipient of the Dr. Clemens Hallman Scholarship; and Jo Anna Hallman, who funded the scholarship in memory of her husband, Dr. Clemens Hallman.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Karen A. Koegel, donor of the Karen A. Koegel Annual Scholarship; and Joyce Tardaguila-Harth, recipient of the Karen A. Koegel Annual Scholarship.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Karen A. Koegel, donor of the Karen A. Koegel Annual Scholarship; and Joyce Tardaguila-Harth, recipient of the Karen A. Koegel Annual Scholarship.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Karen Pearson, recipient of the Norman F. Nelson Fellowship Fund; Norman F. Nelson, donor of the fellowship and his father Fred Nelson.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Karen Pearson, recipient of the Norman F. Nelson Fellowship Fund; Norman F. Nelson, donor of the fellowship and his father Fred Nelson.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Barbara Anderson, donor of the Barbard and Richard Anderson Scholarship, along with her husband Richard Anderson, far right with the recipient of their scholarship, Genevieve Schurack.

Dean Catherine Emihovich; Barbara Anderson, donor of the Barbard and Richard Anderson Scholarship, along with her husband Richard Anderson, far right with the recipient of their scholarship, Genevieve Schurack.

Innovative Educator, Arthur Levine, To Deliver Sesquicentennial Lecture at UF October 8, 2003

View video of this lecture

Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia UniversityArthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University, will share his perspective on the future of higher education when he delivers one of the University of Florida’s Sesquicentennial Lectures, October 8, 2003. The presentation, titled “The Future of the American University,” is scheduled for 7:30 at the Philips Center for the Performing Arts. It is open free to the public.

Levine is credited with revitalizing Teachers College, which was founded in 1887 to train teachers for New York’s expanding immigrant population. Since his appointment in 1994, he reorganized the college’s administrative and academic structure, erased an annual operating deficit, recruited top scholars and launched the college’s largest-ever capital campaign. Emphasizing what he calls the “biology of learning,” Levine started an outreach program to assist local and state education officials in bolstering educational efforts. In 1999, the college began offering Web-based certificate courses, and created a foundation to support promising educational ventures and development of new educational products and services.

Levine, an advocate of improving teacher quality and enhancing the use of technology in higher education, is the author of dozens of articles and reviews. His most recent book is When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today’s College Student (with Jeanette S. Cureton), published in 1998. His numerous opinion editorials appear in such publications as The New York Times; The Los Angeles Times; The Wall Street Journal; and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Levine is a 1982 Guggenheim Fellowship winner, and was named one of the “20 most outstanding leaders in the academic community” in a 1998 Change magazine survey.

A documentary by College of Education Staff member Lorrain Douglass aired on Public Television

Lorrain DouglassThe documentary, “Home on the Streets”, by the College of Education’s Lorrain Douglass, was aired on public television in Fulton County, GA, on October 3 rd 2003. The film was previously shown at the Dahlonega International Film and other film festivals around the country.

The October 3 rd edition of “Caught in Clapper”, a 30-minute public television series produced by John Gutmann of Machine Press Video Productions, was co-hosted by Janice Pruitt and Marcia Coker. The estimated 300,000 subscribers saw the 17-minute documentary, a video interview of Laurie and also heard a phone interview with Laurie about homeless veterans in New York City, Washington, DC, and Boston.

“Home on the Street” is an investigative documentary on homeless veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance abuse. The purpose of this documentary is to acquaint the audience with successful programs in Boston and Washington, DC that have been effective in assisting homeless veterans during their recovery and re-entry into the work force. Interviews with homeless veterans in three major cities attempt to capture their feelings on returning home from their individual combat missions and communicate how important camaraderie is to them.

COE Grad students to present at National Meeting

Six graduate students in the College of Education will be presenting papers at the annual History of Education Society meeting in Evanston, Illinois from October 30 to November 2. The students’ conference papers all stemmed from research projects they undertook in Professor Sevan Terzian’s

Dr. Michael V. Bowie Elected 32nd National President of The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.

Dr. Bowie(Bloomington, Indiana) The 62nd National Convention of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) convened in Dallas, TX, October 23-26, 2003, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel downtown. Dr. Michael V. Bowie of Gainesville, Florida, by way of Washington, DC, was elected the 32nd National President, the youngest President in the 73-year old history of the organization.

Dr. Michael Bowie brings a wealth of leadership capability and knowledge to the Office of NPHC National President. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. and Director of Recruitment, Retention & Multicultural Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Florida. He is President of the Alachua County Branch of the NAACP, Black AIDS Services & Education, Inc., and the Association of Black Faculty and Staff at the University of Florida. Prior to his employment in the Education arena, Dr. Bowie served as the only African-American faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida, where he studied rickettsial diseases of animals and humans using molecular techniques.

In the fraternal arena, Dr. Bowie has served as a National Treasurer of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Florida State Keeper of Records & Seal of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Past President of the Gainesville Council of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Advisor to the NPHC at the University of Florida.

Dr. Michael V. Bowie holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Morgan State University, a Master’s degree in Veterinary Science from The Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida. He has served as Assistant Veterinary Investigations Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture in Swaziland (Southern Africa) and holds 2 patents. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) is a coalition of the nine (9) largest historically African American Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, currently representing over a million members internationally. The organization boasts a diverse membership comprised of students, celebrities, corporate, political and community leaders. Its affiliate membership includes Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

For seventy-three (73) years, members of the constituent Greek-letter organizations of NPHC, Inc. have convened to discuss and address issues of mutual concern. The collective social and economic power of the NPHC has been a major source of change for the African American community in America since its inception.

The NPHC was organized in May 1930 on the campus of Howard University.

Baby Gator Announces Launch of New Playground Equipment

For the first time, the Florida Space Grant Consortium has awarded a grant to a preschool. The recipient of this grant was Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center at the University Of Florida College Of Education.

According to NASA administrator Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, the grants are intended for school-age children, but the one submitted by Darci Hames, a Baby Gator teacher, included plans for science education support for young children, which convinced NASA that an award for this preschool was appropriate.

On Wednesday, Novemebr 12th, 2003, Baby Gator hosted specially invited guests during a dedication ceremony for the playground equipment purchased as a result of the grant. NASA sent administrator Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee and Payload Specialist Sam Durrance to assist with the “lift off .” Durrance also autographed photos for guests, shared a 7-10 minute video of his space travel and answered questions.

Additional guests and activities included:

  • Christine Zamora from the Florida Department of Agriculture provided a display and information about plants in space.
  • Febi Mayfield, a teacher a Baby Gator and an accomplished songwriter and vocal artist with the group “Jabezz”, sang “Space Walker”, a song she composed about space. She recently sang this song and others she has composed for an event hosted by NASA in Titusville.
  • NASA will lend a Moon Rocks display for the day. Rosario Munoz and Juanita Luster, Baby Gator teachers, have completed the training required by anyone handling the rocks.
  • Each Baby Gator classroom set up a booth in the playground, which contained interactive science activities for the children and their families. The classroom was also opened to display space projects.
  • The Baby Gator Parent Advisory Council served lunch to parents and families at noon.

Special Lunchtime Speaker – David Figlio, Ph.D. Department of Economics

David Figlio, Ph.D. Department of Economics
“Unintended Consequences of School Accountability Initiatives.”

Wednesday, November 19th
11:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Terrace Room, Norman Hall

Dr. David FiglioDavid Figlio is the UF’s Knight-Ridder Professor of Economics, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and associate of the Institute for Research on Poverty. His research on the design and evaluation of education and social policy has gained him widespread attention in the US and abroad. He has recently worked in Chile, Sweden, Tanzania and Thailand to design and evaluate of school policies.

Further information about Dr. Figlio, including a number of recent publications, can be accessed at


By E. Sherwin Mackintosh

Performing Arts CenterNow, what is that building?” That was my first qualified and motivated faculty. question. I was touring the P.K. Yonge School with my son, Chase, and my friend, Randy Scott, a/k/a Florida’s Teacher of the Year. We were visiting my wife’s family in Gainesville, and I had just stepped out of the Front Office at P.K. Yonge when I looked over and asked Randy about the huge building project underway adjacent to the office. “Oh, that’s our new Performing Arts Center,” Randy answered. It’s a $6.5 million dollar facility. That’s all that I remember about the tour. Randy’s mouth kept moving, but I didn’t hear anything he said. The rest of the time, the wheels of my mind started turning (granted, not as fast as they used to. . .). I couldn’t get over the fact that in a time when most schools were doing away with, or at least cutting back their Performing Arts programs, P.K. Yonge had invested $ 6.5 million dollars into an innovative Arts facility housing the Chorus, Drama, Band, and Elementary Music departments, as well as a state of- the-art auditorium. In addition, it wasn’t just the “school auditorium”; it was “The Performing Arts Center.” All that said a lot about the commitment of this administration to the Arts. I was blown away. At the end of the tour, we found ourselves back where we started, and Randy asked what we thought. I woke up and asked again, “Now what is that building?” I had spent the last 17 years in New York City. I worked for a large church in Manhattan and had produced shows at Madison Square Gardens, the Beacon Theater, Town Hall, even Harlem’s Apollo Theater. I had helped to start the HOPE School of the Arts in Harlem and Patterson, New Jersey. I had spent some time playing on Broadway, made a Carnegie Hall debut in the recital hall, and I was commissioned to write and perform at Governor Lawton Chiles’ Memorial service in Washington, D.C. where I performed for President Clinton, Senator Ted Kennedy and others. However, the truth is, the thrill was gone, the shine had worn off the Big Apple, and I was looking for a little slower pace (my health seemed to be dictating that) and a new dream for my life (God seemed to be dictating that). Randy knew this and seemed to have his own agenda going, because he again said, “That’s the new Performing Arts Center.” But this time he added, “And I think you’re just the man to be the new director.”   You see, I wasn’t looking for a job, but as P.K.Yonge Director Fran Vandiver said later, I was looking for an opportunity. Well I spent an extra day in Gainesville, met with Dr. Vandiver at 7:30 on Monday morning, and it wasn’t long before we loaded up the truck and moved to: Yes, Gainesville Florida. I was to be the first Director of the new Performing Arts Center work with the Chorus and Drama departments, and begin work on my Doctorate. It was a new dream, but I’m not sure about the slower pace.

Today everyone is asking, “Now what is that building?” Well it’s a new dream and a new opportunity for all of us. It’s a resurrection, it’s a revival, it’s a new resource for the arts, not only for P.K. Yonge, but the University and the community as well. And I believe the day will come when people will no longer be asking, “Now, what is that building?” Because its reputation will precede it.

The P.K. Yonge Performing Arts Center will become not only a magnet for the performing arts, but will help set the standard for Performing Arts in the Educational world.

Now- that’s a building.

Elementary Music Room Band Room Creekside Gallery
Stage in PAC Auditorium Auditorium Fine Arts Hallway

“Moon Dance” by Artist Charles Strain

Moon Dance by Artist Charles Strain


P.K. Yonge Performing Arts Center Dedication Week Celebration


DECEMBER 3, 4 and 5 (WED-FRI)

9:00 AM: Elementary Orientation Mini-Performances, PAC Auditorium


9:00 AM: High School Performance

With Guest Conductor David Holt, PKY Band Director 1986-1996

PAC Auditorium

7:30 pm: Dress Rehearsal (general public)

Featuring T.O. Sterrett and Guest Conductor Robert Hyatt, PKY Band Director 1983-1986

PAC Auditorium


6:30 pm: Alumni Reception

Creekside Terrace (overlooking Tumblin

Brown bag Lunchtime Presentation

John Cech,
January 21, 2004
12:00 noon
Terrace Room, Norman Hall

Lunch with Recess!

Take a recess from your busy schedule and join John Cech, creator, producer and host of this popular public radio program, as he explores the process of restorying the dynamic, vital cultures of childhood — the ones that we adults remember and those that our children are living today — into daily, three-minute radio programs. 

Dr. John Cech

Dr. John Cech is the Director of the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture and the creator, producer and host of popular public radio feature “Recess!” He is the author of numerous books and plays for young people, as well as fiction and criticism for adults, including Angels and Wild Things, an exploration of the work of Maurice Sendak.


The Center for Children’s Literature and Culture is an interdisciplinary center based in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. Its purpose is to encourage the exploration of this vital area of cultural life through scholarly and critical investigations; through meetings, symposia, and seminars; and through the development of innovative ways to make the research and concerns of our members and outside scholars available to the general public.


Recess!”  — a daily radio program of reviews, historical and biographical notes, commentaries, interviews, and sound essays that explores the dynamic cultures of childhood,  The program combines the efforts of an award-winning radio station, faculty and researchers from the University of Florida community; teachers, librarians, media specialists, and others working directly with children; and artists, performers, and writers from around the country who are creating works for children in print and other media. It is provided free of charge each moth via CD or satellite uplink to the nearly 500 interlinked public radio stations across the country. To date, over 1,100 shows have been aired.


Remember…bring your lunch!

Lastinger Center Held First Gainesville Community Meeting of the Florida Teacher Fellows

Looking at writingOn Wednesday, January 28th, the Lastinger Center for Learning brought together over 100 teachers from 5 Gainesville schools to participate in the first Gainesville Community Meeting of the Florida Teacher Fellows. This event was not only a recognition of the hard work and dedication of these educators, but an opportunity for them to expand their growing professional communities to network with other high poverty elementary schools in the county. This year marks the initiation of the Florida Teacher Fellows program, where 225 teachers throughout the state were awarded Teacher Fellowships. Fellows participate in monthly school meetings where a UF faculty facilitator assists them in focusing their collective strengths on addressing dilemmas of teaching and learning in high poverty schools. At each school teachers engage in inquiry into their own practices by looking at student work collaboratively, creating action plans to address student learning and refining those plans through collective reflection in critical friends groups, and investigating, exploring, and sharing research-based best practices with their peers.

This Community meeting was established to respond to teachers’ requests to share what they are learning more widely. They know they have a lot to learn with and from each other, both within and across schools. At this meeting, teachers from Duval, Rawlings, Williams, Prairie View, and PKYonge (a) participated in workshops run by 5 UF faculty members in order to get a taste of the resources and knowledge that UF’s COE has to offer, (b) participate in small cross-school groups organized by grade level to share important things they are learning at their schools through the teacher fellows program, and (c) reconvened in whole-school groups with their facilitators to discuss how what they’ve learned at this community meeting will impact their work at each school.

Dean Catherine Emihovich and Superintendent Chambers welcomed the teachers to this meeting. These dedicated educators and UF faculty facilitators began a collaborative effort and strengthen the connections between the College of Education and local schools. The hope is to leave “No Educator Behind” as we all work together to improve the education of Florida’s elementary school students.

Additional Information:

looking at students workThe Florida Teacher Fellowship (FTF) program is one of the initiatives of the Lastinger Center for Learning, a center dedicated to improving the education of Florida’s elementary school students. The FTF program focuses on teachers because we believe that improving the quality of teaching and learning has a direct impact on student achievement. (By the way, other initiatives focus on Principals, Families, and Communities). Teacher Fellows participate in monthly school meetings where a UF faculty facilitator assists them in focusing their collective strengths on addressing dilemmas of teaching and learning in high poverty schools. At each school teachers engage in inquiry into their own practices by looking at student work collaboratively, creating action plans to address student learning and refining those plans through collective reflection in critical friends groups, and investigating, exploring, and sharing research-based best practices with their peers. In addition to monthly school group meetings, the Fellows also participate in a 3-day residential summer institute at the University of Florida, where they learn about research-based best practices from UF faculty, meet with their school groups to identify challenges and needs for the coming year, and develop action plans for addressing their dilemmas. During the year, the Fellows will also have the opportunity to meet with Teacher Fellows from other schools to share their learning more widely, through several Community Meetings. These community meetings, the first of which will be held on January 28, 2004, are not only a recognition of the hard work and dedication of these educators, but an opportunity for them to expand their growing professional communities to network with other high poverty elementary schools in the county.

The FTF program, and these community meetings, are important because teachers typically work in isolation and have very little time or opportunity to collaborate with their peers, both within their school and across schools. As far as School-University-Community collaboration is concerned, although the relationship between the COE and schools is not new, the Lastinger Center does so on a much grander scale, allowing for cross-school, and even cross-district collaboration to occur. We are currently working with 5 Gainesville schools, 2 Miami schools, and 2 Jacksonville schools, with 6 more Miami schools due to join our center in 2004-2005. We know of no other school-university collaboration happening across the state to this extent that focuses on raising student achievement with an intense commitment to improving the quality and abilities of educators and principals. In addition, we focus our efforts on high poverty schools that are typically (but not always!) identified as low achieving and are frequently low on resources and assistance.

Teachers that have been awarded a teacher fellowship are paid $1,000 for their total participation in the program. However, financial resources are just one, and easily the most tangible, benefit. Teachers are connected to the University of Florida, with a wealth of resources, knowledge, and capability to help schools improve the education of their students. Faculty members from the COE provide teachers with information about research-based best practices and facilitate meetings to help teachers apply that knowledge and reflect on the implementation of new practices. Traditionally teachers attend workshops where that type of information may be presented, but it is the follow up and transfer to real classrooms that make a difference in our model. In addition, teachers are given voice to identify the professional development programs that are selected in order to address school-specific needs.

This project is an on-going relationship with teachers, schools, and principals. Change of this magnitude takes time, and although we would like to measure the impact of this program in immediate increases in student achievement, we expect that it is through continued support to these teachers and schools that substantial changes will occur. The Lastinger Center is a permanent endowment from Allen and Delores Lastinger, and additional outside funding from private donors is always welcomed to support the programs.

Currently our initiatives are focused on teachers (FTF), Principals (a parallel Principal Fellowship Program), and other staff members in whole-school effort. The next steps include work with parents and families. Efforts are coordinated with district initiatives, and work is only completed in areas where there is total buy-in, from the Superintendent down. The Lastinger Center also works with state-level education administration to ensure that the efforts complement, rather than contradict, state guidelines. The board members represent all of these levels.

For more Information contact:
Alyson Adams, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
UF Lastinger Center for Learning
P.O. Box 117052, 111 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-0726 x 295

Robin Frey Joins the College of Education Staff

Robin Frey Robin Frey has joined the College of Education as the new Alumni and Event Coordinator. The position she has assumed makes her responsible for planning, and implementing special events for the College. In addition, Robin will be working with COE alumni through special events, activities and the Alumni Board of Directors.

Prior to accepting this position, Robin served as the Business Manager for Schneider Enterprises in Gainesville, and as an education director for Planned Parenthood.

We are glad to have Robin aboard and know that her education in English Literature from the University of Florida will serve her well as she works with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Robin’s office is located in 150 Norman Hall. She can be reached at 352-392-0728, ext. 293 or

News from Instructional Technology

Equipment Check Out Center (ECHO)

By Gail Ring, Director of Instructional Technology

Electronic PortfolioThe Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) staff in room G525 of Norman Hall are having success in their attempts to place technology in the hands of faculty and students. Recently, OIT implemented the online ECHO Center ( where faculty and students can check out an assortment of computer and video equipment. Opportunities to play with technology are continually offered in the hopes that once professors and students are comfortable with technology they will use it in the classroom. Because of generous donations from the Dean’s Office, the PT3 Teaching and Technology Initiative, and Apple Computer, the ECHO Center has three laptop carts available for check out (both Macintosh and PC compatible), five digital video cameras, three digital still cameras, several CD burners, two portable projectors, ten Web cameras, and more. Faculty have used this equipment in a variety of ways. For example, the laptop carts have allowed professors to convert any classroom in Norman Hall into a computer lab.

Electronic PortfolioIn conjunction with faculty development workshops, faculty and students learn how to utilize the technology that is readily available to them. For example, after attending an image processing workshop, some faculty began video projects and encouraged their students to explore a variety of uses for video in their coursework. Examples of student videos may be found on the e-portfolio examples page at . Students have been using their experience with this technology to get jobs, to get into graduate school, and to document their PROTEACH experiences using a variety of media.

Electronic Portfolios

Electronic PortfolioSpecial thanks are extended to Courtney Herosy, Sherri Sakai, Breanna Seidel, Jillian Landers, Holly Moody, and Sara Rhouzihad who demonstrated their electronic portfolios at the 2003 Homecoming Reception.

The electronic portfolio project is a nationally recognized initiative in which teacher education students are required to develop and maintain teaching portfolios connected to the Florida Accomplished Practices. Students collect work throughout the PROTEACH Program, select illustrations to include in their electronic portfolios, and reflect on those choices in a rationale statement which articulates the reasoning behind their choice. In this way students make connections between theory and practice: the theories they learn in the classroom and the practical teaching experiences they have in the program.

For a closer look at the portfolio project, please visit the website at: . You may also view the electronic portfolios of

Courtney (,

Sherri (,

Breanna (,

Jillian (,

Holly (, and

Sara (

Watch for more opportunities in the future to see the graduating elementary PROTEACH students demonstrate their “completed” electronic portfolios and discuss the portfolios with showcase attendees.

New Book Written by College of Education Faculty Members

Diane Yendol-Silva
Nancy Fichtman Dana

Nancy Fichtman Dana and Diane Yendol-Silva of the College of Education have written a new book entitled, The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research:  Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn Through Practitioner Inquiry. Published by Corwin Press in March 2003, the book has a forward written by noted author and educator Ann Lieberman. The text was written in recognition that teaching and learning are inherently complex endeavors, fraught with many issues, problems, and tensions for teachers to face each day in the classroom. Teacher inquiry is a powerful way for teachers to gain insights into these daily issues, tensions, and problems and to engage in educational reform and change.  Teacher inquiry is defined as systematic study, by teachers, into their own practice.  Inquiry has become the gold standard for how the most highly qualified, committed, and passionate educators construct local knowledge about teaching, learning, content, curriculum, classroom practice, professional growth, and social justice. The text simultaneously takes both prospective and veteran educators through the process of inquiry step by step, from beginning to end, answering critical questions on developing the research plan, collecting the data, analyzing the data, writing the results, and publishing the results.  Readers of the text will experience the inquiry journey including:

  • Questioning teaching, learning, and school reform
  • Sharing questions, insights, and processes with other educators
  • Researching through interviews, journals, and surveys
  • Analyzing data and developing a writing-up of the results
  • Communicating findings to the educational community

Lawrence Tyree Named Candidate for Fulbright Senior Specialist

Dr. Lawrence TyreeThe J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB), the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State (ECA), and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), recently announced that Dr. Lawrence Tyree has been approved for candidacy on the Fulbright Senior Specialists Roster.

The Roster is a list of all approved candidates who are eligible to be matched with incoming program requests from overseas academic institutions for Fulbright Senior Specialists. As a candidate, Tyree will be considered a potential match for program requests that require someone with his expertise.

The FSB, ECA and CIES congratulate Dr. Tyree on being selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialists candidate and appreciate his interest in international scholarly exchanges, which are so vital to academic and professional communities around the world.

Faculty News

Dr. CorreaVivian Correa, Ph.D. has been selected to serve on the Board of The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).  CEC  is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.  CEC now has 50,000 members in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world.

Nancy Fichtman Dana
Diane Yendol-Silva

Nancy Fichtman Dana, Ph.D.  and Diane Yendol-Silva, Ph.D. of the School of Teaching and Learning have written a new book entitled, The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research:  Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn Through Practitioner Inquiry. Published by Corwin Press in March 2003, the book has a forward written by noted author and educator Ann Lieberman. The text was written in recognition that teaching and learning are inherently complex endeavors, fraught with many issues, problems, and tensions for teachers to face each day in the classroom. Teacher inquiry is a powerful way for teachers to gain insights into these daily issues, tensions, and problems and to engage in educational reform and change. 


Dr. James DoudJames Doud, Chair and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations, was named an “Honorary National Distinguished Principal” by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  This award, the individual NDP state awards, and a few international school awards was presented at a black-tie affair at the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC on November 8. Although no longer an active elementary school principal, the Board recognized Doud’s contributions to the Association over the past 25 years.


Dr. FlowersDr. Lamont A. Flowers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations in the College of Education,  was recently selected as an Associate Editor for the College Student Affairs Journal. The College Student Affairs Journal is the national refereed journal of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs.


Dr. PringleRose Pringle, Assistant Professor of science education in the School of Teaching and Learning, has been elected President-Elect of the Southeastern Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (SAETS). Pringle will serve one year as President-Elect followed by one year a president.

Announcement associated with the 2003 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Internatio

Dr. Thomas OaklandThomas Oakland is the recipient of the 2003 American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology. His work in more than 40 countries has focused on issues associated with child development, assessment and intervention, and school psychology.

Dr. Oakland is President of the International Foundation for Children’s Education and has served as presidents of the International School Psychology Association, International Test Commission, and APA’s Division of School Psychology. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. He directed three international conferences and coordinated a fourth.

Dr. Oakland currently is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Florida, Honorary Professor of Psychology at The University of Hong Kong, and Honorary Professor of Psychology at the Iberoamerican University in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was a member of the Department of Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin for 27 years.

Dr. Oakland received the Legends Award from the National Association of School Psychologists, the Distinguished Service Award from the International School Psychology Association, and the Distinguished Service Award as well as the Senior Scientist Award from APA’s Division of School Psychology as a reflection of his scholarly contributions to psychology. They include 10 books, and more than 50 chapters, 175 refereed articles, and 350 papers or workshops presented internationally or nationally. He is an editorial board member on more than 20 scholarly journals.

Dr. Oakland served as chair of APA’s Policy and Planning Board and was members of APA’s Ethics Code Task Force and its Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment, and served as its liaison to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and the International Test Commission.

Dr. Oakland will receive his award in Toronto this summer during the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Three Education Students Recognized at Multicultural Awards Ceremony

Brian Boyd, Yashica Crawford, and Rashida Williams were recognized by the College of Education at the university's annual Multicultural Awards Ceremony on March 30Brian Boyd, Yashica Crawford, and Rashida Williams were recognized by the College of Education at the university’s annual Multicultural Awards Ceremony on March 30. The ceremony is designed to recognize and honor students of African-American, Hispanic-Latino, Native-American, Asian-American, and multi-racial heritage as well as other minority groups at a university-wide ceremony. All three students hold or have held scholarships or fellowships while at UF. Boyd, a doctoral student in Special Education was recognized for his scholarship (19 international/national presentations, one published manuscript, and three manuscripts submitted for publication), leadership (President of the Special Education Doctoral Students Association), and service to the broader community (member of the Florida state-wide Autism Task Force). Crawford, a doctoral student in Educational Psychology, was recognized for her scholarship (work on multiple projects on learning and the teaching of reading at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, other schools in the area, and the UF Alliance schools), and service (mentor for the Marva Collins Mentoring Program, tutor for the

Baby Gator Graduation

Forty-six children in the Future Gators class participated in a graduation ceremony held on Sunday, May 16, at the P.Y. Yonge Auditorium. Dr. Catherine Emihovich, dean of the College of Education, spoke to the children and their families about the joy of being a pre-schooler and the excitement of becoming a kindergartener. The children sang songs and shared the Baby Gator cheer with the audience before receiving their diplomas from the dean. After the ceremony, the 200 guests enjoyed a reception of cake and punch hosted by the Growing Gators parents.

Faculty Reading Initiative: Recommended Books on diversity for All Ages

As part of his September 2004 inauguration activities, UF President Bernie Machen asked UF faculty to read to help raise diversity awareness. The project, the Faculty Reading Initiative, calls for instructors to read a book by Beverly Daniel Tatum titled,

UF College of Education selects accomplished alumna as new associate dean of academic affairs

Dr. Jeri BensonGAINESVILLE, Fla.— The University of Florida College of Education has recruited one of its own graduates, University of Georgia administrator Jeri Benson, to become its new associate dean of academic affairs.

Benson, who was interim associate dean of finance and administration at Georgia’s College of Education, succeeds 33-year UF education faculty member Rodman Webb, who is stepping down to resume full-time teaching.

Benson, an expert in student performance assessment and measurement, received all three of her academic degrees from UF. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and earned both master’s and doctoral degrees in educational foundations from the College of Education.

She held her most recent post at Georgia for the past year. She was associate dean for academic affairs there for more than three years and has been an education faculty member at Georgia since 1991. She was a professor in educational psychology and also headed that department’s research methods program. She also was a faculty member at the University of Southern California from 1977-83 and at the University of Maryland from 1983-91.

“Along with her extensive administrative experience at one of the premier education colleges at the University of Georgia, Dr. Benson brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of accreditation, assessment and distance education,” said UF education Dean Catherine Emihovich, who announced Benson’s appointment.

In her new post, Benson will oversee all of the college’s administrative and fiscal operations. She will guide implementation of the college’s strategic plan, focus on promoting faculty career opportunities through tenure, promotion and continuing professional development, and develop strategies to enhance the college’s international, national and statewide reputation.

Benson has published nearly 50 journal articles and book chapters. Her research interests include measuring test-taking anxiety in children and college students, and potential biases in student assessment methods. She has co-authored a student evaluation guide for teaching that demonstrates how to apply educational psychology principles to improve learning in the classroom.

“Dr. Benson’s return to UF is bittersweet, since she is assuming these duties as Rodman Webb returns to the faculty for a few years prior to retiring,” Emihovich said.

While on the dean’s staff, Webb organized a national conference on teacher quality, recruitment and retention, guided the college through a successful national accreditation visit in 2003 and steered the development of two new online master’s degree programs. He’s also been instrumental in an ongoing campaign to raise funds and develop plans for renovating historic Norman Hall, the education college’s home since 1934.

“The college is deeply enriched by the extensive contributions Dr. Webb has made during his four years as associate dean and more than 30 years as a faculty member,” Emihovich said.

UF College of Education Ranked Among Nation's Top Education Schools

The University of Florida College of Education, founded in 1906 as Florida’s first education school, once again has joined the nation’s top tier of education schools in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2005 edition of "America’s Best Graduate Schools."

UF tied for 24th among 158 education schools surveyed. Among the nation’s elite AAU institutions ranked by U.S. News, UF’s College of Education ranked 14th among public universities. The college’s top-24 overall ranking not only makes it the highest ranked college at UF, but the top-ranked school in any discipline among all Florida universities or colleges.

Four College of Education academic specialty areas also were ranked, including two of UF’s four top-10 programs. Counseling education and special education ranked third and ninth, respectively, while curriculum and instruction was 19th and elementary education 23rd. The college’s education psychology program held down the 20th spot in 2004, the most recent ranking of that specialty.

“It is an honor to earn recognition as one of America’s top education schools," said Catherine Emihovich, dean of UF’s College of Education. "Our stellar reputation in education circles is probably one of the university’s best kept secrets, but word about our innovative research and teaching programs is starting to leak out."

Emihovich said, for example, that few people know about the College of Education’s pioneering role in such education milestones as the Head Start program, the community college system, school desegregation, the middle-school movement and the formation of Florida’s first laboratory school (P.K. Yonge School in Gainesville). Today, as teaching conditions in schools become more complex and stressful, UF education researchers are exploring ways to prepare educators to adapt emerging, cutting-edge technologies and media to students’ learning needs in the classroom. They also are focusing more attention on the needs of schools in high-poverty communities through school-partnership initiatives such as the college’s UF Alliance program and the UF Lastinger Center for Learning.

“What is so encouraging in these national rankings is how the College of Education has steadily climbed over the years, from 36th in 2000 to 27th last year and 24th this year," Emihovich said. "That indicates we’re moving in the right direction toward reclaiming our rightful spot among the nation’s premier education schools."

UF appoints education professor as associate dean of graduate school

Dr. Vivian CorreaVivian Correa, professor and former chair of special education at the University of Florida College of Education, has been named associate dean of the university’s graduate school. The school coordinates more than 200 graduate programs of UF’s various colleges and divisions.

Correa has been on the UF education faculty since 1985 and was the chair of special education in 1996-99. She occupied a one-year endowed chair at California State University at Los Angeles in 2000-01. She has extensive experience as a program administrator and project director and is principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs leadership grant that prepares doctoral level students in early childhood special education and school psychology.

“Dr. Correa possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in minority affairs, grant writing and administration,” said Ken Gerhardt, interim dean of the UF Graduate School. “She will oversee the Office of Graduate Minority Programs, chair the Graduate Curriculum Committee and write and administer granted intended to recruit, retain and place underrepresented and minority graduate students in all disciplines.”

A native Puerto Rican, Correa has worked extensively with culturally diverse children and their families. Her areas of expertise include early childhood special education, bilingual special education, and collaboration and teaming. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Correa has a Ph.D. degree in early childhood special education from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in special education from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, respectively.

Correa will continue her teaching and research duties in the College of Education while holding her new administrative post.

Career Night event will show how a degree in education can lead to many job options

For more information, contact:

Robin Frey
Alumni and Events Coordinator
UF College of Education
392-0728, ext. 293

By Desiree Pena

UF College of Education

Teaching is not the only career path available through the College of Education. UF students can learn about the many other choices on Thursday, Sept. 23, when the college holds its annual Education Career Night. The event will take place in Norman Hall’s Terrace Room (G400) starting at 7 p.m. The event is geared toward UF students interested in finding out about the many career options that come with a degree from the College of Education.

Although the event, which is co-sponsored by the College of Education and the UF Student Alumni Association, is pertinent to College of Education students, it also provides examples of occupations besides teaching that a degree in education can lead to. Administrative training, counselor training, educational psychology and special education are a small sampling of the degrees available.

“This event will showcase a panel of College of Education graduates and show that an education degree can lead to other non-traditional careers and options,” said Robin Frey, alumni and event coordinator for the College of Education.

A career-diverse group of speakers will return to their alma mater to speak on the variety of career opportunities that can arise out of a degree in education.

The speakers are:

  • Sen. Evelyn J. Lynn. Lynn received her doctoral degree in instructional leadership at UF and has served many roles as a teacher, assistant superintendent, professor, city commissioner and business owner.  As a state senator for District 7 of Florida (including parts of Clay, Volusia, Putnam, and Marion counties) since 2002, she has worked to pass several pieces of legislation appropriating money to fund K-12 education and led a reappropriation of $30.1 million dollars in unclaimed lottery money to match scholarship contributions to college students.
  • Leanetta Cosby McNealy. McNealy graduated from UF with an Ed. S. and Ed. M. in curriculum and instruction. She is currently the principal of Duval Elementary School in Gainesville and is widely recognized across the state of Florida for raising her school’s grade from an F to an A last year. She was able to maintain the school’s A grade for a second consecutive year.
  • Mark Rosser. Rosser is vice president of operations for the Corporation Service Company (CSC) in Tallahassee and, upon graduation from UF with a B.A.E. in social studies education, he worked with the Florida secretary of state as assistant bureau chief. He also served two terms on the board of directors of National Public Records Research Association.
  • Portia Laverne Taylor. Taylor graduated with a Ph.D. in higher education administration and is currently the vice president of student affairs at Santa Fe Community College. She is also the president for the Women’s Forum in Gainesville, and was named “Person of the Year” in 1993 by the Gainesville Sun.

After the panelists make their presentations, a question and answer session will be conducted and refreshments will be served.

USDA recognizes UF's lab school for nutritious breakfast program

USDA Southeast Region Administrator Donald Arnette leads the applause after presenting P.K. Yonge School Food Services Director Maria Ziegler with the USDA's Best Food Service Practices Award
USDA Southeast Region Administrator Donald Arnette leads the applause after presenting P.K. Yonge School Food Services Director Maria Ziegler with the USDA’s Best Food Service Practices Award

If eating a nutritious breakfast every morning improves learning, as studies show, then students at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School must be real eggheads-as in hard-studying, not hard-boiled.

P.K. Yonge, the laboratory school for the University of Florida College of Education, has received a Best Practices Award for 2004 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for expanding student participation in its nutritious school breakfast program. During the 2003-04 school year, the creative use of promotional materials and menu items, including USDA-donated commodities, produced a 38 percent jump in student and faculty participation in the school’s breakfast program over the previous year.

Donald E. Arnette, southeast regional administrator for the USDA food and nutrition service, presented the award recently to PKY Food Service Director Maria Ziegler and PKY School Director Frances Vandiver. Arnette cited research studies showing that children who have access to good nutrition at the beginning of each school day are more attentive and better able to learn in class throughout the day.

Ziegler oversees the school’s cafeteria under a contract P.K. Yonge has with the School Board of Alachua County (SBAC) food service department. The UF lab school was one of 20 schools nationwide to receive the best food service practices award.

Others attending the ceremony included Florida Rep. Edward L. “Ed” Jennings Jr. of Gainesville, School Board member Jeannine Cawthon, SBAC Food Service Executive Director Eldon Chambers, SBAC Deputy Superintendents Sandra Hollinger and Keith Birkett, UF Education Associate Dean John Kranzler and three PKY third-grade classes.


High-poverty schools in Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville unite to improve student achievement, teacher retention
Reading teacher Randi Garlitz teaches first- and second-graders at Williams Elementary School in Gainesville. She says the hands-on professional development training led by University of Florida education professors in the Florida Flagship Schools network helped her school earn its first-ever B grade in the past school year. (PHOTO BY KRISTEN BARTLETT, UF NEWS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS)

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Fourteen high-poverty elementary schools in Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County and Gainesville are forming a network and partnering with the University of Florida in a no-holds-barred effort to turn around their low student achievement and high teacher turnover.

The rallying cry of network schools could easily be: “We’re mad as heck and we’re not going to take this anymore!”

That mimics a catch-phrase made popular by another “Network,” the 1976 Oscar-winning screenplay in which unhinged television news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) shouts out a slightly more colorful version that has since entered into the language.

Either version amply conveys the resolve of participating teachers, principals and elementary school and UF administrators.

The new Florida Flagship Schools network is forming under the auspices of the Lastinger Center for Learning at the UF College of Education. The center was created in 2002 to mobilize the expertise and resources of UF’s interdisciplinary research community and find answers for one of today’s major social concerns-improving the quality of teaching and learning in under-resourced schools.

The Lastinger Center recently received a major boost in the form of a $250,000 grant from the Wachovia Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Wachovia Corporation, one of the nation’s largest financial services providers. The UF center was one of 18 grant recipients and one of only four to receive the maximum amount offered. The Wachovia Teachers and Teaching Initiative supports organizations that enhance teacher recruitment, development, support and retention with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement. Grant applications are accepted by invitation only.

With the Wachovia grant, the Lastinger Center is adding six more schools from the Miami-Dade school district to the original eight-member network of Florida Flagship Schools.

The six new South Florida schools are Maya Angelou Elementary, Dr. W.A. Chapman Elementary, Paul L. Dunbar Elementary, Kelsey L. Pharr Elementary, Lenora B. Smith Elementary and West Homestead Elementary. Together, they add 120 new teachers, five new principals and 1,600 new students to the network.

They join four original partner schools in Gainesville-M.K Rawlings Elementary, Duval Elementary, Joseph A. Williams Elementary and Prairie View Academy; two in Jacksonville-Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and Long Branch Elementary; and two in South Florida-Florida City Elementary and Laura C. Saunders Elementary in Homestead.

 “All of our Florida Flagship Schools have received D or F school grades at some point over the previous five years. Many are making tremendous gains but, paradoxically, faculty and administrators fear that improvement means the removal of state resources and financial support available to low performing schools. These conditions make teacher retention an ongoing challenge,” said Donald Pemberton, director of the UF Lastinger Center for Learning. “Our goal is to improve the educational opportunities and ensure the success of children in underserved communities, particularly African-American, Hispanic, Haitian Creole and immigrant students.”

Nearly 7,400 students attend the network’s 14 schools, with more than 92 percent enrolled in the free-and-reduced-lunch program for children in low-income families. All of the schools are in urban, high-poverty areas. More than three-fourths of the pupils are African Ameican or African Caribbean, 12 percent are Hispanic and about 5 percent are white.

A team of 11 UF education professors is leading the Florida Flagship Schools venture in collaboration with 13 principals and 300 teachers from participating schools. The professors embed themselves in the classrooms at participating schools for first-hand observation and demonstration of experimental teaching methods.

Other Flagship School participants include administrators from the three involved school districts, state and national government agencies, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, which is the UF College of Education’s laboratory school in Gainesville, and faculty from other UF units, including the College of Business Administration. Teachers and principals from Flagship schools each have their own networking groups-the Florida Teacher Fellowship and the Florida Academy of Principals-that meet regularly throughout the year.

Alyson Adams, program coordinator at the Lastinger Center, said the Flagship Schools Network operates under “a slightly contrarian philosophy that flies in the face of the isolated Ivory Tower traditions of elite academia.”

“We are rolling up our sleeves and going into high-poverty schools and assuming some responsibility and accountability for improving student achievement,” she said. “If a teaching practice proves effective, let’s get it off the shelves and into the hands of educators immediately. If someone invents a new approach that works, that’s great, but let’s make sure our educators and allies find out about this approach. What gets done is a heck of a lot more important than who receives credit.”

No one sought credit when Long Branch Elementary School in Jacksonville received an F grade after the 2002-03 school year. Student performance and school-wide morale had bottomed out, while teacher attrition was atrociously high. First-year principal, Lillie Granger, counted only five returning teachers among her 30-member faculty. After a year in the Florida Flagship Schools network, the school rebounded with a C, and this year Granger said the Long Branch school community is aiming even higher.

“This is the first C our school has gotten, and the few teacher turnovers we had were mainly due to promotions,” Granger said. “After that F, there was a tremendous advantage of being able to connect with other principals and teachers (in the network) who had gone through similar experiences. The best part was seeing what other schools did to turn things around and apply some of those teaching practices in our school.”

UF’s Lastinger Center serves as a central clearinghouse, identifying and sharing the most effective, research-driven teaching strategies and innovations, coordinating joint research projects and fostering the exchange of ideas and experiences among teachers, principals and other school officials in the network. The center sponsors or coordinates several professional development seminars, workshops and summer institute programs, facilitates after-school teacher fellowship meetings, produces video demonstrations of model lessons or teaching practices, publishes a network newsletter and hosts a website for the network schools.

“Rather than face the dilemmas of an under-resourced school alone, educators in the Florida Flagship Schools network will work together to address them. They can learn with and from each other, “Pemberton said.

Randi Garlitz, in her sixth year as a reading instructor at Williams Elementary School in Gainesville, said the Florida Flagship Schools network was a “big contributing factor” in helping her school earn its first-ever B grade last year.

“The Flagship Schools fellowship is unlike any traditional professional development program,” said Garlitz, who teaches first and second graders. “Instead of lectures that go in one ear and out the other, the hands-on input we receive is phenomenal. They teach us to think outside the box and arm us with new teaching practices that we can immediately apply in our classrooms.”

Pemberton aims to make sure those best practices find their way into classrooms throughout Florida.     

“We seek to create a high-impact, research-based model for improving public education. We will share the practices that improve student achievement and teacher retention the most with high-poverty elementary schools throughout Florida and the nation,” Pemberton said. “All schools and communities should be equipped with the strategies and practical tools they need to ensure high teaching quality and student achievement.”

UF education Dean Catherine Emihovich called Wachovia’s grant support for the Flagship Schools network “a tremendous boost to our outreach efforts with high-poverty schools.”

“Part of our mission is built around the philosophy of the ‘scholarship of engagement,’ which encourages our faculty to connect their scholarship and teaching to issues that are important in the lives of families and children in schools and communities,” Emihovich said. “The work of Dr. Pemberton and other education faculty underscores our deep commitment to improving the quality of education across the state.”

By clicking on the link below, you can go online and view the TV news report on the UF Lastinger Center’s Florida Flagship Schools program. The spot was aired Oct. 14 by First Coast News over both its ABC and NBC affiliate stations. This news report was among several that resulted from a statewide Associated Press newswire release produced by the UF College of Education’s News & Publications unit.

Click on the link below to view the news report:

Then, click on the

UF-led team receives $750,000 NSF grant to attract more women and minorities to engineering, computer science fields

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—White men have long dominated the engineering and scientific fields in the United States, but that may soon change: A collaborative team of researchers at four universities, including the University of Florida, have received a grant worth more than $750,000 to find ways to open up those disciplines to more women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other minorities.

Women and ethnic minorities occupy less than 3 percent of the jobs in engineering and science-related occupations. In American universities, women and underrepresented minorities make up less than 15 percent of the teaching faculty in schools of information technology. Researchers say these occupational trends pose a threat to the nation’s technological workforce and global edge, especially since there aren’t enough white men to fill forecasted jobs in the math, science and engineering fields.

Supported by the large, four-year National Science Foundation grant, researchers are launching an ambitious program designed to dramatically increase the number of underrepresented graduate students and faculty in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and other information technology disciplines.

The “Scholars of the Future” initiative emphasizes early exposure to laboratory research experiences and a formal mentoring program for undergraduate women and minority students from underrepresented populations such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives. More exposure and opportunities for personal advising, scholarships and professional development also are hallmarks of the program.

“Many studies attribute the consistent low numbers of women and ethnic minorities in scientific careers to poor retention programs, inadequate pre-college preparation and unwelcoming university environments,” said Lamont A. Flowers, co-principal investigator of the NSF study and an assistant professor in the UF College of Education’s department of educational leadership, policy and foundations. “Early exposure to research and stronger mentoring programs for undergraduate students can have a significant impact on their future career choices and their decision to pursue graduate studies. Based on the job forecasts, there is a necessity to produce more mathematicians, scientists and engineers from underrepresented populations.”

Flowers’ co-principal investigators on the NSF-funded research team are Juan E. Gilbert of Auburn University, James L. Moore of Ohio State University and Bevlee A. Watford of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The Scholars of the Future initiative is based solely on models proven effective by empirical research and on other successful recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented college students. Starting this fall semester, Auburn is serving as the primary site of the initiative for all four years of the funding period. In years three and four, the program will be replicated at Virginia Polytechnic.

The experimental diversity program places a heightened emphasis on student retention. Extensive follow-up evaluation will occur one year after the program’s completion, when Flowers and Moore will analyze the effectiveness and impact of the various recruitment and retention activities.

“Our findings should yield in-depth recommendations to parents, teachers, school counselors and other school administrators for improving the overall interests and success of underrepresented students majoring in math, science and engineering disciplines,” Flowers said.

Baby Gator hosts its first annual fall multicultural festival fundraiser

The Parent Advisory Council for Baby Gator Child Development Center is hosting its first annual fall multicultural festival fundraiser on Saturday, October 30, 2004 from 12:00

Education psychologist Thomas Oakland is UF’s International Educator of the Year

Education psychologist Thomas Oakland, recently named International Educator of the Year at the University of Florida, always had two priorities in his adult life

Fla. education advisory board appoints UF ed-tech professor

Dr. DawsonKara Dawson, a University of Florida specialist in the uses of technology in teacher education, has been named to a state advisory board on instructional technology to the Florida Department of Education.

Dawson, an associate professor of education technology at the UF College of Education’s School of Teaching and Learning, is one of the first university-level experts in education technology to join the board, which advises the state’s office of instructional technology on educational technology matters relating to Florida school districts, schools and the classroom.

She joins newly appointed board members from the universities of South Florida, North Florida and Central Florida, and the Florida Center for Interactive Media.

Dawson said Kate Kemker, Florida’s new director of instructional technology, was instrumental in adding university educators to the panel and expanding its focus from K-12 to K-20 grade levels.

Couple donates nearly $2 million to UF to help

William and Robbie HedgesGAINESVILLE, Fla.—Throughout their teaching careers that began after World War II, William and Robbie Hedges noticed how little help was available for normal but slightly slower-learning students at their schools. Now, the Hedges are committing nearly $2 million to the University of Florida College of Education to help marginal students in modern-day schools get the extra attention they need.

The $1.925 million contribution was the second largest ever made to the college.

The gift from the retired Gainesville couple was made in the form of a charitable remainder trust that establishes The William D. and Robbie F. Hedges Research Fund. The Hedges funded the trust through the sale of family-owned real estate. The trust will support sorely needed studies to develop better teaching methods and curriculum materials for students who fall behind, become discouraged and tend to drop out of school before graduation.

Throughout their teaching careers that began after World War II, William and Robbie Hedges noticed how little help was available for normal but slightly slower-learning students at their schools. Now, the Hedges are committing nearly $2 million to the UF College of Education to help marginal students in modern-day schools get the extra attention they need.

Education professors receive national research award

The national Association of Teacher Educators has selected two University of Florida College of Education professors to receive its 2005 Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award.

The national Association of Teacher Educators has selected two University of Florida College of Education professors to receive its 2005 Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award.

Diane Yendol-Hoppey and Nancy Fichtman Dana were cited for their study describing teachers’ transforming roles as decision makers and teacher-educators in newly created

Register now for summer Holocaust teaching workshop

With Holocaust teaching instruction in high demand since a 1994 legislative mandate requiring Holocaust lessons in grades K-12, UF’s Center for Jewish Studies, in cooperation with the College of Education and the UF history department, is sponsoring the Summer Holocaust Institute for Florida Teachers, a five-day workshop from Monday, June 20 through Friday, June 24.

This workshop provides teachers with background on the history of the Holocaust and its aftermath, and introduces classroom-suitable resource materials such as books and films that are available on the Holocaust.

Participants also learn about resources such as Holocaust

College honors educators and students from UF, local schools for 'outreach scholarship'

The University of Florida College of Education recently honored
educators and students from UF and the Alachua County school district
whose scholarly outreach activities contribute to improved schools and
increased student learning or address important social and community

The honors are based on the "scholarship of engagement" philosophy, or
outreach scholarship done for the public good. The research-intensive
concept is a burgeoning movement in higher education that UF education
Dean Catherine Emihovich is infusing as a core principle of a
faculty-led transformation of the college’s research, teaching and
public service programs.

The college recently hosted its third annual Scholarship of
Engagement banquet to recognize several local teachers, principals,
school district administrators, university faculty and UF education
students whose scholarly activities are yielding an immediate positive
impact on teaching and learning in the classroom. Emihovich also
recognized this year’s College of Education student scholarship recipients and the donors who fund their endowed scholarships.

Those receiving Scholarship of Engagement Awards are:

    Katherine Dixon, Principal at Williams Elementary (second from left)
    receives the Scholarship of Engagement School District award from Dean
    Catherine Emihovich and her nominators, Holly Lane and Alyson Adams.

  • School District Scholarship of Engagement Award
    Katherine Dixon, principal of Williams Elementary School

    Dixon has used her position as principal of Williams Elementary School
    in east Gainesville as a vehicle for educational reform. She led her
    school in improving from a state-designated D grade to a B. Williams
    Elementary was recently recognized as the top Success for All school
    for having the highest gain in scores among all Florida schools, as
    reported by the Success for All Foundation. She has established several
    partnerships with literacy and school-improvement programs at the UF
    College of Education.

  • P.K. Yonge School Faculty Scholarship of Engagement Award
    Nancy Dean, teacher and UF assistant professor of education at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

    Dean was cited for helping teachers improve student achievement in
    their classrooms by assessing and changing their own teaching methods.
    Reading-related research projects she’s led have drawn more than
    $900,000 in grant support for literacy issues. She created and teaches
    a leadership-through-reading program in which high school students are
    trained to tutor younger children in reading, while improving their own
    reading abilities.

  • Dean Catherine Emihovich, and nominator Mary Ann Clark, present the
    Scholarship of Engagement Community Award to Bill Goodman, Supervisor
    for Guidance, Student and comminity Services for the School Board of
    Alachua County.

  • Community Scholarship of Engagement Award
    William Goodman, supervisor of guidance, student and community services for the School Board of Alachua County

    Goodman has
    implemented cutting-edge database management systems with information
    that school counselors can use to identify high-risk students to link
    with counseling and financial aid services and education training
    options. Goodman and UF’s counseling education department have jointly
    established a series of workshops explaining financial aid
    opportunities for low income seniors and their parents, held at each of
    the local high schools.

  • Dean Catherine Emihovich, Jim Brandenburg and Buffy Bondy present the
    Scholarship of Engagement Graduate Student Award to David Hoppey.

  • Graduate Student Scholarship of Engagement Award
    David Hoppey, UF special education graduate student

    As part of his doctoral studies at the College of Education, Hoppey has
    collaborated with teachers and administrators in several elementary and
    middle schools in Alachua County to develop programs to include
    children with disabilities in regular classrooms. He works part-time as
    an inclusion specialist at the School Board of Alachua County. He has
    used his direct involvement with inclusion in local schools in his
    graduate teaching of education students and of practicing teachers in
    professional development seminars.

  • Dean Catherine Emihovich presents the Scholarship of Engagement
    University Award to Dr. Russell Robinson, director of the UF School of
    Music. He was nominated for the award by Dr. John Duff, far right,
    faculty member in the school of music.

  • University Scholarship of Engagement Award
    Russell Robinson, UF music professor

    Robinson’s music teaching clinics on effective teaching strategies for
    the classroom and choral rehearsal attract standing-room-only groups of
    teachers. As a conductor, his rehearsals with school music groups
    worldwide model techniques for teachers that improve classroom behavior
    and musical performances. He serves as choral advisor for the Musical
    Educators National conference and has been an invited clinician,
    speaker and conductor at numerous national and international

  • Dean Catherine Emihovich presents the Scholarship of Engagement,
    College of Education Faculty Award to Dr. Dorene Ross. Dr. Ross was
    nominated by Alyson Adams, far right, and Donald Pemberton (not

  • College of Education Faculty Scholarship of Engagement Award
    Dorene Ross
    , UF College of Education professor

    Ross is in her second year as the UF "professor-in-residence" at
    Rawlings Elementary School in east Gainesville, spending one day a week
    in the classroom observing teachers and demonstrating new
    research-based teaching methods. She leads a teacher fellows program,
    sponsored by the UF Lastinger Center for Learning, and is helping
    Rawlings teachers develop self-evaluation methods to help them improve
    their teaching practice. She and other Lastinger Center faculty are
    developing a toolkit for other education schools around the nation to
    use in their local school-improvement partnerships.

"Many people talk about taking action for change, but very few can
document how they made a difference as these outstanding recipients
have done. We strongly believe not only in the discovery of new
knowledge, but also in applying and integrating that knowledge in
productive and meaningful ways to impact practice in the field. This
commitment illustrates professional education at its best," said Dean

The outreach scholarship award recipients were chosen by a selection
committee of College of Education faculty members Danling Fu, Dale
Campbell, Silvia Echevarria-Doan, Cynthia Griffin, Rodman Webb,
Assistant Professor Lynda Hayes with P.K. Yonge, and Michael Rollo, UF
interim vice president for student affairs.

Career Night will show how degree in education can lead to many job options

Teaching is not the only career path available through the College of Education. University of Florida students can learn about the many other choices on Wednesday, April 20, when the college holds its semiannual Education Career Night. The event will take place in Room 282 of the Reitz Union, starting at 7 p.m., and is geared toward UF students interested in finding out about the many career options that come with a degree from the College of Education.

Although the event, which is co-sponsored by the College of Education and the UF Student Alumni Association, is pertinent to College of Education students, it also provides examples of occupations besides teaching to which a degree in education can lead. Administrative training, counselor training, educational psychology and special education are a small sampling of the degrees available.

College of Education 2004-05 Teacher of the Year: Mary Kay Dykes

Special Ed’s Mary Kay Dykes named Teacher of YearProfessor Mary Kay Dykes, a UF Special Education faculty member for 33 years, describes teaching as “an all-encompassing, 24-7 life role

Graduates urged to remember

<img style="WIDTH: 192px; HEIGHT: 255px" height=255 alt="Natalie Kwait makes adjustments as she prepares to

UF Hall of Fame inducts education student

As a child, whenever Katie Fredericks and her neighborhood pals played school, she always had to be the teacher. As far back as she can remember, she says she always knew she wanted to teach. What she didn’t know is that her educational pursuit of a teaching career would land her in the University of Florida Hall of Fame

Wideman, York earn top COE staff honors

York (left), Wideman Staff Honors '05College of Education computer-support specialist Robert Wideman and Special Education office manager Michell York excel in their respective jobs

Technology grants boost distance learning at UF College of Education

Ferdig GrantsUniversity of Florida education technology instructor Richard Ferdig believes earning an education degree shouldn’t be confined to the College of Education’s classrooms at Norman Hall. Assistant Professor Ferdig and the college are working to provide more online education courses at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Ferdig, a faculty member in the college’s School of Teaching and Learning, recently received three technology-related grants totaling more than $106,000 that the college will use to increase its development and use of virtual schooling.

UF’s Center for Instructional Technology and Training awarded Ferdig an $8,750 grant to launch an Introduction to Educational Technology online course this summer. Students have an opportunity to learn about teaching and learning online in both lecture and lab settings. Ferdig launched the online lecture component in a trial run this summer with a smaller class, and will make any necessary adjustments before the regular fall class begins.

With a second grant worth more than $76,000 from the North Central Regional Educational Library, Ferdig will evaluate the effectiveness of virtual high school lessons taught online.

Governor enlists UF Lastinger Center for statewide family literacy effort

Fla.— The team of literacy experts that Gov. Jeb Bush has assembled
for his initiative to help Florida children and their parents improve
their reading skills has a new player

UF lab school shines in state FCAT scores


P.K. Yonge teacher Angela Johnson teaches reading to students in her third-grade class.Students
at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the UF College of
Education’s K-12 laboratory school, continue to make a strong showing
on the yearly Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

In FCAT scores released by the Florida Dept. of Education for the
2004-05 school year, PKY students surpassed the average passing rate
among Florida schools by a wide margin, in all sections of the exam.
PKY also was one of the top-performing schools in Alachua County at
most grade levels: PKY registered the area’s highest passing rate on
the FCAT writing exam in grades 8 and 10, and matched the county’s
top-scoring public school (Talbot Elementary) in the percentage of
third-grade students passing the reading section.

P.K. Yonge School’s stellar FCAT performance comes despite tougher
grading standards and the first-time inclusion of learning-disabled
students in factoring a school’s overall performance.

For the benefit of readers who aren’t Florida teachers or parents of
Florida schoolchildren, the FCAT is a battery of exams in reading,
math, writing and science given to students in grades 3 to 11. Students
took the exams in February and March.

FCAT scores are the primary measure of achievement used to calculate
a school’s state-assigned grade in Florida. The percentage of students
who make learning gains from grade to grade also factors in. The
standard for a passing FCAT grade, though, was raised this year for the
writing section, and the new school-grade calculations also factor in
the grades of students with learning disabilities or limited ability in
speaking English.

While the grading bar has been raised, PKY’s high FCAT scores helped
the UF laboratory school maintain its overall “A” grade for the third
consecutive year.

“Our schoolwide focus on the Florida Reading Initiative has played a
major role in our continued success. P.K. Yonge, in partnership with
the North East Florida Educational Consortium, provides the leadership
for this statewide reading program,” said Fran Vandiver, director of
the lab school.

More than 60 schools in 17 school districts participate in the
Florida Reading Initiative, a research-based, schoolwide reform effort
striving for 100 percent literacy among its students. The program
emphasizes extensive professional development for school teachers and
principals and includes a two-week Summer Reading Academy. To
participate, 85 percent of a school’s faculty, including the principal,
must commit to attending the academy.

“Many of our teachers are presenters in the Summer Reading Academy,
sharing their knowledge about teaching reading to teachers from across
the state,” Vandiver said. “Our focus on good teaching and an authentic
curriculum, rather than on test-taking, is an important factor in our
success (on the FCAT scores).”

Here are some highlights of P.K. Yonge’s 2004-05 FCAT score results
at key grade levels that determine student promotion or a school’s
overall grade:


For the second straight year, 93 percent of PKY third-graders passed
the reading section of this year’s FCAT. To pass, students had to score
3.5 or higher out of a possible 5 points. The state uses the
third-grade FCAT to determine promotion to the fourth grade.

Vandiver attributed the high reading scores to the efforts of
teachers Ashley Pennypacker-Vogt, Christie Lee and Anna Sperring, along
with their support team.

“The performance of our third-graders is remarkable since two of the
three teachers are new to our school, and one of them is a beginning
teacher. That speaks volumes for the system of learning we are creating
when they can come in, receive the support needed for success, work
hard and then be successful at such a high level,” Vandiver said. “Our
reading team plans to share the knowledge they have gained in learning
the appropriate interventions and assessments needed in K-2 by their
involvement in the Florida Reading Initiative and by sponsoring our own
programs and conferences. This is an important mission of ours as the
University of Florida lab school.”




State Average






Among PKY third-graders, 81 percent received passing grades on the
FCAT math section. The district average was 69 percent. PKY logged the
sixth highest passing rate among Alachua County’s 33 public, private
and charter elementary schools that received a grade.




State Average





P.K. Yonge eighth- and 10th graders achieved the highest passing
percentage in the county among their peers, with passing rates of 91
percent and 95 percent, respectively. The state average for both of
those grades was 76 percent passing. Eighty percent of PKY
fourth-graders passed, also topping the state average of 74 percent at
that level.

The students took their essay exams last February. The essays are
graded from a 1 to 6, with a score of 3.5 or greater considered
passing. The 45-minute writing exam does not carry a penalty for
students who fail, but how a school performs is used to help decide a
school’s grade, from “A” to “F.”




State Average






State Average






State Average




SOURCE: Florida Dept. of Education