Tag Archives: Charter School of Education and Human Sciences

Jackie McDowellGraduates of the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences don’t have to be told about the dedication of dean and mentor Dr. Jackie McDowell – they’ve experienced it firsthand! Still, it’s gratifying to see the longtime Berry faculty member tapped by Gov. Nathan Deal for service on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. This statewide group of 18 educators and administrators is responsible for regulating performance standards for Georgia’s public school teachers.

“For the past 20 years, I have worked with the faculty and students at Berry to assure that all 24 of our teacher-education programs and all of our future teachers and leaders meet the highest standards,” McDowell stated. “I’m so honored to now have the opportunity to represent all Georgia teachers and teacher-education programs.”

In addition to her status as one of two PSC commissioners representing higher education, McDowell serves as president of the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth and is part of the executive committee for the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education.

 By student writer Katherine Edmonds

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Technology and education go hand-in-hand these days, something no one knows better than Lauren Pittman (09C). The special education teacher and her students at Holly Springs (Ga.) Elementary School are the subjects of a worldwide Microsoft campaign promoting new software that highlights words on a computer monitor, making it easier for students with dyslexia to follow along. She also has been featured in the Washington Post, Ed Tech Magazine and, coming in October, Good Housekeeping.

Pittman is just one example of the tremendous caliber of teachers produced by Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences – and they just keep coming! In the last three years, 100 percent of the teacher education program’s graduating seniors and master’s degree candidates – 145 in all! – passed their state certification exams. Additionally, this spring marked the third year for the Educational Leadership Program in Cobb County, Ga., which has graduated a total of 137 “Berry principals.”

By student writer Katherine Edmonds

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Olivia Paige Instructs Students

Berry student Corley Peth working with children at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Teachers, parents and children are praising the efforts of Berry students working in the South Rome Early Learning Center, a strategic partnership between Berry, Rome City Schools and the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation. Housed in the new Anna K. Davie Elementary School, the center welcomed its first class of 20 three-year-olds in July, the same month it was fully licensed by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. The center is meant to improve educational opportunities for the children while also providing valuable experience for Berry students. The current staff includes two graduate students in Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences, one representative of the Bonner Scholars Program and four student workers serving alongside the center director, lead teacher, assistant teacher and office manager/community liaison.

“I like it because it is not just a daycare,” parent Tiara Barrett told the Rome News-Tribune. “They are really learning things and every day [my daughter] comes to me and tells me what they do.”

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Steve Bell and Jackie McDowell

Dr. Steven Bell accepts his Charter Fellows Award from Charter School Dean Jackie McDowell. Photo by student Mary Claire Stewart.

Alumni and colleagues in the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences recently honored Professor Emeritus of Psychology Steven Bell with the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching. Bell has served Berry with distinction since 1976, proving himself to be a caring and compassionate educator who encourages students to think outside the box and consider diverse viewpoints (while also challenging them to navigate what one colleague lovingly referred to as his “abstract” syllabi).

In addition to his work in the classroom, Bell is also known for his writing and scholarship in the areas of learning styles and disabilities, environmental education, school and university partnerships, and positive parenting. Recently, he published a paper recounting his experiences working with children and families in a harsh and often hostile environment during his 2010 sabbatical in the West Bank. Community service includes work on behalf of the Martin Luther King Commission, Habitat for Humanity, the Governor’s Council for Developmental Disabilities and the Rodeph Sholom Synagogue. He retired from Berry in 2013 but continues to teach classes two days a week.

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Stan Pethel and Mary OutlawDr. Stan Pethel (far left) has been presented with an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Plus Award in recognition of his distinguished career in music. The longtime professor of music and past chair of Berry’s fine arts department boasts an impressive 1,200 musical works in print for choirs, orchestras, symphonic bands, brass ensembles, and solo instruments with piano. Also earning praise this fall was Dr. Mary Outlaw, a longtime member of Berry’s teacher education faculty who was honored with the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching.

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