Category Archives: Faculty News

NC-NNSTOY Fall Meeting Pix

Current and Former North Carolina Teachers of the Year Meet in Greenville

On Saturday, November 14th, thirteen current and former state and regional North Carolina Teachers of the Year met at the College of Education at East Carolina University to discuss teacher leadership, development, and recruitment at the quarterly meeting of the newly founded North Carolina chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NC-NNSTOY). The NC-NNSTOY chapter is a service organization that was chartered in 2014-2015 and is spending this year planning activities to promote education as a profession across North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to “advance the teaching profession and advocate for public education to ensure the best educational opportunities for all North Carolina students.” The group is currently working its platform for encouraging more individuals to consider teaching as a profession as well as avenues for supporting current educational professionals.

As a part of the members visit to Greenville, the current N.C. Teacher of the Year team engaged with 5th grade students in Jami Dickerson’s classroom at Eastern Elementary as well as visited Pactolus Elementary where they were hosted by Steve Lassiter, the current North Carolina Principal of the Year.

The NC-NNSTOY chapter looks forward to growing its membership and to taking a leading role in shaping educational policy, advocating for education, as well as sharing professional expertise within the field of education. For more information about the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, visit this website:

In attendance were teacher leaders from across the state including:

  • Diana Beasley, 2006-2007 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *James Bell, 2007-2008 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Jennifer Bell, 2010-2011 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *Laura Bilbro-Berry, 2000-2001 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *Jami Dickerson, 2015-2016 Region 1 Teacher of the Year
  • Allison Ormond, 2003-2004 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Ruth Ann Parker, 2008-2009 Region 2 Teacher of the Year
  • Malinda Pennington, 2012-2013 Region 3 Teacher of the Year
  • Cindi Rigsbee, 2008-2009 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Sonya Rinehart, 2008-2009 Region 1 Teacher of the Year
  • Mariel Barker Sellers, 2015-2016 Region 4 Teacher of the Year
  • Keana Triplett, 2015-2016 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Jennifer Whitley, 2015-2016 Region 6 Teacher of the Year

*ECU College of Education Alumni

Dr. Bill Sugar and Dr. Abbie Brown.

Faculty Book Authors

Dr. Marjorie Ringler

Three College of Education faculty members were recognized at the Joyner Library/Academic Affairs Faculty Book Author Awards Ceremony on November 6, 2015.  The event celebrated the accomplishments of faculty who have contributed to the prestige of East Carolina University and the scholarship of higher education through publication of scholarly books between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

Two faculty members, Dr. Abbie Brown and Dr. Bill Sugar, from the Math, Science and Instructional Technology (MSITE) Department were honored.  Dr. Brown is co-author of, Securing the Connected Classroom (International Society for Technology in Education). Dr. Sugar is author of, Studies of ID Practices (Springer).

Dr. Majorie Ringler from the Educational Leadership (LEED) Department was also honored.  Dr. Ringler is author of, Academic Language Literacy: Developing Instructional Leadership Skills for Principals and Teachers (Rowman & Littlefield).

Dr. Sugar and Dr. Brown are pictured above wearing the medals they received at the event.

Dr. Guili Zhang

Dr. Guili Zhang published in “Best Writing on Mathematics 2015”

Dr. Guili Zhang’s paper “Demystifying the Math Myth: Analyzing the Contributing Factors for the Achievement Gap between Chinese and U.S. Students” has been selected for inclusion in the 6th edition of “Best Writing on Mathematics“ and will be published in “Best Writing on Mathematics 2015” by Princeton University Press in December.  Best Writing on Math 2015  “Best Writing on Mathematics” spotlights math’s brightest and most creative minds in a collection of articles published during the past year.  Dr. Zhang is a faculty member in the College of Education’s Special Education, Foundations and Research (SEFR) Department.

To read more about the publication and see a full list of articles and authors included in the book click on the following link: The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015


Dr. Bill Sugar and Alumnus Rob Moore Co-Author Article

Dr. Bill Sugar and MS Instructional Technology alumnus Rob Moore co-authored an article, “Documenting Current Instructional Design Practices: Towards a Typology of Instructional Designer Activities, Roles, and Collaboration,” which was published in the November 2015 Journal of Applied Instructional Design.
The overall goal of Sugar and Moore’s (2015) study was to conduct a yearlong inquiry into an instructional designer’s activities and interactions with his clients. Exclusive focus of this study was on an instructional designer who worked at a large public university in the southeastern region of the United States. Documented in an instructional design activities log, this study analyzed 115 distinct activities that this instructional designer performed.

Click on the following link to read the full article:

Patricia Slagter Van Tryon and Ken Luterbach welcome AECT Executive Director Phil Harris to the ECU conference reception table.

ECU College of Education at AECT International Conference

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) held its annual international conference in Indianapolis, IN November 2-7, 2015. The ECU College of Education had a particularly strong presence at the event this year. ECU faculty made over a dozen presentations of their work, and facilitated a multitude of activities including the Pacificorp Instructional Design Competition.

East Carolina University's College of Education's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Fletcher Music Hall and Speight Building on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 (aileen devlin)

College of Education Inducts 21 into Educators Hall of Fame

The College of Education at East Carolina University held its 17th Annual Educators Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, October 18, 2015 in the Fletcher Recital Hall in Fletcher Music Center.   Twenty-one educators and education advocates from across the state were recognized during an event raised over $40,000 for student scholarships. Following the ceremony, a reception was held in Speight Building so inductees and guests would have the opportunity to view the Educators Hall of Fame wall.

Each inductee was sponsored with a monetary gift of $1,000 or more in support of the College of Education’s Educators Hall of Fame Scholarship endowment. Annual interest from the Educators Hall of Fame endowment is used to fund merit-based scholarships for College of Education students. This prestigious merit scholarship program helps attract more of the best and brightest students to ECU’s College of Education.

This year’s inductees are: the late Myron Mooney Angell of Swansboro NC; Joanne Bath of Greenville, NC; Dr. James H. Bearden of Greenville, NC; Aaron J. Beaulieu of Wake Forest, NC; Beverly Watson Carroll and the late Freddie Rayford Carroll of Goldsboro, NC; Sarah Faucette of Chocowinity, NC; Nicole Garris Vinson of Greenville, NC; Lou Anna Hardee of Greenville, NC; Kathy Gibson Harrell of Greenville, NC; Dr. Sam H. Houston, Jr. of Raleigh; Martin Scott Hutchins of Gastonia, NC; Dr. Patrick C. Miller of Snow Hill, NC; Dr. Elton Lee Newbern, Jr., of Enfield, NC; Dr. Linda Ann Patriarca of Greenville, NC; the late Dr. Christine M. Shea of Greenville, NC; Dr. Judith Joyner Smith of Snow Hill, NC; Frankie Lynn Taylor Tucker of Raleigh, NC; Jananne Ransdell Waller of Flowery Branch, GA; Dr. James R. Westmoreland of Greenville; and the late Grace C. Whitehurst of Conetoe, NC.

Since 1999, the Educators Hall of Fame has recognized the service and contributions of over 443 individuals who have impacted the lives of others, the field of education and the College of Education at ECU. The annual event has raised over $540,000 toward the endowment goal of one million dollars for Educators Hall of Fame Scholarships.

If you were unable to attend, or just want to relive the memories, view a photo album from the event.

For more information about the Educators Hall of Fame, contact Terah Archie, in the College of Education’s Office of Community Relations and Outreach, at or 252-737-1257.


College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony – December 19, 2015

The College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The faculty and staff of the College of Education are pleased to present a special Graduate Recognition Ceremony (GRC) for our graduates. The ceremony will feature individual recognition of College of Education students receiving degrees. Friends and families of the graduates are cordially invited to attend. It is not necessary for graduates or guests to RSVP for this event. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony.

For University Commencement Ceremony details and information about the ECU Commencement Weekend, please visit

Ron Clark and The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program, ECU Regional Office staff

NC New Teacher Support Project Coaches attend Ron Clark’s Presentation in Pamlico County

Ron Clark, founder of The Ron Clark Academy and ECU graduate, spoke this morning to the teachers and administrators of Pamlico County Schools. The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program, ECU Regional Office staff attended the event and enjoyed the inspiring presentation by Mr. Clark.

Clark was a Teaching Fellow at ECU and graduated in Elementary Education in 1994. In 2000, he was named Disney’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. In 2007, Clark opened the academy in Atlanta, GA. Clark says since 2007, “We have challenged, motivated, disciplined, and inspired these students, and we have grown to love them for their amazing gifts and unique abilities. We truly believe that we have future world leaders at our school, and we are honored to teach them each and every day.”




Ron Preston Serves as President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Dr. Ron Preston, ECU Mathematics Education, began his tenure as President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM), April 2015. He will convene the 45th Annual NCCTM State Conference on November 5, 2015 as well as the NCCTM Leadership Seminar on November 4. Both events are held at the Koury Conference Center in Greensboro.

NCCTM was founded approximately 50 years ago to unite all teachers, supervisors, curriculum developers, and teacher educators of mathematics in a shared goal of exceptional mathematics teaching for optimal mathematical learning for all NC students. In addition to conferences and seminars, NCCTM provides Mathematics Fairs for K-12 students, supports mathematics competitions for high school students, awards mini-grants to classroom teachers of mathematics, provides scholarships to support graduate studies for teachers, presents awards for outstanding performance and innovation in mathematics education, and publishes a journal.

Ron Preston is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics education at ECU and serves as Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education’s Director of Students. He is the 2014-2015 ECU Faculty Advisor of the Year. He is active in funded projects and research in mathematics education. His holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Indiana University.


Teach for Changency is an Educational Community to Promote Change

Dr. Anne Ticknor (Assistant Professor in Reading Education) and Dr. Katie Schwartz (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education) led a mathematics-specific induction program, LAUNCH into Mathematics Teaching, for 20 beginning elementary teachers in eastern North Carolina. The induction program included over 60 hours of mathematics professional development and specialized mentoring across two years. The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation funded the program.

Drs. Ticknor and Schwartz collected data from the program and found that the program structure supported beginning teachers in the how-to of enacting mathematics curriculum in their particular classrooms, created an external network of educators to share ideas and frustrations, provided windows into “what’s possible” in other schools/districts, and offered opportunities for reflection about their teaching visions and pedagogical decisions.

Ticknor and Schwartz have presented these findings in a variety of venues including local, regional, and national conferences and written reports for national education journals. Currently a social media campaign, Teach for Changency, is underway to disseminate findings and provide an informational and educational community to promote teacher agency and pedagogical change. Join the community and follow @teach4changency on Twitter and like on Facebook.