ECU College of Education honors eastern N.C. Teachers of the Year


Honoree Malinda Pennington speaks to fellow educators at the Each one - teach one event at East Carolina University.

The East Carolina University College of Education honored twenty eastern North Carolina Teachers of the Year Dec. 6 with a celebration of outstanding educators and their impact in the region.

Billed as “Each one, teach one,” the event included brainstorming sessions in which the honored educators discussed how to better promote the profession of teaching. Participants noted the need to portray positive images of education and recruiting young people who have the characteristics of good teachers.

The educators also shared on videotape their thoughts about why they teach. The video clips will be compiled into a promotional video for recruitment events.

The 20 eastern North Carolina Teachers of the Year honored at the event were Janita Allen, Jessica Ballstzglier, Andrea Bell, Andy Cole, Sherri Cox, Justin Frederes, Tammy Hedgepeth, Dewanna Holt, Jacqueline Lanier, Lori Lolies, Brian McDowell, Marie Mullins, Antio Nadioz, Malinda Pennington, Melissa Southerland, Elise Staats, Jennifer Tyndall, Chavaleh Wetzel, Donna Whitfield and Roneca Wallace.

Additional invitees included members of the Latham Clinical Schools Network as well as administrators and colleagues from the honored teachers’ districts. Several of the educators honored are alumni of the College of Education’s teacher education programs.

For additional information about ECU’s teacher recruitment efforts, contact Laura Bilbro-Berry, assistant director of Teacher Education, at or 252-328-1123.


The ECU College of Education honored 20 teachers of the year recipients from eastern North Carolina.


ECU ranked 2nd nationwide in national board certifications

North Carolina ranked first in the nation in national board certification of teachers, and East Carolina University earned a top ranking for newly certified alumni.

Appalachian State University leads the nation with 130 alumni who completed board certification in 2011. ECU came in 2nd with 118.

Teachers and counselors who completed national board certification in 2011 numbered 6,266, with 20% of those educators from North Carolina.

June Atkinson, state superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina, applauded the effort. She said, “National Board Certification is an incredibly rigorous process that requires teachers to look deep into how they provide classroom instruction to meet the academic needs of all their students. It requires a serious professional and personal commitment.

“We are so fortunate that so many of our teachers continue to be willing to make this commitment,” Atkinson said. “Our public school students are the ultimate winners as a result.”

The state’s total number of nationally board certified teachers numbers 19,193. That number includes 1,244 who were newly certified in 2011.

Nationwide there are 97,291 teachers who have completed the certification process.

For additional information, visit




New online site created for history students, educators

A new online site for history educators and students at ECU is called The History Educator.

East Carolina University professors Dr. Larry Tise and Dr. Allen Guidry have created an online site for history educators and students. Entitled “The History Educator,” the site is available at

The site serves as an interactive tool and repository for research projects and writings from ECU faculty and students. The site includes a blog, network, discussion forum and links to additional sites of historical importance.

Tise said the site is a collaboration between historians and history educators at the university “to give recognition, continuing support and professional encouragement to history educators who have been awarded history education degrees from the university.”

“A further goal of the collaboration is to make a more effective use of those works that are already being accomplished by those rising and veteran history educators,” he said.

Tise said the site was designed for history educators, as a place that encourages active collaboration, promotes discussion of ideas and concerns, offers tools and assistance and provides a venue for them to display their research.

Tise is a professor of history in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Guidry is a professor in the ECU College of Education.




ASSISTments training set for Nov. 12 at ECU

Teachers and administrators from eastern North Carolina will gather at East Carolina University Nov. 12 to learn how to use the ASSISTments learning technology, an intelligent tutoring system that offers students individualized help on basic concepts while providing teachers with assessment data.

The training is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 337 of the Flanagan Building on campus.

Participants may earn two continuing education credits and a stipend of $100 by attending the Nov. 12 event, joining in four additional hours of online instruction and working individually for a minimum of 10 hours to prepare and carry out lessons using ASSISTments.

Instructors for the event include Cristina Heffernan, co-founder of the technology and a math teacher, and Christine O’Connor, a certified teacher trainer and 8th grade teacher. Participants will experience ASSISTments from the students’ and teacher’s perspectives, working through lessons and later studying the data generated from their activities.

ASSISTments was developed by Dr. Neil Heffernan, associate professor in computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He created the program to help failing students in his math class while he was working with Teach for America.

The program is now customizable to any subject area. It is free and available at

The event was organized by ECU’s Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education in the College of Education, through a partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ECU and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.



College of Education journal publishes Open Theme issue

The editorial team of the Journal of Curriculum and Instruction has published a new issue of the journal at The journal has been produced since 2007 in East Carolina University’s College of Education, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Executive editor is Dr. Diane Kester in the College of Education.

The recent issue features lead editor Dr. Amy Broemmel, associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Broemmel co-wrote the introductory article with Karen Lucas, assistant editor and doctoral candidate at University of Tennessee. They introduced the issue with an article entitled, “Navigating the ever-changing educational system.”

Additional articles include “Finding and redefining the meaning of teaching: Exploring the experiences of mid-career teachers”; “Investigating the Relationship between Elementary Teacher Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Instructional Practices, and Student Mathematics Achievement”; and “High School Philosophy Teachers’ Use of Textbooks: Critical Thinking or Teaching to the Text?”

The Journal of Curriculum and Instruction is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that provides a forum for the dissemination of articles focused on research, practice, and related issues relevant to teaching and learning in the preK-12 environment.



ECU graduate student awarded for educational video

ECU graduate student Ken Hubbard won a first place award for his educational video posted above.


An East Carolina University graduate student won a first place award for his educational video, “Matchstick Rockets,” which demonstrates laws of physics through creation of miniature rockets using household matches.

Ken Hubbard won the Immersive Learning Awards competition, an international competition sponsored by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Immersive learning refers to an environment in which students learn while completely absorbed in the educational material presented to them. The winning products in the competition meet learning objectives while incorporating technology and interactivity to engage students in the learning process.

The competition was open to graduate students, faculty, corporate trainers and K-12 teachers. Quality of submitted multimedia presentations as well as effectiveness in demonstrating learning outcomes were considered in determining the winner.

Hubbard is pursuing a master of arts in education in instructional technology at ECU. He completed the video as part of an assignment in a summer course, web teaching design and development.

For additional information, contact Dr. Abbie Brown, associate professor in ECU’s College of Education, at



ECU student selected for mathematics education award

The North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics selected East Carolina University student Ashley Harrell as the outstanding mathematics education student from the eastern region of the state.

She will receive the award at the organization’s State Mathematics Conference in October.

Harrell is majoring in mathematics and mathematics education, with plans to graduate in three years. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, a member of the N.C. Council of Teachings of Mathematics Student Chapter at ECU, a residence hall advisor and a student tutor.

For more information, contact Dr. Ron Preston, associate professor and director of students in the ECU College of Education at



ECU professor honored for service to Hispanic community

East Carolina University education professor Dr. Diane Rodriguez was selected as one of four winners of the “Orgulla de Nuestra Comunidad” (Pride of our Community) awards presented in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. She will be recognized at a ceremony this month.

Rodriguez has worked as a high school and university teacher, a teacher educator, mentor to individuals with special needs and a mentor to Latinos. Her work with Hispanics led to an invitation to join the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She participated in the National Education Summit and Call to Action in Washington, D.C. The initiative focused on preparing Latino students for college, careers and productive lives. This year, Rodriguez was honored at ECU with a Women of Distinction Award.

The Pride of Our Community campaign was sponsored by R.A. Jeffreys and Univision, a media company serving Hispanic America.

For more information, contact Ken Luterbach, assistant professor in College of Education at East Carolina University, at


ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard congratulations Diane Rodriguez on receiving the Women of Distinction Award in April 2011.