Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's educator preparation program hosts first appreciation banquet

June 1, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University's educator preparation program within the James I. Perkins College of Education hosted its first Partners in Educator Preparation Appreciation Banquet on May 26 on the university campus. The banquet recognized the school districts, mentoring teachers and field supervisors who helped SFA teacher candidates during their student teaching.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's educator preparation program within the James I. Perkins College of Education hosted its first Partners in Educator Preparation Appreciation Banquet on May 26 on the university campus.

During their final semester before graduation, SFA students majoring in education begin their student teaching in school districts across Texas.

The banquet recognized school administrators, mentoring classroom teachers, field supervisors, administrators, and faculty and staff members in the educator preparation program for their support throughout the year.

Dr. Jannah Nerren, associate dean in the College of Education's Office of Assessment and Accountability, said SFA sends approximately 350 students each academic year into approximately 550 classrooms across Texas to complete their student teaching.

"This banquet strengthens the relationship between the stakeholders involved in educator preparation of our teacher candidates," Nerren said. "We wanted to emphasize how important it is for us to work together in our various roles to help prepare this generation of future educators."

The evening included an informal reception with music provided by students from SFA's School of Music, dinner, a keynote speech and an awards presentation.

Nerren said keynote speaker Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University, inspired attendees with a motivational speech about the importance of education.

"Dr. Hill-Clarke's goal was to make all the educators in attendance feel valued and appreciated while underscoring the importance of the educator as the individual who creates the possibility for all other professions," Nerren said.

SFA teacher candidates nominated their field supervisors and mentoring teachers for awards, which were presented during the banquet.

Cheryl Van Norman and Linda Bruton, both SFA adjunct faculty members, received the Outstanding Field Supervisor award for their work in helping more than 40 SFA student teachers during the fall and spring semesters. Paul Banner from Furneaux Elementary School in Carrollton and Valerie Frazier from Hendrick Middle School in Plano received the Outstanding Cooperating Teacher award for the fall and spring semesters.

"I'm very pleased with the event's turnout and attendees' enthusiasm," Nerren said. "We think it was a successful event, and our mission was accomplished."