College of Education Newsletter

Fall 2015
Volume Two, Issue One

In This Issue:

Letter from the Dean

COE Faculty Travel Abroad to Promote Programs; Build Partnerships

Doctoral Graduate Awarded Outstanding Dissertation Citation for 2014-2015

Tapping Into School Wisdom

TeachOregon Grants Scholarships to Nine George Fox Education Students

Faculty Spotlight

Student Spotlight

New Faculty

Headley_photo Letter from Scot Headley, Dean of the College of Education   

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Another academic year at George Fox University is off to a great start. It’s wonderful to see students and faculty alike in the hallways again after the lull between summer session and fall, bringing the Roberts Center (formerly known as the Villa Academic Complex) back to life. The excitement and anticipation in the air shows on every face, be they seasoned students or this year’s brand new learners.

There are many reasons people come to George Fox and the College of Education – to get their teaching, administrative, or counseling credentials; to get their masters or doctorate degree; to hone their English skills as an international student or to continue their education as an adult learner. We enjoy and benefit from a tremendous wealth of positive word-of-mouth recommendations from alumni and others associated with us, and a great deal of our students are here because of that good word on the streets. Students come here because they know and are assured by our words and our actions that we are a Christ-centered institution. They come because they know of the solid nature of the education they will receive here, and of the hundreds of years of collective educational experience of the faculty that teach in the COE.

As I reflect on these reasons, it occurs to me that they are the “good fruit” of countless hours of work by the people who make this place what it is. Each person here is dedicated not only to the success of their own students, but also to the students from all the other programs that comprise the COE – and this is what drives our mission and our purpose.

I look forward to another year of living up to our good word, to our mission and purpose, to the promise of a quality education we make to every student and the fruit that results. In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll learn about our work from the perspective of faculty, students and alumni.  Blessings to you as you move forward with the work you do in serving your clients, students, colleagues and community members. 

COE Faculty Travel Abroad to Promote Programs; Build Partnerships

These past couple of semesters have been very busy in terms of travel for several College of Education faculty. Collectively, they logged over 77,000 miles as they visited various points of the global community!

During spring break Scot Headley (Dean, College of Education) traveled to Ramallah in Palestine to visit the Ramallah Friends School (RFS).  Accompanying him was Jared Jones, a high school English teacher in Sherwood.  They responded to an invitation from Elizabeth Todd, formerly a professor in the English Language Institute at George Fox.  They observed teaching and learning at both the elementary and secondary schools, operated by Quakers in Ramallah with roots dating back to1869.

Scot will continue to explore professional relationships with RFS with the hope of establishing educator exchange and professional development opportunities for Fox faculty, Oregon educators and faculty members at RFS.  For further information about these endeavors, contact Scot directly at .

Later in the spring, Eloise Hockett, Marc Shelton and Carol Brazo (Graduate Teaching & Leading) met with international teachers in Seoul, Korea and Chongqing, China in order to gain a deeper understanding of their educational needs. 

The time in Seoul focused on recruiting teachers for the new Master of Education online program.  During a meeting at Pyeongtaek University, the team was also introduced to the vision and mission from PTU’s president, learning that Chinese students make up 10% of the university’s student population and are there on 90% scholarships. In this manner, PTU hopes to deepen the faith and witness of the Chinese Church. 

In China, Marc and Carol visited public schools and met with local teachers and leaders.  The COE was invited to partner with the Chongqing University of Education faculty to introduce creative thinking and to prepare general teachers for primary, self-contained classrooms in China.  The recruiting effort there for the Master of Arts in Teaching program was successful; seven new students have now joined us on the Newberg campus.  They will graduate from one of three Chinese universities in summer 2016 and then return to prepare to teach Mandarin in Oregon’s schools with a MAT degree from George Fox.

Shortly after her trip to Asia, Eloise traveled to Kenya to continue her educational work which has been ongoing since 2009.  She was accompanied by Andrea Nelson, a George Fox EdD candidate.  In addition to connecting with friends and partners from the Quaker schools in western Kenya, Eloise and Andrea delivered professional development sessions for teachers at Musembe Primary School in the rural Kitale area.  This was a return trip for Andrea where she joined Eloise and other GFU personnel on their first visit to Musembe in 2012.  Since that first visit, a number of projects have been completed in this region such as the building of a new classroom for Musembe school to replace one of the mud classrooms. 

The second professional development session was held at the Open Arms International school located outside of Eldoret.  Open Arms recently became one of GFU’s partner sites in providing service learning opportunities for GFU undergraduate and graduate students.  The teachers at both sites were very grateful for the opportunity to learn effective strategies to improve their teaching.

Eloise is always seeking willing people with a heart for missions and education to join her on these trips to Kenya. Please contact her if you are interested in accompanying her and a team in late July 2016. 

Doctoral Graduate Awarded Outstanding Dissertation Citation for 2014-2015

The winner of the 2014-2015 Norman and Judy Aldred Award for the Outstanding Dissertation in Educational Leadership is Amy Fast, a longtime K-12 educator just recently hired as an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at McMinnville High School in McMinnville, OR. She began her doctoral program at Fox in summer of 2012 and graduated this past spring, also earning her administrative license during that time.

Amy’s dissertation, titled A More Noble Purpose: An Educator’s Analysis of America’s Public School Policy, examines the current state of American education policy and the purpose of public education. Based on her research, Amy asserts the critical component that invites change within the educational system is the mission and purpose of that system rather than the mandates commonly prescribed in the ongoing attempts at educational reform. “Even though it was one of the craziest years of my life . . . it actually wasn’t too painful of a process,” Amy recalls. “In fact, it felt like the dissertation had been brewing for the past 15 years over the course of my career, and in a way it seemed to kind of write itself.”

Dr. Terry Huffman, Amy’s dissertation committee chair, states, “Amy wrote a compelling dissertation. She concluded that too frequently powerful political interests influence educational policy that, ironically, interfere with the true mission of schools. However, her analysis also revealed that American educational history has demonstrated that an educational mission based on what she refers to as a ‘more noble purpose’ (in which educators are allowed the freedom to pursue their passion for teaching) produces meaningful social change.”

The quality and impact of Amy’s dissertation has also been recognized outside of the George Fox community. Encouraged by Dr. Huffman, she developed a book proposal and submitted it to Rowman & Littlefield, and it was accepted. Her book, It’s the Mission, Not the Mandates: Defining the Purpose of Public Education, is currently planned for release in late November and has already garnered positive editorial reviews on (For more information about Amy’s forthcoming book, visit's-the-Mission-Not-the-Mandates-Defining-the-Purpose-of-Public-Education)  

Tapping into School Wisdom

Last spring and summer, The Alumni Project (TAP) launched its first efforts to gather a small group of School of Education alumni committed to communicating with us.  They completed surveys to tell us about the critical issues facing their schools, the rewarding and challenging parts of their jobs, and their hopes for mutual collaboration.  We also asked for their advice on preparing teachers for 21st century schools.  Those who were able to join us at a brunch on campus in July extended the survey data by sharing their personal stories of teaching and administration.  It was a rich conversation that left us with an even greater desire to network in ways that will strengthen school and university communication and collaboration.

So what’s next?  Plans for the fall include publishing and disseminating the results of the survey, establishing an advisory team, following up with some interviews to incorporate stories, welcoming more alums into TAP, and finding ways to integrate what we are learning together to strengthen our shared mission. Lessons we learn from this initial effort may be applied College-wide in the months ahead.

TeachOregon Grants Scholarships to Nine George Fox Education Students

Last spring, TeachOregon PAC (Prepare, Achieve, Collaborate) awarded a total of $66,000 to nine George Fox students who are currently pursuing a teaching degree in both Undergraduate Teacher Education and the Masters of Arts in Teaching programs. These generous awards will go a long way toward helping these students defray costs and realize their goals.

TeachOregon is a Chalkboard Project initiative, operating as a grant partnership between George Fox, Pacific University (Woodburn Campus), Chemeketa Community College, Tillamook Bay Community College, and the Sherwood, Woodburn, Tillamook and Newberg School districts. The grant was first awarded in 2012, and is expected to be renewed through 2017.

As a common goal, the participating institutions are working to close the achievement gap and increase overall student achievement in Oregon schools through improving teacher diversity, preparing teachers to work with diverse student populations and applying innovative and effective instructional practices. The scholarships TeachOregon distributes is only one of the ways it supports the partner institutions in achieving these important educational goals.

Faculty Spotlight

Terry Huffman (EdD) traveled to the United Kingdom in August to participate in the Oxford Education Research Symposium at Pembroke College of Oxford University. Terry presented his paper titled “Tribal Strengths of Native Americans as Indigenous Educational Leaders” which was selected as an outstanding paper in the “Social Change and Education” session. A total of 24 scholars from around the globe attended the three-day conference.

Brenda Morton (MAT) and Ginny Birky (EdD) had a jointly-authored article titled "Innovative school-university partnerships: Co-teaching in secondary settings" accepted for publication in the fall 2015 issue of Issues in Teacher Education. Brenda also had an article titled "Seeking safety, finding abuse: Stories from foster youth on maltreatment and it's impact on academic achievement" accepted for publication in the next issue of Child & Youth Services.

Ken Badley and Patrick Allen (EdD) had a book proposal accepted by Abilene Christian University Press in December. Distant Voices: Critical Concerns will examine twelve thinkers’ ideas that need to be reconsidered or considered for the first time in Christian Higher Education, and is targeted for publication in spring or summer of 2016.

Student Spotlight

In the summer of 2013, eight in-service teachers attending George Fox as MEd students served migrant and ELL students in an iPads & Inquiry Camp at Edwards Elementary.  Five of those teachers used the opportunity to collaborate on an Action Research project that was subsequently published in Research in the Schools in spring 2015.  Congratulations go out to Kristin Costley, Karin Engelman, Denise Gonzales, Vicki Knutson and Kathy Maroni for all of their hard work.

Two Oregon Writing Project teacher leaders, Sarah Dalisky and Matt Hurst, have been hired into Instructional Coaching positions in the Salem-Keizer School District.  Sarah joined us as a coach for our Winter Institute in the Teaching of Writing and Matt is currently participating on a design team to create and implement Digital Young Writers Camps for GFU. 

Doctoral students Rose Tyvand, Rachael Harms, Thu Truong and Mike Roberts have recently been hired or promoted into new K-12 administrative positions: Rose is now the Middle School Academic Coordinator for the QSI Almaty International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan; Rachael is the new principal at Chapman Hill Elementary in the Salem-Keizer district; Thu is the new principal at Scott School in the Portland Public district; and Mike moved from a middle school principal position to principal of Dinuba High School in Dinuba, CA.

Doctoral student Derek Brown, previously the Oregon Department of Education’s Director of Assessment, has been appointed Interim Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Standards, Assessment, and Accountability at ODE, replacing Doug Kosty who retired at the end of June.

Patrick Shuckerow, an undergraduate, MEd and administrative licensure alumnus, was hired by the Sherwood School District as the interim Instruction and Data Coordinator.

Rachael George, a doctoral student, was accepted into the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Emerging Leader Class of 2015 and traveled to Arlington, VA in July to attend the ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) Conference. Rachael is the first educator from Oregon to participate since the program’s inception in 2005. (For more information about ASCD’s Emerging Leaders program, visit

New Faculty

The College of Education welcomed several new faculty and staff in all departments beginning this summer and fall. Join us in helping them feel at home!

LuAnn Anderson – Assistant Professor, GTL
LuAnn received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Human Services from the State University of New York, Empire State College, a masters in Special Education from Portland State University and her administrative license from Lewis & Clark College. In addition to previously being adjunct faculty at George Fox, she also teaches as an adjunct at Western Oregon University and has been an assistant principal at the elementary level.

Karen Carskadon – Executive Assisant to the Dean, COE
Karen Carskadon joined the College of Education in June as executive assistant to the dean. She was formerly employed for seven years at Portland State University. Karen lives in Wilsonville with her children and attends Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin.

Nicole Enzinger – Assistant Professor, UGTE
Before completing her PhD, Nicole was a high school mathematics teacher in the public school system for five years and an Assistant Mathematics Professor at Olivet Nazarene University for two years. She also taught at Illinois State University as part of her fellowship at Illinois State University. Nicole’s research interests are situated in young children’s cognition of number as well as preservice teachers’ conceptions about the teaching and learning of numbers.

Dane Joseph – Assistant Professor, EdD
Dane Joseph joins the College of Education as an assistant professor for the Doctor of Education program. Dane received his PhD in Educational Psychology (Research Evaluation & Measurement) from Washington State University in 2010, and afterward taught at Pacific University. He relishes in finding answers to educational questions and exploring methodologically-based (usually quantitative) problems.

Lawrence Metzger – Visiting Faculty, ELI
Lawrence (Larry) is a former Jesuit and brings 20 years of teaching experience to the College of Education. His scholarly interests include educational research on SLA and EAP pedagogical effectiveness in writing courses which implement methods of Vygotskyian social constructivism and personality-based learning style diversity within the ESL classroom.

Keelan Purcell LoFaro – Assistant Professor, GTL
Keelan Purcell LoFaro grew up in Newberg, Oregon. Her professional interests are related to inquiry based STEM instructional practices and strategies for developing a growth mindset in students, and her personal interests are related to travel and adventure. She and her husband have enjoyed many wonderful trips around the world together.

Beronica Salazar – Assistant Professor, GSC
Beronica Salazar joins the Graduate School of Counseling this fall as an assistant professor of counseling.  She was a graduate teaching assistant in Idaho State University’s counseling program the past three years, specializing in teaching graduate courses in clinical mental health counseling; and marital, couple, and family counseling.  She also gained teaching experience as an adjunct faculty member at Northwest Nazarene University (2010-11).

Michelle Shelton – Assistant Professor, DPS
Michelle joins the adult degree program as a half-time assistant professor of professional studies. She has taught on an adjunct basis at George Fox since 2013, both in the College of Business and in the ADP program. In addition, she has taught courses at Portland Community College, Chemeketa Community College and at Brandman University, a division of Chapman University.

John Spencer – Assistant Professor, GTL
John Spencer taught multiple subjects at the middle school level for 11 years and has experience with developing a blended professional development platform, coordinating a STEM lab school, leading the 1:1 Twenty-First Century Classroom initiative, and developing a service learning program. He has been active as an author since 2008, publishing both fiction and nonfiction materials in print and online.

Donna Webb – Assistant Professor, UGTE
Donna Webb joins George Fox University in the role of assistant professor of STEM education. Donna’s mission is to engage and inspire pre and in-service teachers to support STEM thinking and learning. Her research interests include STEAM education, teacher self-efficacy, pre-service teacher preparation, and professional development.

If you have any news items or information suitable for future issues of this newsletter, please contact Julie Green at