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Eight new members join Deans for Impact

Each year, nearly 200,000 new teachers graduate from preparation programs in the United States. Many of them report feeling unprepared to teach in classrooms of their own.

But this is starting to change. Educator-preparation leaders across the country are stepping up to say: We have to do better — for kids, for aspiring teachers, and for the nation.

Deans for Impact is supporting this movement by creating networks of leaders from different contexts who are working together to improve the way they prepare future teachers. Our member deans are at the core of this work: a selective network of proven leaders who work with us to create a vision for system-wide change.

Today we are proud to announce eight new members:

  • Ann Bullock, dean, Elon University (North Carolina)
  • Kyle Finke, executive director, Louisiana Resource Center for Educators
  • John Gasko, dean, University of North Texas at Dallas
  • Merrilou Harrison, dean, Heritage University (Washington)
  • Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, dean, American University (Washington D.C.)
  • Gaëtane Jean-Marie, dean, University of Northern Iowa
  • Sara Quay, dean, Endicott College (Massachusetts)
  • Ann Taylor, dean, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Like all of Deans for Impact’s members, our eight new members are leading innovative improvement efforts within their own programs and across the field. We know this first-hand, as all our new members are graduates of our Impact Academy, a year-long fellowship designed to support deans in leading significant change.

Over the course of their fellowships, we saw each new member’s commitment to improving teacher preparation and creating more rigorous, coherent experiences for teacher-candidates. One dean is partnering with K-12 schools to offer “academies” during school vacations that allow teacher-candidates to practice teaching students in low-stakes settings. Another dean is working with faculty on an intentionally sequenced set of practice opportunities that moves candidates from individual tutoring to small-group work to leading entire classes. These are just two examples of many efforts underway at our new members’ programs, and we’re excited to bring their experiences into our membership.

We are committed to building equitable and inclusive communities that are diverse by design. Our new members and the programs they lead reflect this commitment in multiple ways. The programs led by our new members are located in urban, suburban, and rural geographies; they are public, private, and alternative, within Minority-Serving Institutions and at Predominately White Institutions. In addition to their (collective) decades of experience in higher education, six new members have spent time as K-12 teachers or administrators.

What they all share is a belief that a tightly knit network of leaders can be the critical force driving changing within our education system. Here’s some of what they had to say about why they joined Deans for Impact:

“An organization like Deans for Impact, which is committed to evidence and coherence, and leaders who are asking big questions of themselves and others can help us all do a better job.” — Ann Taylor, University of Missouri-St. Louis

“Deans of education have opportunities to participate in meetings and conferences, but fewer opportunities to join highly engaged networks of deans who are asking and answering the BIG question: Is our collective work leading to better preparation and better outcomes for schools, educators, and kids?” — John Gasko, University of North Texas at Dallas

“Deans for Impact is truly a game changer.” — Sara Quay, Endicott College

We’re working alongside these eight leaders and all our members to build a movement to ensure every student is taught by a well-prepared teacher — and there’s room for leaders at all levels of educator preparation who want to work together to make change happen. Consider applying for our Building Blocks Workshop or requesting information on how to become an Impact Academy fellow — or contact us to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.


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