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Education luncheon showcases local partnerships

November 22, 2010

By Dr. Mark Brunner, Guest Commentary

A luncheon, sponsored by the Young Harris College Education Department, was held in the President Dining Room on November 8 for public school partners and the Young Harris College Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC).  Superintendents, principals and TEAC members from Union and Towns County Schools were in attendance as were President Cathy Cox and the Young Harris College Administrative team and college TEAC representatives.

Music for the luncheon was provided by a flute ensemble from the Department of Music and led by Dr. Karen Calloway.  The ensemble was introduced by Mary Land, assistant professor and YHC director of bands. Ms. Land also serves as liaison for the Department of Music with the Department of Education.

Dr. Sharon Jackson, assistant professor of education, shared information regarding FEAT or Future Educators and Administrators of Tomorrow, the recently approved student education organization, and introduced Emily Hicks, president of FEAT, and Amanda Noonan, vice president of FEAT, to those in attendance.

An update of the Teacher Preparation Program was provided by Dr. Mark Brunner, assistant professor of education.  To date, 45 students from education classes are involved in teacher observations in Union and Towns County.  In addition, a total of 105 teachers from those counties have agreed to be teacher mentors.  As a teacher mentor, YHC students are invited into public school classrooms to observe and participate in classroom activities.  The 105 public school teacher mentors represent a 50 percent increase over the number of teachers who served as teacher mentors last year.

The group was also briefed on the upcoming review in February by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission by Dr. Bill Brown, chair, department of Education.  Pending the review, Young Harris College will be able to offer initial certification programs in early childhood education (P-5), middle grades education (4-8), and music education (P-12) with post-baccalaureate initial certification programs in English education (6-12), history education (6-12), Mathematics Education (6-12), and Broad Field Science (6-12) beginning Fall Semester 2011.

The luncheon will be held annually in appreciation for all of the fine efforts of the public school partners and TEAC Committee Members who support the YHC Teacher Preparation program.


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