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Special education major receives statewide award

Meredith Boatright

Senior special education major Meredith Boatright says that she has always been drawn to children with special needs. So much so, that even as a child, Boatright says she preferred to spend her time with students with disabilities.

“I am still that way,” she says.

On Friday, June 9, Boatright received her first statewide honor in what College of Education faculty member Kymberly Harris, Ph.D., says is sure to be the first of many in her future career as a special education teacher.

Named the Georgia Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Student Member of the Year, Boatright was presented with a plaque at the annual IDEAS conference held on St. Simons Island, Georgia. This award recognizes an undergraduate student who has made outstanding contributions to CEC and Exceptional Children.

“Honestly, I was in shock but felt so honored at the same time,” Boatright said of the award. “The first two people I had to call were my parents because they are my biggest supporters and have been with me on this journey from the beginning. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be considered for this amazing award if it wasn’t for Dr. Harris nominating me,” she added.

Boatright serves as the president of Georgia Southern University’s chapter of the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC).

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Area teachers train on teacher mentoring process

Georgia Southern University alumni attending Clinical CAMP


Clinical CAMP (Coaching, Assessing, Mentoring, and Preparing) is held annually by the College of Education (COE) to provide teacher mentor training for P-12 classroom teachers who are committed to hosting teacher candidates in collaboration with the College and to mentor students during their clinical practice in the classroom.

Known as clinical supervisors, these teachers take on the responsibility of guiding the in-classroom preparation of COE students that are working to earn their teaching certification.

On June 5, 184 clinical supervisors from area schools attended Clinical CAMP to receive up-to-date information on topics such as mentoring, roles and responsibilities of a clinical supervisors, cognitive coaching, state standards and certification requirements.  

COE’s Director of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice, Pat Parsons, Ed.S., coordinated the day’s events.

“There is an expectation from the state that all of our clinical educators are rigorously selected and prepared to mentor our teacher candidates,” explained Parsons. “In an effort to prepare our clinical supervisors and provide them support as they work with our future educators, we host Clinical CAMP.”

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Georgia Southern COE to host first doctoral reunion

Georgia Southern University’s College of Education would like to invite all doctoral graduates to an alumni reunion on Saturday, July 15.

Beginning at 2 p.m. in the University’s Bishop Alumni Center, the first-ever reunion of the Doctorate of Education alums will serve to reunite classmates, friends and faculty. A special recognition will be held for the inaugural doctoral cohorts including the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership class of 1996 and the Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies class of 1998. Former and current faculty members of the College and University representatives will be in attendance to meet and greet alumni as well.

In 1992, the College of Education initiated the University’s first doctoral program, the Doctorate of Education, which was also the first doctorate to be offered by an institution located in south Georgia.

Lynn Futch, Ed.D., member of the inaugural doctorate in educational leadership cohort, is spearheading the reunion alongside the College. The idea of a reunion came to Futch as she was cleaning out a room in her house, and she came across a doctoral notebook.

“So many emotions and memories just flooded me,” she explained. “I noticed the date and it has been just over 20 years since the first four of us walked across that stage to receive the first Georgia Southern University doctoral hoods. I thought I should put this notebook in the archives because it is a part of history.”

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COE alumna named middle level principal of the year by national organization

Lori Joiner

Lori Joiner (‘98,’10), principal of Risley Middle School in Brunswick, Georgia (Glynn County Schools) has been selected as the 2017 National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) National Distinguished Middle Level Principal of the Year.

The National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. The program was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staffs in their learning communities.

Each year, NAESP congratulates principals from across the nation in both public and private schools and schools from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools for their exemplary achievements.

Principal of Risley Middle School since 2012, Joiner helped lead the school in becoming the 20th Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch and a National Designated School to Watch in Georgia. This is a designation that is earned by the community, students, staff, faculty and administration of middle schools throughout the nation through a rigorous evaluation process from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Education.

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Jenkins Co. educators experience the Innovation Studio

Charles Hodges, Ph.D. is pictured working with a group of educators from Jenkins County.


Teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other school personnel from Jenkins County Schools joined College of Education (COE) on Friday, June 2 for a One-day Maker Experience in the College’s Innovation Studio.

COE Associate Professor Charles Hodges, Ph.D. describes a One-day Maker Experience as a “one-day crash course introduction to many of the technologies that teachers use in k-12 makerspaces or STEM labs.”

Attendees from the Jenkins County Schools were given the opportunity to work hands-on with technology featured in the Innovation Studio including robots and 3D printing, as well as the web-based coding program, Scratch.

“Jenkins County School system is interested in innovations in education and makerspaces,” said Hodges. “The school system is a very progressive, small rural system that is always looking for ways to innovate and stay current with the meaningful use of technology.”

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