College of Education

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Educators share their passions behind teaching

November 19, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Jason Cantanese, a math teacher at Pueblo Del Sol Elementary School in Phoenix, learned early in his career that the school didn’t offer algebra. He knew his students needed it to succeed, and he came up with a creative way to make it happen. Cantanese was one of four panelists at the College of Education’s Virtual Dean Speakers Series Wednesday, and his story revealed why he wanted to teach, a theme of the event. “If you are in a classroom and see a problem, don’t wait. You can be part of that change,” he said.

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Aspiring teachers wooed at expo — even to Alaska

November 17, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Most of the Promenade was lined with tables set up by school district representatives Tuesday, eager to hire GCU’s aspiring teachers. Nearly all of the recruiters were at the Lopes Leap to Teach & Lead career expo were from Arizona, but Mark Vingoe stood behind his table covered with a map of Alaska. Sure, the temperature was 4 degrees below zero there on Tuesday, an 85-degree difference from the GCU campus. But they need teachers, and he was promising adventure.

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Wishes come true for alums via Fiesta Bowl Charities

November 09, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

GCU alumnus Kennent Sandoval was discouraged. He had a lot of students at Maurice C. Cash Elementary School who wanted to join band but not enough instruments. He wished for more and made the wish to the right people. The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers granted him $2,500 in its program that supports teachers who often use their own money to equip classrooms. Sandoval joined 38 GCU alumni granted wishes last week and several who shared their wishes in a celebration on Zoom with COE leaders.

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‘So you walk out with a degree and friends’

October 18, 2021 / by / 2 Comments

An unexpected thing happened on the journey toward walking the stage at GCU Commencement for a group of reading teachers from the East Valley. They became great friends. The group of 11 started their studies for the Master of Arts in Reading Education when the pandemic began, facing tough times of changing classroom arrangements and the shift from meeting in person to online for their GCU courses. Then they started to open up to each other about their struggles and celebrations, including two weddings. On Friday they accepted their degrees together, surrounded by new friends.

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GCU alum wins Diamondbacks’ teaching award

October 04, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Ali Nelson found herself standing on a professional baseball field Sunday, right in front of high-priced professional athletes warming up for the Arizona Diamondbacks game. She teaches fourth grade at Sunnyslope School in Phoenix. The GCU alumna was among 10 teachers honored as Diamondbacks Most Valuable Teacher in STEM, an award inspired by Honeywell. She was given $1,000 for classroom supplies, a jersey featuring her name and cheers from the crowd in a pre-game fete. But she says it’s what she picked up GCU that helped last year during the pandemic, her first in teaching: It’s all about caring for students and making sure they know you believe in them.

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Cicogna writes and teaches literature of lessons

September 30, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

When Emil Cicogna couldn’t get his students to read as a high school teacher, he brought in copies of his own manuscript. The students were captivated by the story of an 1885 family and learned valuable lessons about the Industrial Revolution. He said half of them had never read an entire book before. Today, as an Online Fulltime Faculty member of GCU’s College of Education, he encourages teacher candidates to incorporate literature into their lessons of history and other subjects. And his manuscript became a published trilogy, recently finding a home in the Lopes for Literacy Multicultural Library.

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Education faculty’s videos are a hit with students

September 23, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

GCU College of Education students are learning a lot these days. “Wow, this is what my professor does outside of class?” asked Emily Sharp, a COE student worker who helps assemble video clips for a faculty and staff Instagram story feed. One story recently showed a professor getting on his bicycle, another at poolside. It’s all part of an expanded social media effort in COE to put a face to education.

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Online student returns lost WWII medals to family

September 16, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

History buff Joseph Fox was looking to add to his collection of antiques when he ventured out to West Virginia’s Largest Yard Sale. But something else caught the eye of the online GCU student who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in History for Secondary Education: Among the sundry items strewn across a table, he saw a Purple Heart and Gold Star. He bought the medals and began researching the man who earned them: Vaughn Cox, a paratrooper who was shot multiple times during his descent into France on D-Day, was left for dead, scooped up by German burial crews and taken as a prisoner. It was his honor, Fox said, to return the medals recently to Cox’s family.

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Alum used writing to help students during pandemic

June 18, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Glenda Moton had her own fears as a teacher last year but wondered why no one was focusing on the kids’ anxiety during the pandemic. The GCU alum helped her Miami, Florida, students express themselves with writing, which recently became a book, “Hopes and Fears: Learning Academically in a COVID-19 Environment.” She’s earned a lot of media attention for the project in south Florida as the school year ended, but she isn’t stopping there. Next up is a curriculum guide for teachers on how to help students with writing and meditation. Moton is an example of College of Education products across the country who stepped up in a big way in a trying year.

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Critchfield named Dean of College of Education

June 09, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Dr. Meredith Critchfield is the new College of Education dean, succeeding Dr. Kimberly LaPrade, who is retiring in August. Critchfield said she will focus on strategies to stay on the cutting edge of changes in education after the pandemic and explore innovative ways to tell the story of COE and the teaching profession, among other initiatives. The former college rower, who joined GCU’s faculty in 2013, will bring to COE the teamwork she learned on the water. “To this day I really try to embrace that in my leadership style,” she said. “How can we all be working in a cohesive unit so no one is flipping the boat and we are all moving forward?”

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