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Education Department Newsletter
Volume 4, Number 1 – Fall, 2008

Dr. Michael Fullan

Secrets of Change for the Classroom and School

March 5, 2009
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Covenant College
Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Dr. Michael Fullan, Special Education Adviser to the Premier of Ontario and to the Minister of Education, is the featured speaker for Covenant College’s annual Educators Conference on March 5, 2009.

Dr. Fullan is Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, is recognized as an international authority on educational change, and is engaged in training, consulting, and evaluating change projects around the world. Among his significant books are The Six Secrets of Change, What’s Worth Fighting for in the Principalship, The New Meaning of Educational Change, Turnaround Leadership, Leadership and Sustainability, The Moral Imperative of School Leadership, and Leading in a Culture of Change. Learn more about Dr. Fullan at www.michaelfullan.ca/.

Registration is only $75 prior to February 20, 2009 ($100 thereafter) and your registration fee includes the conference, lunch, refreshments, and discounted pricing on Dr. Fullan’s books through Covenant’s bookstore. Registration is available on-line at www.covenant.edu/educonf.

The Educators Conference is an annual event that draws Education Department alumni back to campus for the day, so we hope to see you here in March.

Education Department’s Annual Adjunct Dinner and Meeting

Each fall, the Education Department invites all the B.A. and B.S. adjuncts to campus for a meal and meeting together. Did you know that currently, we have 9 adjuncts that teach at least one undergraduate course in the Education Department? The picture below doesn’t have everyone present, but it’s an impressive crowd!

Partnership with Lakeview Middle School

The Education Department and Lakeview Middle School – thanks to the grant writing of BSECE adjunct Cece Tillman - are now collaborating for the purpose of providing academic enrichment to students at Lakeview Middle School through an after school program. This arrangement, which so far has involved 4 current Covenant students, is proving to be beneficial for the Lakeview Middle School students as they receive additional help, the student tutors from Covenant who are gaining practical experience teaching, and our department through this partnership.

Faculty Happenings

In April, Phil Horton served as a member of the Professional Standards Commission Board of Examiners team that reviewed the teacher education programs at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia. In April – June, he served on the state-wide "Math/Science Task Force" to help address the shortage of mathematics and science teachers. The final report was recently presented to the Legislature's "Teacher Certification Study Committee,” and one of Dr. Horton’s proposals was part of that report.

Steve Kaufmann has been busy teaching and writing in New York City and Europe. In March and August, Dr. Kaufmann traveled to Romania and Hungary to teach “Biblical Perspectives for Learning” to teachers. In May, he led an urban school practicum at The Mustard Seed School in New York, where Christine Metzger (M.Ed., 1996) is Head of School. In October, Dr. Kaufmann’s book First the Foundations: Introduction to Christian Education was published in Hungarian, Romanian, and French by Purposeful Design.

Donna Phillips and Becky Pennington continue working on their doctorates at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Both are doing excellent work in their classes, and Donna hopes to be “ABD” (All But Dissertation) in November.

Becky Pennington presented two professional development training sessions this summer: "'Hey, how many points is that book?': Motivating good readers to become great readers" at Brainerd Baptist School in Chattanooga, and "Spice up your planning life" at the Signal Mountain Christian School.

BSECE adjunct Greg Bagby was featured in the August 17 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press for his recent appointment as principal of Barger Academy in the Hamilton County School District. Another of our adjuncts, Dr. Terry Stevenson (B.A., 1979) is serving as principal of the Fairyland School in the Walker County School District.

Jim Drexler presented “Spiritual Warfare and Christian Schooling” at the CSI Administrators Conference in St. Louis in July and served on the Higher Education Approval Program site-visiting team at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham in October.

Bruce Young's article “Oobleck: A constructivist science lesson viewed from a Christian perspective” was published in the May, 2008 issue of Teaching with Compassion, Competence, Commitment. Covenant Professor Emeritus and current M.Ed. adjunct Jack Fennema has an article in the same issue entitled “Constructivism: A critique from a biblical worldview.”

Daphne Haddad presented the seminar “Paradox Upon Paradox: Muslims killing Muslims in Iraq, ‘Democracy that isn’t, and the plight of Iraq’s Christians” at Covenant’s recent Leadership Forum. She also will present “Living Alongside Muslims in a Post-9/11 World” at the Conference on Christianity, Culture, and Diversity in America hosted by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in Washington in November.

New Academic Building

We’re finally moved into Brock Hall this summer, and it’s wonderful! This picture doesn’t do justice to the many benefits of our new home, so please try to stop by and see us soon.

Master of Education Program

This past summer, about 65 students came to campus for M.Ed. courses in either Educational Leadership or Integrated Curriculum and Instruction. These programs continue to offer rigorous and transforming educational opportunities for teachers and administrators, what a recent graduate described as "the richest time of learning in my life" As one new student told us this summer, “I wasn’t looking for a M.Ed. program; I wanted the Covenant program.”

We know from experience, though, that most of our new students come our way through referrals from people like you – people who know about our M.Ed., and then encourage their friends and colleagues to consider enrolling. If you haven’t looked at our recently updated website, please do so at www.med.covenant.edu, and encourage our programs where you can. If you need updated literature or any other help, please contact Rebecca Dodson at rdodson@covenant.edu.

Graduates in the News

We are very proud of the graduates from our various programs. Here are some awards and news items from various sources:
  • Jose Jimenez (B.A. with Middle Grades Certification, 1995) was featured in a September 3, 2008 article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Zorro Comes to the Rescue.” The article by Chloe Morrison focused on the positive emotional and academic benefits Jose’s dog Zorro has had with his students at Rossville Middle School and other schools in Walker County. His dog has been trained from birth to be a facility dog, so is able to function well in a place like a school, and the students love having a dog to pet and play with which educators argue has helped children learn.
  • This past June, The William B. and Helen S. Leonard Foundation for the Endowment of Evangelical Christian Academy (ECA) announced that the recipient of The Ezekiel Award for Excellence in Christian Witness and Teaching for 2008 is Anne Lichlyter, a fifth grade teacher at the Evangelical Christian Academy Elementary Campus. Anne is a 1996 graduate of ECA and a 2000 graduate of Covenant College (B.A. in Early Childhood Education), and has taught at ECA since 2000-2001. The formal presentation was made at the last Elementary Chapel, Wednesday, May 21, 2008 and at the Secondary Graduation on Friday, May 23, 2008.
  • The Missoulian (Montana) newspaper reported in July that Chris Martineau (M.Ed. graduate in Educational Leadership, 2004), after over 20 years as a science teacher and public school administrator, was appointed as the new Valley Christian High School Principal. Quoting from the article by Rob Chaney, Martineau compares working in a public school with his new experience at Valley Christian: “He compared his science teaching style to a government teacher accurately explaining the principles of communist philosophy without actually endorsing them. But following a biblical perspective gives him greater latitude in counseling misbehaving students. ‘Often a student needed to understand something was plain old sin,’ Martineau said. ‘He's not devalued - he's created in God's image. But I wished I could have addressed the root of the problem more than I'm allowed to in a public school setting.’"
  • Amorea Trew (BSECE, 2007) was featured recently in an article in the Dalton, Georgia newspaper for a project she initiated with her kindergarten class at Varnell Elementary. Amorea had her students keep track of the points scored by the Middle School basketball team, then exchanged the points for pennies, nickels, and dimes in order to help the students learn how to count. “We also measured each player by feet and inches” Amorea said, and students then used pipe cleaners, shoes, and pencils to help them learn about measurements, and later incorporated informative writing into their integrated curricular project.
  • Austin Branson (B.A. in Secondary History, 2006) is one of 7 Covenant graduates currently teaching or administering at the International Christian School of Budapest in Hungary. Recently, Austin forwarded the link below which shows some of his students performing at a popular shopping square in downtown Budapest after which Austin was able to explain the Gospel message that was portrayed. Click on the following link to enjoy the student’s performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z0iwwLx99Q

The view from a first-year teacher

Dr. Daphne Haddad received an e-mail in September from Carla Rae Himebook (B.A. with Middle Grades Certification, 2008) about some valuable things she has learned in her first few weeks of teaching. With Carla Rae’s permission, we pass on these humorous insights:
  • Your students, who cannot spell or punctuate anything correctly, will find all of your errors on the board.
  • Every activity you plan to take 10 minutes will take 30 and every 30 minute plan will only take 10.
  • If you turn the heat up in the car, aim the vents at your head, and drive for 20 minutes, your hair will be dry by the time you get to school.
  • If you dry your hair using such method, it will be picture day.
  • 7th graders like follow the leader.
  • On the day the cross country team receives their uniforms, they will proceed to put them on in class, over their other clothes and then parade around the room and strike super hero poses.
  • Spiders are no big deal. Even huge brown hairy ones.
  • There is always paperwork to be done.
  • All the other teachers know the best way for doing things. Only some will give them to you as suggestions.
  • Sleep is amazing.
  • Middle School dances consist primarily of students running around the gym and banging into each other while listening to really loud music.
  • Sometimes you need to stop for a story break.
  • The day you have the perfect lesson plan is the day they'll give out locker assignments.
  • Faculty meetings are usually a waste of time...or at least could be a lot shorter.
  • Teachers are fun people to hang out with.
  • No matter how bad any one day is, there's always something to laugh about when it's over.
  • Having another experienced teacher to run to is a huge blessing...having 6 is even more amazing.
  • For the first time in 4 years, I don't have school on labor day!

Coffee, teaching, and a good brew!

Jason Van Bemmel (M.Ed. – Educational Leadership, 2009) is the Headmaster of New Covenant Christian School in Abingdon, Maryland. This past August, he shared the attached, The Coffee Manifesto, with his faculty during in-service, and we pass it on to those of you who love good coffee, good teaching, or both!

Download "The Coffee Manifesto"  


Covenant College Department of Education
14049 Scenic Highway
Lookout Mountain, GA 30750