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Graduate Education Newsletter

Fall 2020

University Communications

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - imageI want to start with a hope that everyone is well in your family. This has been a very difficult and challenging time for all of us — one that requires grace, patience, and an appreciation for each other and the importance of community. On behalf of everyone in Education, we hope that you and your loved ones are physically and mentally healthy.

In my opening to the spring e-newsletter, I provided updates about how we responded to COVID-19 by moving courses online and creating modifications to our internships and field experiences. For the summer Education courses, we worked with colleagues in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies to put all courses online and to provide instructional support to our faculty. As soon as the spring semester concluded, planning groups at the University and the School level began meeting and crafting contingency plans for the start of the fall semester. You will see in this e-newsletter how the necessary safety and instructional measures were put in place at multiple levels and how we continue to enact an ongoing response to the COVID-19 situation.

In Education, we adapted and communicated University and School policies for our fall Education courses as well as our internships and field experiences. Our Education faculty have done a remarkable job of moving classes and internships online or altering in-person courses relative to physical distancing guidelines. Our students have responded with patience, helpful ideas, and a commitment to the learning process and to the various modalities. We are truly fortunate to be part of a University and School that cares deeply about continuity of learning and supporting the needs of our students.

Since we know this time can be stressful on students, faculty, and staff, we are intent on providing emotional and relational support. We decided to offer an online series on how stress can impact our lives and how mindfulness and meditation can be employed and utilized. We have partnered with an on-campus expert, Dr. Monti Datta, Associate Professor of Political Science, who will offer two sessions this fall – “Introduction to Meditation” on October 2nd and “Developing a Meditation Practice” on November 6th. These will be open to all, but will require a registration. We encourage you to take part in these sessions or to engage in other wellness opportunities offered by the University.

The other critical issue that we are thinking about in Education is the racial injustice occurring in our society. The marches and protests this summer brought the subject of racial inequality to the forefront. However, these issues are not new, nor should we treat them as such. Our American institutions have had a long and storied history of instituting racial discriminatory policies. Systems of education are one of the main institutions that have historically promulgated unjust and unfair racial practices and policies. Today, the impact of systemic racism in education is evident in gaps in achievement and opportunity, in resource allocation and quality instruction, and in disparities in the application of disciplinary rules.

The Education staff and faculty are committed to understanding these issues and others. We are dedicated to educating and training the next generation of teachers and leaders who will address these inequities while considering the needs of communities of color in the Richmond area and beyond.

We know that you are each juggling multiple challenges in your professional and personal lives. The faculty and staff in Education and the entire Spider community is here for you and want to ensure that you have a successful and productive semester.

Be safe and be well!

Tom
Signature
Tom J. Shields, Ph.D.
Graduate Education Chair

In This Issue

Scroll to read each each section.

  • Features
  • Alumni Updates 
  • Friday Mindfulness
  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
  • News & Info | Faculty & Staff
  • Student Reminders
  • Media References
  • Contact | Submit | Connect

Previous Issues

Graduate Education Alumni Updates

  • Beth Morris, GC'20, named assistant principal at Providence Middle School

    Beth Morris, GC’20, has been named assistant principal at Providence Middle School in Chesterfield County Public Schools. Morris completed a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS.

  • Lauren Bischoff, GC'17, named principal at Baker Elementary School

    Lauren Bischoff, GC'17, has been hired as the principal at Baker Elementary School in Henrico County Public Schools. She worked as a resource teacher & associate principal at the school before being named its principal. She earned a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in December 2016 at SPCS.

  • Sandra Judge-Harden, GC'15, named associate principal at Providence Middle School

    Sandra Judge-Harden, GC’15, has been named associate principal at Providence Middle School in Chesterfield County Public Schools. Judge-Harden completed a Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS.

  • SheAnna McCloud, GC'16, hired as assistant principal at Henderson Middle School

    SheAnna McCloud, GC'18, has been hired as STEM assistant principal at Thomas H. Henderson Middle School in Richmond City Schools. McCloud earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS.

  • Colleen Cassada, GC'15, GC'16 & GC'19, named VDOE middle school English specialist

    Three-time Spider Colleen Cassada, GC'15, GC'16 & GC'19, has been hired as middle school English specialist for the Virginia Department of Education. Cassada earned a graduate certificate in Teacher Licensure Preparation in 2015, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in 2016 and a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in December 2015.

  • Lekiesha White, GC'19, named dean of students at Providence Middle School

    Lekiesha White, GC’19, has been named dean of students at Providence Middle School in Chesterfield County Public Schools. White completed a Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS.

  • Paige Smith, GC'16, named principal at Short Pump Elementary School

    Paige C. Smith, GC’16, has been hired as principal of Short Pump Elementary School in Henrico County Public Schools. Smith earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in December 2015 at SPCS.

  • Adria Mayo, GC'19, named assistant principal at Liberty Middle School

    Adria Mayo, GC’19, has been hired as assistant principal at Liberty Middle School in Hanover County Public Schools. Mayo completed a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in December 2018 through SPCS.

  • Amy Pickral, GC'19, named head of school at St. Gertrude

    Amy Pickral, GC’19, has been named head of school at St. Gertrude High School. Pickral served as assistant head of school for a year prior to the appointment. She earned a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS. 

  • Amy Lynn Ferry, GC'20, quoted in RTD Startup Spotlight

    Amy Lynn Ferry, GC’20, who works as an instructional coach for Richmond startup EdConnective to help teachers plan for remote learning, is quoted in a Richmond Times-Dispatch Startup Spotlight. Ferry also teaches at Highland Springs Elementary School. She earned a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in SPCS.

  • Ashley Pride, GC'16, GC'18, named elementary school assistant principal

    Ashley Pride, GC’16 & GC’18, has been named assistant principal at George F. Baker Elementary School in Henrico County Public Schools. Pride earned a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in 2016 and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2018, both through the SPCS graduate education program.

  • Cindy Trask, GC'12, named head of St. Catherine's School

    Cindy L. Trask, GC’12, has been named head of school at St. Catherine’s School effective with the 2021-2022 school year. Trask returns to St. Catherine’s from serving most recently as director of upper school at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. She worked at St. Catherine’s from 2008-2013; during her tenure, she held several leadership roles. She earned a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at SPCS in 2012.

Friday Mindfulness Series - Introduction

Introduction to Meditation with Dr. Monti Datta

Friday Mindfulness Series - Practice

Developing a Meditation Practice with Dr. Monti Datta

Rodney Robinson named 2020-21 Jepson Leader-in-Residence

Rodney Robinson headshotWe’re please to announce that the Jepson School of Leadership Studies has chosen Rodney Robinson, Richmond Public Schools teacher and 2019 National Teacher of the Year, as its 2020-21 Leader-in-Residence. More information will be forthcoming from the Jepson School about how students, staff and faculty can participate and engage with Mr. Robinson.

Upcoming Deadline

Scholarship Deadline for Spring 2021

The deadline to apply for scholarships for the Spring 2021 semester is November 1. Don’t miss this opportunity to apply for funds toward completing your degree — the School awards over $140,000 in scholarships each year, and that amount continues to grow! Students must register for six hours to be eligible to receive a spring scholarship award.

News & Information

View more related articles

Faculty & Staff Updates

  • Edinger publishes journal article

    Matthew J. Edinger, adjunct professor of education, has published the article What’s in Your Gifted Education Online Teacher Professional Development? Incorporating Theory- and Practice-Based Elements of Instructional Learning Design in the October 2020 issue of Gifted Child Quarterly.

  • Wilson named to VECF board

    Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, SPCS dean, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF). Wilson is among 5 newly elected VECF board members from healthcare, government, financial and education sectors.

  • McAdams interviewed for School's On series

    Rob McAdams, director of Partners in the Arts, provides tips for Fostering Creativity and Self Expression for Children Learning Online in a “School’s On” segment for Fox Richmond’s Connect RVA.

  • Cassada interviewed for School's On series

    Kate Cassada, associate professor of education and assistant chair of educational leadership, offers tips for Effective Parent-Teacher Communication when students enter online learning in a “School’s On” segment for Fox Richmond’s Connect RVA.

  • Wilson named VP of state board of education

    Dean Jamelle Wilson has been elected to serve as the vice president of Virginia’s Board of Education. Wilson, a well-known leader in both K-12 and higher education, was appointed to the Board of Education for a four-year term in 2017 by former Governor Terry McAuliffe.

  • McGinty publishes letter to RTD editor

    John McGinty, R'67, G'73, teaching and leadership supervisor in the education program, shared his thoughts on the value of school resource officers (SRO) in a Richmond Times-Dispatch letter to the editor. McGinty bases his article on his decades of experience as a high school assistant principal and principal in Henrico County Schools.

  • Roberts named chair of statewide school attorneys council

    Wendell C. Roberts, adjunct associate professor of education, has been elected chair of the Virginia Council of School Attorneys (VCOSA). The council is an affiliate of the National Council of School Attorneys and the only statewide organization for attorneys who represent public K-12 school boards.

  • Spires, Datta publish journal article

    Dr. Bob Spires, Associate Professor of Education, and Dr. Monti Datta, Associate Professor of Political Science, have published an article about their experience leading students in last summer’s Encompass Southeast Asia short-term study abroad experience, in the teaching resource journal Education about Asia.

  • Shields, Cassada publish chapter

    SPCS associate dean Tom Shields and associate professor of education Kate Cassada co-authored a chapter titled “Immigration and School Leadership in the Trump Era: A Discussion of Compliance, Ethic of Care, and Dissent” in Leadership, Populism and Resistance, a collection edited by Jepson leadership professors Bezio and Goethals.

  • Shields, Cassada publish chapter

    SPCS associate dean Tom Shields and associate professor of education Kate Cassada co-authored a chapter titled “Immigration and School Leadership in the Trump Era: A Discussion of Compliance, Ethic of Care, and Dissent” in Leadership, Populism and Resistance, a collection edited by Jepson leadership professors Bezio and Goethals.

Student Reminders

COVID-19 Response

UR and SPCS have shared a variety of details over the past few weeks as the University continues to respond to COVID-19, including the University’s Physical Distancing Framework, modified academic calendar, class formats, and campus health and safety protocols. Please regularly check the SPCS COVID-19 response page for updated information.

Comprehensive Exams

Fall 2020 Comprehensive Exams will take place in November. Eligible students will be contacted with additional details by their specific programs in early fall.

Graduation Application

If you plan on graduating in December 2020 or May 2021, you should have already submitted your degree application. If you missed this deadline and require assistance, please contact your respective Graduate Education program advisor. Additional details are available on the Registrar’s Graduation pages.

Media References

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Graduate Education Program
School of Professional & Continuing Studies
North Court
421 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Va. 23173

(804) 289-8133 • fax (804) 289-8138
spcs.richmond.edu/education

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