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b2ap3_thumbnail_1-18-Central-Greene.jpgWaynesburg University and the Central Greene School District (CGSD) have established a mutually beneficial partnership, through which University students begin gaining real-world experience as early as their freshman year while supporting CGSD kindergarten teachers with larger-than-normal enrollment.

“This partnership between Waynesburg and CGSD is one of a kind,” said Annette Vietmeier, director of curriculum, instruction and technology for Central Greene School District. “It provides opportunities to grow and impact our community in ways not being done anywhere else. The commitment of the pre-service teacher is incredible as they gain the ability to put theory into practice.” 

The partnership, which began four years ago, has enabled Waynesburg students to gain valuable field experience and has helped CGSD support the class sizes and needs of their students with no additional cost to the district.

In return, Central Greene faculty and administration have made themselves available to facilitate mock interviews and offer various training and professional development sessions for Waynesburg students. Staff members from Waynesburg’s Department of Education have also offered their service to the district’s literacy and strategic planning teams.

Waynesburg students have been afforded a substantial amount of hands-on learning from Central Greene’s mentors who have engaged them in classroom activity from the first day. Students also participate in Central Greene’s teacher training and professional development sessions throughout the school year.

“This experience is unlike any other college or university in the region,” said Yvonne Weaver, interim chair of the Department of Education and field placement coordinator and certification officer for Waynesburg University. “Our students spend significant time in the classroom during their freshman, sophomore and junior years, ultimately allowing them to be career and profession ready.”

The partnership has grown from nine student teachers at the kindergarten level to 47 student teachers kindergarten through 12th grade. Waynesburg University also supports field experiences in school districts throughout Greene, Washington and Fayette counties.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bethany-Orndoff.jpgAs a little girl, Bethany Orndoff never looked forward to missing school when she was sick. In fact, sick days made her sad. The sadness stemmed from her love of learning, and the emotion would soon prove to be an indicator of her future career.

“I chose to be a teacher because I've known that's what I've wanted to be for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Knowing how much she enjoyed math and inspired by Rebecca Wilson, her high school math teacher and fellow Waynesburg University alumna, Orndoff continued to walk the path that would ultimately lead her to her beloved career.

Currently teaching grades 9 through 11, Orndoff is responsible for creating and implementing lesson plans and making changes as she sees necessary based on the needs of her students.

Recognizing the importance of her position, Orndoff strives each day to be a light to each student.

“The great thing about being a teacher is the amount of lives I will impact. Right now, I see just fewer than 100 students a day — imagine the amount of students I will have seen in 10 years! To be a part of a student's life is something I will always cherish,” she said.

In teaching, Orndoff said she also identifies the opportunities to be a mentor.

“Students come to me with questions, and I am there to give advice,” she said.

Orndoff genuinely enjoys her students and is grateful for a career that allows her the opportunity to experience something new each day.

“I enjoy waking up and going to my classroom and greeting my students as they walk in,” she said. “I am the teacher that has a smile on her face every day, in every class, and I am smiling because I know that I'm where I belong.”

Partial to her alma mater, Orndoff said that she believes “only the best come from Waynesburg University.”

“The reason for that is how well the University prepares us for the real world,” she said. “I had all of the tools necessary to succeed, and that's what I did. I was able to secure a job and started the day after graduation. In the education field, that is unheard of."

Orndoff specifically credits Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University, and Yvonne Weaver, certification officer & field placement coordinator at Waynesburg University.

“They helped me evolve into a professional educator,” she said. “I have always turned to them for advice and their doors are always open for me. Their leadership and mentoring have allowed to me to be where I am today, and I am forever grateful."

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b2ap3_thumbnail_McCracken.jpgDr. Helen McCracken joined Waynesburg University as the director of Graduate Programs in Education Monday, Nov.10, 2014. McCracken will coordinate aspects of the Graduate Education Programs including oversight of all degree, certification, endorsement and advanced studies programs, as well as student recruitment, retention and advising.

“We are privileged to make Dr. McCracken a part of our team,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost of Waynesburg University. “She brings with her a wealth of experience, allowing us to take our graduate education program to new levels.”

McCracken brings to Waynesburg University an impressive background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education. She has extensive experience in K-12 education, serving a number of years in the Canon-McMillan school district, most recently as the superintendent.  

She has also worked as an assistant professor at California University of Pennsylvania in its Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership, both instructing and developing programs.  

She holds a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and master’s degrees from both Robert Morris University (MBA) and California University of Pennsylvania (M.Ed.). 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Weird-book-Photo.pngThe Teaching with Primary Sources Program (TPS) at Waynesburg University will hold a free online synchronous professional development series for school librarians. Coaches Academy for Librarians will meet each Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. starting September 10 and running through October 15. 

Coaches Academy for Librarians is designed to help direct librarians toward helpful materials and resources. Participants may earn up to 20 CEU hours (optional 10 more post-course). 

The course will be facilitated by librarian and TPS consultant Jennifer Hanson. Participants will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and gain knowledge about educational uses of the Library of Congress resources.

The course will include audio chat sessions, independent reading, project development and peer collaboration and discussion. 

Participants who have not completed TPS Level I are asked to complete a pre-requisite, TPS BASICS, before Wednesday, Sept. 3. Login information is provided upon registration for Coaches Academy for Librarians.    

Space is limited. Register now at: https://forms.waynesburg.edu/machform/view.php?id=364493.  

For more information, contact Sue Wise at swise@waynesburg.edu or 724-852-3377. 

Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress, TPS at Waynesburg University provides professional development for in-service and pre-service teachers. TPS at Waynesburg University works with schools, universities, libraries and foundations to help teachers throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania use the Library's digitized primary sources to enrich their classroom instruction.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: education TPS TPS news
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Rebecca Lane, a senior early childhood education (special education) major from Ellwood City, Pa., recently received one of only eight Good Citizen Scholarships distributed throughout the Commonwealth. 

Eight Good Citizen scholarships were awarded this year for $1,500 each.

“The Education Department's mission is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, chair of the Education Department at Waynesburg University. “Rebecca eagerly aligned herself with the mission as a freshman. It has been uplifting to watch her develop her service agenda and her leadership skills over the past three years.”

The Good Citizen Scholarship is made possible by two endowments established at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).  These scholarships are reserved for students who have shown an extraordinary commitment to community service and who have demonstrated creativity in shaping their volunteer activities. 

Lane, a Bonner Scholar at Waynesburg University and a Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership Scholar, was selected for her commitment to both local and global service leadership. 

She regularly volunteers with Open Arms Drop in Center and Eldercare in Waynesburg, Pa. She also facilitates crafts for young people at the Open Door in Pittsburgh, Pa., each week and is a YoungLife Leader at West Greene High School. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the Waynesburg University education honorary society. 

As a student at Waynesburg, Lane has participated in several service trips such as repairing a house with The Pittsburgh Project, feeding the homeless with the Center for Student Missions in Nashville, Tenn., and teaching students who are deaf in Nassau, Bahamas. Last summer, she spent two months in Kingston, Jamaica, assisting a child with walking abilities and adapting activities to allow for more inclusion.

“My volunteerism in college has prepared me beyond measure to meet the needs of any community,” Lane said. “Each volunteer site, each mission trip and each leadership role has taught, shaped and molded me into an effective teacher who not only teaches students, but deeply cares for them as well as serving the community in which they live.”

Each college and university belonging to AICUP is asked to select one application to submit for the competition. Lane was selected due to her personal growth as a student at Waynesburg University and her continuous integration of faith and service into learning. 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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