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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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During the spring semester, a Waynesburg University education student designed and implemented a hands-on, educational program for a local preschool class as a service project, providing students with an out-of-the-box learning experience. 

Abigail Standley, sophomore early childhood education major from Gahanna, Ohio, combined a former graduate student’s memorial and the support of the Department of Education to create a sustainable program for children in the Community Action Southwest preschool program at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School. 

Standley designed and presented a supplemental gardening unit for her preschool classroom, during which the students planted flower seeds and took a field trip to a nearby greenhouse, where they learned about gardening and growing plants.

The project began with a conversation between Standley and Pam Abbe, tutor coordinator and director of the Knox Learning Center at Waynesburg. Abbe’s daughter, Leah Abbe Zwerver, passed away June 14, 2008, after completing graduate studies at the University. Abbe developed a fund in her daughter’s memory with the goal of providing support to Waynesburg University Student Services for one-on-one cultural and environmental experiences between University students and public school students.

Standley decided to honor the goals of this memorial fund with her service learning project at the preschool. She worked closely with Debra Clarke, chair of the Department of Education and assistant professor of education, to develop and carry out the idea. Clarke attests that the process, in addition to working toward an admirable cause, helped Standley grow immensely as a student and servant.

All education majors at the University receive field placements each semester in a local classroom, where they are expected to assist the classroom teacher and complete tasks assigned by the teacher. 

“The project was intended to provide a special experience for the children at the field placement and to honor the memory of a former Waynesburg University student and local community member,” said Clarke. “Many, many hours of service were dedicated to the project planning and implementation. Standley learned a lot as she worked on the special service project.”

While field placements for sophomore level education students only require 12 weeks of twice a week, two-hour sessions in their assigned classroom, Standley plans to continue her service project for the duration of her time at the University.

“My entire goal of this project for this semester was to start out small and grow big by the time I graduate in 2017,” said Standley. “My ultimate goal is to have this be a permanent service project on campus in which all University students can participate. This would consist of University students going into local school districts to give them out-of-the-box opportunities within their educational experience.”

According to Clarke, Standley has exemplified the goals of the Department of Education, which aims to reflect the University’s mission of faith, learning and service in all activities.

“The Department of Education’s mission is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Clarke. “Standley certainly embraced learning and developed quality leadership skills as she dedicated her efforts to the service activity."

As Standley continues to strengthen the relationship between the University and local schools, Clarke foresees the benefits of the initiative both for Standley’s future and for the future of the Department of Education.

“Standley learned to persevere, to be flexible, and to be open to the ideas of others. Overall, she acquired numerous planning and preparation skills that she will use as she completes her final two years of study in the Department of Education and prepares to move into her own classroom,” said Clarke. “Her project will serve as a role model for future students as they work to maximize the learning and service opportunities provided through the Department of Education's field experience requirements.”

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: education news
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Nine students from Waynesburg University’s Education Department will travel to Nassau, Bahamas, during their Christmas break for a mission service trip. From Sunday, Jan. 4, to Saturday, Jan. 10, the students will work in conjunction with Mission Academy Ministries to assist in public school classes and build relationships with teachers and students. They will also spend time with the children during recess and lunch and can observe in the classrooms. 

Dr. Julia Bausman and Deana Mack, assistant professors of education at Waynesburg University, will lead the team of students. 

Mission Academy Ministries is a non-profit organization with a passionate commitment to helping students grow closer to Christ through life-changing mission trips, day events and retreats. 

“The students will experience serving others while learning about their profession and practicing their teaching skills with diverse groups,” said Bausman. “They will be using their talents of teaching in the schools, which is really putting their faith into action.”

Students participating in the trip include: 

•Melissa Bachorski, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Canonsburg, Pa. (Canon-McMillan High School)

•Catherine Hohing, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)

•Brittany Hott, junior middle level education major from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)

•Shakila Kienholz, junior early childhood education (special education) major from Erie, Pa. (Fort Le Boeuf High School)

•Rebecca Lane, senior early childhood education (special education) major from Ellwood City, Pa. (Laurel Junior-Senior High School)

•Leena Mustafa, early childhood education major from Erie, Pa. (McDowell High School)

•Abigail Standley, early childhood education (special education) major from Gahanna, Ohio (New Albany High School)

•Makayla Vidosh, senior early childhood education (special education) major from Galloway, Ohio (Hilliard Bradley High School)

•Brianna Watt, senior early childhood education (special education) major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School)

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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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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Posted by on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail_Rebecca-Lane.JPGRebecca Lane, a senior early childhood education (special education) major from Ellwood City, Pa., recently received the 2014 Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (PASCD) Mary Rovito Memorial Scholarship.

Lane is a Bonner Scholar at Waynesburg University and a Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership Scholar. The $3,000 PASCD scholarship will defray Lane’s tuition cost.

“I think I received this scholarship because they saw something deeper than just the pursuit of a degree,” Lane said. “For me, being a teacher isn’t about summers off and holiday breaks. It’s about getting to be intentional with my students as I teach them academics and prepare them for life.”

The PASCD committee chose Lane based on her academic standing, leadership, written expression and interest in teaching. The committee closely considered professor and advisor recommendations and Lane’s numerous extracurricular activities before selecting her for the award.

“Our mission as the Education Department faculty is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debbie Clarke, chair of the Education Department at Waynesburg University. "Rebecca’s commitment to our mission is evident in everything that she does as a teacher candidate and a student leader in the Education Department. We applaud her accomplishments; she is an excellent role model for our current and future students.”

Lane 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.

“I am wildly passionate about what God has called me to do; therefore, I do it to the best of my ability,” Lane said. “I believe that my role as an educator has the ability to cause a ripple effect that can transform the world, especially with the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through me. Each student is an opportunity to change the world.”

Lane will attend the PASCD 62nd Annual Conference Opening General Session Sunday, Nov. 23, in Hershey, Pa., to give an acceptance speech highlighting her desire to be a teacher.

In addition to being honored during the conference, she will be highlighted in the PASCD Conference Program, newsletter and website.

PASCD is an organization committed to the improvement of curriculum development, supervision, instruction, promotion of professional growth and education of children.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: education news
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