School of Education

Students in the News

Taylor Niss and Dr. Disseler present at LEGO League Competition

Shirley and Taylor NissAugust 2015 – STEM grad student, Taylor Niss, and Dr. Shirley Disseler presented three programming workshops Saturday, August 29, at A&T University for over 400 people attending the kick-off to the First LEGO League competition season. Participants learned some skills involved in programming the EV3 robot to move and use sensors to detect obstacles. Students ages 8-15 and their coaches were in attendance.

Student Council for Exceptional Children Get Ready for Special Olympics

image1August 2015 – Austyn Wood and Alana Pulling, members of Student Council for Exceptional Children, are pictured with Billy Quick, Special Olympic athlete and member of the Special Olympics of NC Athlete Council, Roger Johnson, Special Olympic athlete and Chairman of the Special Olympics of NC Athlete Council and Michelle Banklyder, Volunteer and Families Manager for Special Olympics of NC. Planning for the NC Fall Special Olympic Tournament is underway, and HPU’s Student Council for Exceptional Children is proud to be a part of the upcoming event, November 6, 7, and 8th.

School of Education to Host Summer STEM Camp

DSC_0004June 2015 – The graduate students in the STEM program at HPU will host 53 elementary students from the High Point area for a STEM camp June 22-July . Students will experience science, technology,engineering, and math in a fun-filled nine day camp held on the campus of HPU. Graduate students at HPU will create lessons and activities that include a look into STEM fields such as Aeronautics, Forensics, Chemistry, Physics, Robotics, and Engineering. The week will end with a rocket launch and a visit from the Mad Scientist.

Teachers of Tomorrow Organization Visits Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA

DSCN3906May 1, 2015 – Teachers of Tomorrow (a school of Education organization) visited the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta on Friday, May 1. Senior Elementary Education major, Emily Harris, initiated the trip and shared her passion for Ron Clark’s teaching methods with the members of the Teachers of Tomorrow organization. The Academy has received both national and international recognition for its success in educating students with academic rigor, passion, and creativity balanced by a strict code of discipline. Christina Honeycutt, sophomore Special Education major explained, “I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to visit the Ron Clark Academy. Being able to experience different types of classrooms gave me ideas of things I can do for my future students.”

The 5th – 8th grade students at Ron Clark Academy represent various socio-economic and academic backgrounds and communities from across the Atlanta metro region. The HPU education majors walked away with an experience that can impact their teaching in profound ways. Morgan Delapena, sophomore Elementary Education major described the experience by saying, “Visiting the Ron Clark Academy has opened new doors for me in terms of what methods I can use in my classroom to help my students learn more efficiently at every level. I hope that someday my students will have as much love for learning as the students at the Ron Clark Academy. It was a life changing experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.” Maggie Gray, sophomore Special Education major added, “The trip was very inspiring and makes me even more excited to have my own classroom. Ron Clark and the rest of his staff are so passionate about their students and the children truly love their school. I hope to one day have as much enthusiasm as Ron Clark.”

Fourteen undergraduate and four graduate students attended the trip, accompanied by Dr. Leslie Cavendish and Dr. Sarah Vess.

John Yankello, M.Ed in Elementary Education/STEM Concentration Student, Presents at World Robotics Championship in St. Louis, MO

John YankelloJohn Yankello, alongside Dr. Shirley Disseler and Dr. Jane Bowser, presented “Deep Dive in American Education”; “Tech in the 21st Century Classroom”; and Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Meet the Challenge” to LEGO Education’s Global Leadership Team while attending the World Robotics Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. The goal of the presentation was to make the Global Education Business partner aware of changes in the US system and how they need to focus efforts in educational arenas.

Education Students Win “Biggest Impact” Service Learning Award

Biggest ImpactApril 15, 2015 – At the SERVES Showcase, HPU had over 75 posters created by students illustrating and reflecting on the service they completed this year. Over 250 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended and learned a lot about how this university is partnering with our community. Awards were given away, and Kappa Delta Phi, the Education Honors Society earned the “Biggest Impact Award” for their Literacy Alive! service project “Y-Brary”. “ These projects bring hope, encouragement, and a love for reading which in itself provides so much for a child. Volunteering for these projects with other people who dedicate their lives to enriching children is an incredible experience in itself. But to know we are helping to improve their way of life, even through something as simple as reading material, is more rewarding than any other project I’ve been blessed to be a part of”, explained Nicole Straley, KDP Membership Chair, ’16. They were awarded a $300 cash prize which they will use to continue to fund the library they have created at the High Point YMCA.

“As a senior, I have been blessed to have been the president of this honor society for two years. I wanted our chapter to do something BIG and make a large impact in our community. This opportunity fell in our hands and the members of KDP have come together to make this project come to life. We are so excited to have created this partnership and hope that this Literacy Alive! Project continues for a very long time. It is my hope that this “Y-brary” gives the students a place where they can lose themselves in a book and fall in love with reading.” -Kaila Tuccio (President of KDP, ‘15)
“I plan on getting my master’s in education with a concentration in literacy and through this project I have truly realized the importance of reading and I cannot wait to see how these children’s futures benefit from our “Y-brary.” -Matti Rose (Literacy Alive! Chair, ‘15)

Education Major presents at the National Technology & Social Science Conference

March 2015 – Emily Harris, a senior Elementary Education major, presented research at the National Technology and Social Science conference in Las Vegas, Nevada March 28-30th. Her research was done under the mentorship of Dr. Shirley Disseler and was titled  “Elementary School Teachers’ Perceptions Towards Teaching Science”. The data was gathered in local elementary schools throughout NC and informed the teaching professional about the need for professional development in the area of STEM education.

National Teacher of the Year visits High Point University

DSC_0213March 31, 2015 – Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, visited the School of Education. He is an English Teacher at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore County, Maryland with eight years of experience. Mr. McComb had lunch and conversation with the student leaders of the School of Education’s professional organizations and later with the faculty. In his message that evening, Mr. McComb was stirringly positive and powerful about teaching and public education. His audience included not only undergraduates and graduate students but also teachers and administration from surrounding school systems.

EDU-3244 Students Learn about Understanding and Working with Students with Intellectual Disabilities

DSC_0003 croppedMarch 2015 – Kelli Staples Brentnell spoke to our EDU-3244 students on understanding and working with students with intellectual disabilities.  Ms. Brentnell is currently a teacher of students with disabilities in an Adapted Curriculum Classroom at Johnson Street Global Studies. Ms. Brentnell graduated from Greensboro College in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education – Behavior and Emotional Disorders from Greensboro College in 2007. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Special Education from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Ms. Brentnell is focusing her research on math instruction for students with significant disabilities.

Autism Specialists Speak to EDU-3244 Students

DSC_0146 cropedMarch 30, 2015 – Shelly Beck and Kayleigh O’Neill were guest speakers for EDU 3244: Teaching and Learning Strategies: Practicum in Special Education On Wednesday, March 30. Ms. Beck and Ms. O’Neill are experts in the area of educating students with Autism and spoke to the class on characteristics of students with Autism and instructional practices. Ms. Shelly Beck is a Coordinator in Guilford County Schools working in the Exceptional Children Services Department as a member of the Collaborative Coaching Team. She attended UNC-Charlotte, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1995 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2004. Ms. Kayleigh O’Neill has her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Georgia. Her undergraduate program focused on high-incidence disabilities, and her graduate program focused on low-incidence disabilities with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. She currently works as an EC Coordinator for Guilford County Schools and is a member of the Collaborative Coaching Team within the Department of Exceptional Children.


 HPU Team Members Present at NC Middle Level Conference

Middle Level Conference 2015March 15-17, 2015 – Several HPU team members presented at the popular, state-wide conference sponsored by NCMLE (North Carolina Middle Level Education). The presenters and presentations were amazing!  Taylor Niss, an undergraduate student at HPU, majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Special Education presented, “The Special Education Journey,” covering the history and journey of special education and the strides that have been made. Taylor is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in STEM at High Point University.

Lee Hunter, Curriculum Facilitator at Jones Intermediate School with Mount Airy Schools, presented on student engagement. Her presentation, titled “Because I Said SO—Is NOT an Engagement Strategy,” explored and explained how to effectively create a learning environment where all students are deeply engaged, collaborating, and actively problem-solving. Lee is currently enrolled in the School Administration Program at HPU. Lee Hunter also had a second presentation, “Flip the Switch: Empower Students with Problem-Based Learning.”

Sharron Williams and Shannon Shuey, both enrolled in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at HPU, also presented. The presentation, “Serving to Learn, Learning to Serve,” focused on transforming middle school learners into civically engaged global citizens. The session focused on how middle school students will be able to plan, organize, and complete a service project, then reflect on how the project impacted the community, school and themselves. Sharron Williams is an Assistant Principal at East Lee Middle School and Shannon Shuey is the Principal at East Lee Middle School, part of the Lee County School System.

Lastly, three professors from HPU were involved with the NCMLE conference. Dr. Shirley Disseler presented, “Strategies and Activities to Engage Kids in Mathematics.” The presentation provided middle level mathematics teachers with ideas for engaging students in the understanding of math concepts and the creative aspects of mathematics topics in the 6-8 curriculum. Dr. Jane Bowser presented, “Teacher STEM Clubs: A Model for Implementation.” Dr. Bowser partnered with co-presenter, Jennifer Buck, Technology Coordinator with Thomasville City Schools. Dr. James Davis with the School of Education served as the Assistant Director for the Conference.


Doctoral Student Shares Letter with EdNC

Christy SlateFebruary 2015 – Doctoral student and Principal at Silver Valley Elementary School, Christy Slate, recently wrote a letter in response to her school receiving a “D” grade.  The letter was shared with students, staff and the school community.  After Ms. Davis shared with her representatives, it made its way to EdNC.  Please click the link below to read her letter.

Mr. Anthony Davis Receives “Outstanding Young Educator” Award

Anthony DavisFebruary 2015 – Congratulations to Mr. Anthony Davis, 2011 M.Ed graduate from High Point University School of Education, for receiving the “Outstanding Young Educator” award for North Carolina at the ASCD Conference in Pinehurst, NC.  This award is presented annually and is based on an educator who demonstrates exemplary commitment and exceptional contribution to the education profession.

Speech/Language Pathologist visits EDU-3244 Students

DSC_0008January 2015 – Ms. Mimi Williams, Speech, Language Pathologist came to HPU to speak to juniors and seniors in EDU 3244: Teaching and Learning Strategies: A Practicum in Special Education on Monday, January 9. The topic of her presentation was Communication Disorders. Ms. Williams received her M.Ed in Speech/Language Pathology from UNC-G and is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech, Language and Audiologists. She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association).

Ms. Williams’ career began at the Central NC School for the Deaf in Greensboro. She has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the public schools (High Point City Schools and Guilford County Schools) for a total of 21 years of service. She has also worked at Moses Cone and High Point Regional Hospital and as a Clinical Supervisor for a major rehabilitation company. She has also worked in private practice for 12 years specializing in accent reduction services for regional and foreign accented individuals. Additionally Ms. Williams has taught a course at GTCC entitled “Winning with Your Voice” to adults wanting to improve their speaking voice and coached potential scholarship and pageant contestants on interviewing and public speaking techniques. Currently Ms. Williams supervises school based Speech-Language Pathologists during their Clinical Fellowship Year and provides diagnostic services when needed for Ling and Kerr Therapy Service.

Dr. MJ Hall and Amy Davis Collaborating on Program For School Leaders

January 2015 – Dr. MJ Hall, High Point University alumna, who holds a Certificate in Quality Management (Science of Improvement) and serves as a member of the Baldrige Board of Examiners, presented a session to doctoral candidates on “Incorporating Human-Centered Design” as an approach to solving problems of practice in January 2015. Dr. Hall is currently working with one doctoral student, Amy Davis, on design methods to plan an onboarding program for new school leaders. “Through her work with our doctoral students, Dr. Hall motivates critical thinking about improvement processes and leading change in education. We are fortunate to have someone with her talent and insight into methods of problem solving listen to our doctoral students and mentor them through projects.”

KDP Launches Literacy Alive Project

January 2015 – Kappa Delta Pi, the student honors society in Education, launched the kickoff of their Literacy Alive project on January 19th, Martin Luther King day. Students who are members of KDP worked very hard academically to achieve membership and work just as hard at giving back to the community. The student-led organization decided to develop a Literacy Alive project at the Hartley YMCA in High Point. Kappa Delta Pi members are renovating an area into a children’s library and reading space. “These future teachers know the value for students of all ages to be able to enjoy books with friends and families,” Dr. Cavendish noted. January 19th was the first of many days KDP will raise funds, design and create a reading space for members of the community this semester. Kaila Tuccio, president of KDP explained, “This is just the beginning of a wonderful outreach program that children in this area are going to benefit from.”


NCAEE Region 5 HPU Cohort Reaches out to Local Teachers

potdelieverJanuary 2015 – High Point University elementary education students worked together this semester to develop an outreach project for teachers. “We are unique at High Point University, as we have a student cohort of the professional organization, North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators,” explained Dr. Cavendish. The HPU students painted flower pots, individually designed for each teacher, and filled them with pencils. This was something the students wanted to do as a small token of appreciation for every teacher at Fairview Elementary. Caitlin Goss, a senior at HPU explained, “We wanted to show the teachers at Fairview how much we appreciate them and all of their hard work.” The HPU students will spend the spring working alongside the Region 5 NCAEE council to host a conference for local teachers on April 14th. We are excited about this year’s theme, Celebrating the Art of Teaching. We have presenters who are experts in all content areas, who will inspire and energize teachers. We invite all educators to come!

For more information and to REGISTER, visit the following link:

Deborah Caddell, 2014 Elementary Education Graduate, Participated in “Vikings for Biking”  Service Project

Deborah CaddellFebruary 2015 – School of Education graduate Deborah Caddell and science teacher Patrick Sams helped Eric Walker and other students at Northwest High School in Greensboro collect, clean and make repairs to more than 60 bikes. They also collected some new bicycles.  Deborah wanted to share this story with the School of Education.  She stated, “I wanted to share with you some wonderful news. My student that I have been with for the past four years was recently recognized through Guilford County Schools for a Gift of Giving event. I am so proud of him and his efforts. I have received many compliments on our project and was privileged to say that I am a HPU graduate and how much I learned from my beloved university that helped me in the success of planning this entire service learning project.”

You can read the entire story which was printed in the Greensboro News and Record by clicking on the link below.

Induction Support Coach Shares with Students

DSC_0010November 2014 – Sharon Reddick works in the Guilford County Schools Department of Induction and Success. Ms. Reddick is an Induction Support Coach working exclusively with first year Special Education Teachers in the Guilford County School District. High Point University School of Education welcomed Ms. Reddick as a guest speaker. Ms. Reddick answered questions and shared information on current issues in Special Education as well as providing interview and resume tips to Senior Special Education Majors. Other topics of discussion included suggestions on how to continue to progress and grow professionally while surviving the first year as a special education teacher.




Elementary Majors Participate in “Book and a Blanket” Project

book and blanketNovember 2014 – Through the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, High Point University Elementary Education majors were afforded the opportunity to promote the joy of reading to the entire student body at Kirkman Park Elementary School; Pre-K-5th grade.  Debbie Albert, instructor of the Children’s Literature course, applied for the grant in hopes she and her students would have an opportunity to spread the joy of reading. The project, entitled “A Book and a Blanket” provided a book and a blanket for each child in the school so each one might experience the joy and comfort realized from curling up with their own book and blanket.

The Elementary majors visited each classroom to share a read-aloud of a recently published children’s book, encouraged children as readers, and then gifted each child with their own book and blanket to take home. Mrs. Albert notes that we must first model for children the joy of reading if we are expecting to grow proficient readers. “If children do not experience the joy and purpose of reading, the many tasks for which we labor over in the classrooms each day will be a futile attempt in the goal of creating proficient, lifelong readers.”

Leni Fragakis Publishes Second Unit in IRA Bridges Project

Debbie Leni Liz (16)November 2014 – Leni Fragakis, M.Ed. K-6 (literacy concentration) graduate, worked together with Dr. Debbie Linville to design a literacy-based instructional unit entitled “Creating Multigenre Projects to Celebrate Cultural Diversity” and it has been published by the International Reading Association. This instructional unit is the second collaborative effort between the two educators which has been accepted for inclusion in the IRA Bridges project: Instruction Units for the Engaging Classroom. Miss Fragakis and Dr. Linville have been invited to present the unit at the IRA conference in St. Louis, Missouri in July, 2015.
Miss Fragakis has a BA in K-6 and a M.Ed. in grades K-6 with a focus in literacy from High Point University. She is a licensed Reading Specialist (K–12), Special Education General Curriculum teacher (K–12), and Elementary Education teacher (K–6) in North Carolina. She is currently a third-grade teacher at The Arts Based School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Ms. Fragakis has a passion for integrating literacy experiences and the arts into all curriculum areas. Along with attending numerous international-, national-, and state-level conferences, she has co-presented at conferences for organizations such as North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators, North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and North Carolina Council for the Social Studies.

School of Education Names Outstanding Student Teachers

StudApril 2014 – The School of Education celebrated the completion of another successful year of Student Teaching at our annual Awards Banquet the evening of April 28.  The guest speaker for this event was Dr. Don Martin, School of Education Ed.D faculty member.

At this event, five students were selected as our Spring 2014 Outstanding Student Teachers.  These students were nominated by their Cooperating Teachers and selected from our 70 student teachers this semester.

The recipients this year were (pictured left to right) Katherine Haynes-Special Education, Mallory McMahon-Secondary Math, Max Coleman-Health & Physical Education, Caroline Stalvey-Elementary Education and Rachel Jones-Elementary Education.

Congratulations to these students as well as all our graduating students!

Kayla Dolan to Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Kayla Dolan croppedThe School of Education is proud to announce that Kayla Dolan’s research has been accepted for presentation at the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at the University of Kentucky.  Kayla is a Senior Special Education major whose research interests include Response to Intervention (RtI), the use of progress monitoring in data based decision making, and the incorporation of cross-discipline mentors into field experiences to train pre-service teachers.  Kayla’s research submission entitled Utilizing a RtI Service Learning Program to Train Pre-Service Teachers, was selected from more than 4,000 submissions.  Kayla has worked as a research assistant to Dr. Sarah Vess for the past two years.  According to mentor, Dr. Sarah Vess, “Kayla is a valued asset to our department.  I have watch Kayla develop from a student interested in the concept of RtI to a student who could teach a college course on RtI over the course of those two years. “ Kayla is a leader in the area of research and university service.  She serves as the President of the HPU student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and coordinates several volunteer opportunities for students involved in the organization.


Alyssa Springer to Present at NCUR 2014

Alyssa SpringerAlyssa Springer, an HPU elementary education senior, is presenting at the National conference for the Council of Undergraduate Research (NCUR 2014) at the University of Kentucky in April.

Her research stems from her 8 week internship in an elementary school in London.  Alyssa focused on comparing and contrasting the International Baccalaureate Program and Common Core State Standards that is currently being implemented in the United States.  Her presentation will focus on the similarities and differences of the educational philosophies, and is titled “A Globalized Education: A Comparative Study of the International Baccalaureate and Common Core State Standards Systems.”

Chosen from more than 4,000 submissions, her research demonstrates a unique contribution to education.  Dr. Cavendish, Alyssa’s faculty mentor, stated, “Alyssa is a motivated and insightful researcher.  She has delved into a unique aspect of curriculum development just at the time as we as a nation have been working diligently to become more global. I am proud to be able to have the opportunity to work with her.”  Dr. Cavendish will accompany Alyssa to the University of Kentucky to support her in this unique opportunity.  While at NCUR 2014, Alyssa will be presenting her work to peers, faculty, and staff from around the world.