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K-State Today

June 19, 2017

College of Education welcomes early-career teachers back to campus for EdFest

Submitted by Patrice Scott

The first-ever EdFest was June 7 at Bluemont Hall and attendees left with enthusiasm, creative ideas and a swag bag filled with supplies to make it happen. 

EdFest was a daylong professional development session for early-career teachers designed for members of EdCats, K-State College of Education alumni who graduated within the last three years. Jonathan Ferrell, 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year team member from the Shawnee Mission School District, gave the keynote address and attendees chose from seven classes to attend before the group reconvened for additional presentations and the wrap-up. EdCats was created by the Office of Innovation and Collaboration, and the program is coordinated by Tonnie Martinez, associate professor. 

"We want our College of Education graduates to understand that our faculty's guidance, experience and research, concepts that were integral to their undergraduate experience, are now assets in their classrooms in those critical first years of teaching," Martinez said. "I am grateful so many of our faculty came to support our EdCats." 

Attending EdFest may have influenced the trajectory of Adam Bliesner's career. 

"The day after EdFest, I had a job interview and mentioned many of the ideas presented as strategies I would like to facilitate in my classroom," Bliesner said. "I also mentioned the tremendous support I had from my university and was offered the position two days later and accepted. My success becoming an educator is a direct result of the solid foundation the K-State College of Education has laid in preparing future educators. I'd like to thank Dean Debbie Mercer and Dr. Martinez for their vision in mentoring young educators as we embark on the journey of teaching the youth of America." 

In the afternoon group session, Ferrell presented on genius hour; Meghan Chapman, Andover Public Schools, presented flexible seating/Skype; April Kuckelman, Valley Heights USD 498, presented service learning ideas and Eric De La Rosa, Bonner Springs presented coding/Sphero. 

The following individuals presented sessions: 

Jeff Eckelberry, 3-D printing, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383

Angle Motley, monster storms, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383

James Alberto, robotic design, K-State College of Education instructor

Ian Roberts, roller coasters, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383

Rachel Whetstone, science of sports, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383

Julie Myers, solar construction, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383

Meshell Thornley, thinking through games, Manhattan-Ogden USD-383 

For more information about EdCats, please visit coe.ksu.edu/edcats/.

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