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K-State Today

November 18, 2021

College of Education faculty present at National Forum to Advance Rural Education

Submitted by Sarah Harper

Several College of Education faculty members, including all from the college's Rural Education Center, shared their expertise in presentations and meetings at the National Forum to Advance Rural Education in Indianapolis, Nov. 11-12.

Jerry D. Johnson and Hobart L. Harmon presented "Fostering Collaborative Leadership for Living in Sustainable Rural Communities," which highlighted collaborative leadership as a key driver in achieving desirable economic, environmental and social qualities of future sustainable rural communities. They provided details of the International Rural Schools Leadership Project and lessons learned in a three-year evaluation of collaboration in a Victims of Crime project in rural Kentucky. Johnson is the chair of the educational leadership department and the Lydia E. Skeen endowed professor in education, and Harmon is the leader of strategic advancement at Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 in Pennsylvania and senior research associate in educational leadership at K-State.

Harmon also presented with colleagues from Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 on "Expanding STEM Resources to Underserved Rural Communities." The session focused on a project that increases access to learning resources in the IU's STEM Lending Center and helps make learning STEM more relevant to living and working in the rural region.

"Conducting an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with Latinx Parent Involvement" was the subject of a presentation by Pedro Silva Espinoza and F. Todd Goodson. They shared information regarding two school districts' processes to offer translation and interpretation services through individualized education plan meetings. Espinoza is a teaching assistant professor for the curriculum and instruction department and is the college's diversity point person. Goodson, professor and chair of curriculum and instruction, is assistant dean for teacher education and accreditation and the Elvon and Lydia Skeen endowed chair in education.

Lori Goodson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and assistant director of the Rural Education Center in the College of Education, and Goodson also presented on "Teacher Licensure Programs for Place-bound Students." Their virtual presentation provided information about two innovative K-State COE distance programs that deliver high-quality teacher credentialing course work and field experiences to place-bound students.

J. Spencer Clark, director of the Rural Education Center, attended the state directors meeting at the conference. Also attending that session were Denise O'Dea, superintendent of USD 108 Washington County Schools, and Darrel Kohlman, superintendent of USD 115 Nemaha Central Schools. O'Dea and Kohlman were special guests invited by Allen Pratt, executive director of the National Rural Education Association. Their districts are two of the 15 members of the K-State Rural Education Center's Rural Professional Development Network.

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