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K-State Today

February 22, 2022

College of Education receives national recognition at NAPDS Conference

Submitted by Sarah Harper

The Professional Development School Network of Kansas State University's College of Education was honored recently by the National Association of Professional Development Schools, or NAPDS, with its Award for Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement.

Several representatives of the college's partnership were in attendance at the association's annual conference in Chicago on Feb. 10-11. The annual award recognizes distinctive Professional Development School partnerships.

The Professional Development School Network at K-State began in 1989 with an initial memorandum of understanding between the College of Education and Manhattan-Ogden USD 383. This 33-year partnership serves as the basis for the college's growing network of public schools and school districts working toward simultaneous renewal through research, professional development and high-quality field experiences for teacher education candidates.

In addition to the long-standing local partnership, the K-State PDS Network today includes the Shawnee Mission School District and 14 districts in the Rural Education Center's Rural PDS Network.

Attending the awards luncheon were Paula Hough, Diane Daniel, Julia Linkous, Hira Nair, Lauren Robinette, Darin Workman, Ian Adams, Annisa Bigler, all representing the college's partner districts, as well as Todd Goodson, Suzanne Porath, Cassandra Adams, Graciela Berumen, Diane Beets, Antonieta Morales, Eder Intriago Palacios, and Eileen Wertzberger, all of the College of Education.

Goodson, assistant dean for teacher education, said he believes the K-State PDS Network is engaging in groundbreaking innovations.

"Thanks to two federal Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants through the Rural Education Center, we have been able to place telepresence robots in rural schools across Kansas," Goodson said. "This technology enables remote field experiences for teacher education candidates and exposes the unique qualities of rural P-12 schools."

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, said the award recognizes the college's focus on strong relationships with partner districts.

"The College of Education has a long history of strengthening our teacher preparation program through strategic partnerships with schools," Mercer said. "This is the second time our partnership efforts have been named with this national award, making us the only institution to be recognized twice. It takes focused attention to ensure partnerships flourish across time and leaders. I am proud of this foundation, that ultimately benefits all — preservice teachers, in-service teachers, and P-12 students, and look forward to future advancements."