LHU hosts Professional Development Virtual Conference

LOCK HAVEN — The University School Connections Committee of the Department of PreK-Grade 8 and Professional Studies at Lock Haven University hosted a University School Connections Professional Development Virtual Conference recently.

The session, “Teaching 101” featured Arianna Figured, 2020 LHU graduate. Figured is a fourth-grade teacher at St. John Neumann Regional Academy Elementary Campus in Williamsport.

PreK-4 Program preservice teacher candidates enrolled in professional block semester courses attended the virtual conference sessions as follows:

Session 1: Balancing (Surviving) In-Person and Virtual Instruction with Student Supports, presented by Aaron Slusser and Heaven Reinard

Slusser is a professional K-12 school counselor in the Milton Area School District with more than 14 years of experience and is certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Along with working with students, he is also an adjunct instructor at Bloomsburg University, president of the Susquehanna Valley School Counselor’s Association and a doctoral student at the University of the Cumberlands. His current research interests include K-12 career development and school counselor professional identity.

Reinard is an English language arts (ELA) teacher in the Milton Area School District with 11 years’ experience teaching ELA and special education. Reinard was Milton’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year, is working toward earning her principal certification and is a doctoral student at Immaculata University. Her current research interests include the national teacher shortage and teacher recruitment and retention, which has led her to create, in conjunction with Bloomsburg University’s College of Education, a Future Teachers of America chapter within the Milton School District.

Session 2: Using Flexible Rubric Designs to Evaluate Student Writing Samples: Secrets to Sanity, presented by Melissa J. Mabus

Mabus is an ELA teacher with eight years of experience who is passionate about encouraging student success and growth. She has developed effective strategies for helping students to break through mental barriers to develop as readers, writers, speakers and listeners. Mabus holds bachelor’s degrees in music, theatre and English, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She has directed and mounted nine theatrical/musical theater productions and serves as the facilitator of the Poetry Out Loud competition.

Session 3: Teaching 101 featured Arianna Figured

Figured is a fall 2020 LHU graduate of the PreK- 4 Program who immediately began teaching.

LHU students enjoyed insightful content sessions, participated in discussions and asked challenging questions. Some student responses included, “really relevant to our upcoming placements” and “enjoyed hearing about how teachers are finding balance during the pandemic teaching situation.”

The University School Connections Committee was founded in 2017 to create and support partnerships between local school districts and Lock Haven University, Department of PreK-Grade 8 and Professional Studies. Focused on improving the educational experiences of children in local schools, the committee seeks to ensure highly effective teachers upon induction into PreK-Grade 8 classrooms. The University School Connections Committee emphasizes the sustainability of school university partnerships through opportunities to provide professional development to preservice teacher candidates, teachers in practice and university teacher educators.

The University School Connections Professional Development Virtual Conference was organized by University School Connections Committee members and LHU professors Dr. Marianne Lovik-Powers and Dr. Suzanne E. Swartz.


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