News Archives: School of Education

HPU education students travel to London

By Kendyl Moore ’14

BROWNWOOD – July 29, 2014 – Eight education majors from Howard Payne University traveled to London recently to learn firsthand about the British education system and compare it to education in Texas.

London group final for webHPU’s School of Education travels to London every other year to allow as many students as possible to attend. Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, associate professor of education, served as the trip sponsor and described it as an incredible learning experience.

“Even though things are done differently in the British education system, it’s still a good way of doing them,” states Dr. Lehrer. “This trip provides a great way to observe a different culture in a setting that’s familiar.”

The group stayed in London but took day trips to Warwick Castle, Hampton Court Palace and the village of Herne Bay. At Herne Bay, on the coast near Canterbury in Kent, the students spent a full day observing a primary school classroom. They compared the differences in teaching styles and the education systems in Britain and Texas.

They were also able to see many historical and educational sites in and around London including Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, the London Eye and more.

“My wish is that every HPU student has the opportunity to travel,” says Dr. Lehrer. “It opens up students’ minds and expands their worldviews.”

The students who went on the trip were Jeremy Bartley, senior from Brownwood; Shelby Byrd, senior from Brownwood; Casey Coffee, senior from Early; Allyson Gainey, senior from Kermit; Katie Mann, junior from Blanket; Kensey Martinez, senior from Brownwood; Jill Parson, sophomore from Llano; and Whitney Turnacliff, senior from Andrews.

In addition to Dr. Lehrer, trip sponsors included Jill Underwood, adjunct instructor of education, and Paula Hoyle Morelock, former educator and HPU alumna.

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Photo cutline: Students and faculty from HPU’s School of Education recently traveled to London. Left to right: Jill Underwood, Katie Mann, Jeremy Bartley, Whitney Turnacliff, Allyson Gainey, Kensey Martinez, Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, Shelby Byrd, Paula Morelock, Casey Coffee and Jill Parson.

HPU education professor publishes children’s book

Dr Voss and book for webBROWNWOOD – June 5, 2014 – Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education at Howard Payne University, never really intended to write a children’s book but, according to Voss, God had other plans. In response to the 2013 Moore, Okla., tornado, Dr. Voss penned “Gavriel and Giselle: Anilange,” a book dedicated to all disaster survivors.

“I remember watching the tornado coverage on TV and wondering, as a former kindergarten teacher, would I have been able to stay calm and keep my students calm,” she said.

The answer, as written on the back cover of her new book, is “a definite ‘yes,’ but only with God’s help.”

Dr. Voss was on a road trip a few weeks after the tornado when God revealed the story to her in a “colorful movie format.” In a hurry to capture the story, she began dictating the scenes on her iPhone. When she arrived home, it took a day to transcribe everything into text and several months to revise and refine.

The story is designed to bring comfort to children, parents, teachers and communities following any tragic event. Intended for second- and third-grade audiences, the book contains the appropriate vocabulary and literary devices. It is illustrated by Dr. Voss’ son, Ben Voss, a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Lubbock.

Dr. Voss has donated the book to many school districts, hoping it will be read in classrooms in towns that – like Moore and the fictional community in the book – have experienced disasters.

“This is God’s story and He wanted me to spread the word,” she said. “I’ve learned when God nudges you to do something, you obey.”

“Gavriel and Giselle: Anilange” is available for purchase at retailers including Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It may also be purchased through the publisher at www.westbowpress.com.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education at HPU, holds a copy of her new book, “Gavriel and Giselle: Anilange.”

HPU students and faculty member recognized for life-saving actions

hpu canoe class for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Nine Howard Payne University students and a faculty member are being hailed as heroes after their quick actions prevented a potential tragedy. Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science, and members of his basic canoeing class were recognized last week by the Board of Directors of the Brown County Water Improvement District for rescuing a would-be drowning victim at Lake Brownwood.

After several weeks of classroom instruction, Dr. Beelby and his students arrived at the lake on the evening of September 17 for the first time as a group. Thunderstorms earlier in the day, however, had threatened to disrupt plans to hold class on the water.

“The lake is one of the last places you want to be in the event of lightning, of course,” Dr. Beelby said. “But conditions improved and I made the decision late in the day to go ahead with the class.”

The class met near the shore as the clouds continued to dissipate. Instructing them to be on the lookout for lightning, Dr. Beelby moved his students into a remote area with deeper water. The group was working on capsize drills when several students noticed a young woman in the distance.

“She was about 60 meters away from us in deep water, screaming and flailing her arms,” Dr. Beelby said. “We rushed over to help.”

One student gave the teenage girl his personal flotation device, and Dr. Beelby kept her secured to the canoe as other students paddled them safely to shore. As Dr. Beelby tended to the girl, several students paddled to the other shore to retrieve their cell phones and call 911. The group then provided emotional support to the girl while waiting for the police to arrive.

Lt. Scotty Burke of the Lake Patrol was one of the first to arrive on the scene. Weeks later, he stood in the meeting room of the Brown County Water Improvement District Board of Directors, recognizing the members of the HPU group for their “selfless actions.”

Students honored for preventing this tragedy included Courtney Beene, a senior from Oak Leaf; Ethan Ferrel, a junior from Childress; Dacia Griffin, a junior from Early; Mallory Orms, a senior from Springtown; Colin Pritchard, a sophomore from Crawford; Jacob Sadler, a sophomore from Liberty Hill; Courtney Seybert, a sophomore from Bangs; Kristian Simpson, a sophomore from Burnet; and Sarah Wright, a freshman from Beaumont.

Dr. Beelby attributes the young woman’s rescue to promptings from the Holy Spirit.

“The weather was poor and everything that could go wrong that day had gone wrong,” he said. “Any other time, I would have cancelled class. But the Holy Spirit directed our paths. The Lord must have some wonderful plan for this young girl.”

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Photo cutline: Nine HPU students and a faculty member were recognized by Lt. Scotty Burke of the Lake Patrol for their actions in preventing a tragedy. From left: Lt. Burke, Courtney Seybert, Dacia Griffin, Sarah Wright, Courtney Beene, Ethan Ferrel, Kristian Simpson, Jacob Sadler and Dr. Rick Beelby. Not pictured are Mallory Orms and Colin Pritchard.

Give yourself the gift of an HPU graduate education this holiday season

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2012 – This Christmas, Howard Payne University is encouraging people from Brownwood and beyond to give themselves the gift of a master’s education from HPU. The university offers four master’s degree programs, with a new semester beginning January 15.

The newest graduate program at HPU, the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, will provide preparation for those who will minister to people through the local church and other related ministries, as well as provide a foundation for further graduate theological education. The 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to be accessible to ministry students who are currently serving in locations away from the Brownwood area, and relocation is not required.

The second master’s option from HPU’s School of Christian Studies is the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. This program provides preparation for those who will minister to teenagers and their families through the local church and other related ministries. The curriculum contains a combination of courses that emphasize biblical, theological and practical application. Like the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree, the 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to work with the schedules of those serving away from the Brownwood area.

Those who are interested in becoming a school principal in the State of Texas are encouraged to apply to HPU’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership program. With a 100 percent online delivery, this 30-hour, non-thesis degree allows students to attain their professional goals and advance their careers on their own schedule.

HPU’s Master of Business Administration degree is also designed to work around busy schedules. All courses are offered at night and on weekends and the 30-hour, non-thesis program can be completed in as few as 12 months. HPU’s MBA program concentrates on equipping students for future leadership roles, while also aiding them in their current careers.

For more information about HPU’s master’s programs, or any of the more than 100 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs, visit www.hputx.edu or call the university’s Office of Admission at 1-800-880-4478 or 325-649-8020.

HPU providing professional development for area teachers

BROWNWOOD – July 26, 2012 – Fifteen area science and math teachers, along with two elementary school principals, are on the Howard Payne University campus this summer participating in a three-week professional development experience.

“The teachers are learning and sharing many hands-on activities which integrate math and science and use technology,” said Dr. Pam Bryant, head of HPU’s Department of Physical Sciences.

pam_bryant_teaching_for_webBryant, along with Dr. Mike Rosato, dean of the School of Education, co-authored a grant proposal to the Teacher Quality Grants Program to integrate the Apple iPad 2 into the 5th grade classroom, along with in-depth studies of force, motion and energy for the teachers.

As part of the grant, each teacher receives an iPad 2, a stipend and many hands-on activities and iPad applications to take back to his or her classroom. According to Rosato, the teachers will be better equipped to integrate some of the latest technology in their respective classrooms, which research indicates increases student engagement and learning.

Activity leaders include Bryant; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, associate professor of physical science; Wendy Grooms, associate professor of mathematics; and Tonya Horner, associate professor of mathematics. These sessions will extend into monthly experiences for the participants during the fall and spring semester of the 2012-2013 academic year.

This summer experience for teachers is made possible by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Teacher Quality Grants Program, which provides funding to higher education institutions to promote improved instruction in mathematics and science for Texas school children by providing professional development for their teachers. According to the THECB website, the Teacher Quality Grants Program makes awards through a competitive review process, with the most highly ranked and recommended projects being selected for funding.

Participating schools are Bangs Middle School, Brookesmith Elementary, Brownwood Intermediate, Coleman Elementary, Comanche Middle School, Early Elementary, Goldthwaite Elementary, May Elementary, Richland Springs Elementary and Rising Star Elementary.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Pam Bryant, standing, instructs a class of area middle school teachers as part of HPU’s participation with the Teacher Quality Grants Program.

HPU education students visit London schools

BROWNWOOD – June 25, 2012 – Nine Howard Payne University education students recently returned from a trip to London where they visited schools to compare the Texas and London education systems.

education_students_at_kensington_palace_for_webThe group visited Knollmead Primary School and Chessington Community College, a college prep school, both in the Royal Borough of Kingston.

“Our trip provided education students the opportunity to experience another educational system and discover common techniques and strategies as well as appreciate distinct differences,” said Lauren Kirk, instructor of education.

At the schools, HPU students met and observed British students of all ages. Older students from Chessington answered questions posed by the HPU group, resulting in lively discussions.

“While at Chessington we were also able to visit with a student teacher and compare her university experience as a prospective teacher to what our students do at Howard Payne,” Kirk said.

According to Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, assistant professor of education at HPU, the group noticed many differences in education in America and England.

“At Knollmead, several observations were made by our students,” Lehrer said. “The students all wear uniforms, there is much activity in the classrooms and not many textbooks in sight and, even in the very cool spring, the students have 10 weeks of swimming in an outside heated pool.”

The HPU group also had the opportunity to see the sites in and around London.

“London is a logical choice of traveling abroad because of the common language,” Lehrer said. “Another attraction of London is the wonderful historic sites we visited: Westminster Abbey, Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace, Imperial War Museum, Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum, Kensington Palace and the London Eye. We also traveled to Bath and toured the Roman Baths which are more than 2,000 years old.”

HPU students on the trip included Tonie Contreras, a May graduate from Early; Maddie Daugherty, a senior from Temple; Aimee Gow, a senior from Iowa Park; Kyle Heidelberg, a senior from Rowlett; Lori Horn, a senior from Granbury; Alisha Locklear, a May graduate from Bertram; Tiffany Minshew, a May graduate from Brownwood; Bianca Monge, a senior from Fort Worth; and Steffanie Sharp, a senior from Early. Trip sponsors included Kirk; Lehrer; and Brenda McLendon Alexander, senior vice president for finance and administration, and husband, Eddie Alexander.

“Professors Lehrer and Kirk did an outstanding job leading this international study abroad opportunity,” said Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of the School of Education. “Our students experienced first-hand the similarities and differences between the two educational systems. This is yet another tangible example of the high-quality instructional opportunities Howard Payne University students can experience.”

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Photo cutline: HPU students visited Kensington Palace while in London. Pictured are, from left, Alisha Locklear, Lauren Kirk, Tiffany Minshew, Tonie Contreras, Steffanie Sharp, Bianca Monge, Lori Horn, Maddi Daugherty, Aimee Gow, Kyle Heidelberg and Dr. Mitzi Lehrer.