Education majors get sneak peek into classroom teaching through Williamsport partnership


More than 40 education majors from Commonwealth University's Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield locations recently got an inside look at each level of public education thanks to a collaborative project with the Williamsport Area School District.

The district-wide Field Day experience was made possible by to a $9,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) mini grant awarded to Dr. Priya Poehner, professor of education at CU-Lock Haven, and Dr. Daniel Roesch, associate professor of teaching and learning at CU-Bloomsburg, to promote "Sweetening the Teaching Experience" and to focus on building partnerships with area schools.

"This collaborative project provides students from all CU campuses the opportunity to observe and be mentored by master teachers in the K-12 district classrooms," Poehner said.

CU students were matched with teachers from their respective major emphasis - elementary, mid-level and secondary education - at Hepburn-Lycoming Primary School, Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, Williamsport Area Middle School, and Williamsport Area High School. They then spent the day observing and interacting with Williamsport teachers and students in classrooms, after an orientation session led by Williamsport administrators Dr. Richard Poole, assistant superintendent; Dr. Brandon Pardoe, director of student services; and Kristin Takach, secondary curriculum director.

"Welcoming and guiding new teachers as they enter into the profession is a refreshing opportunity," said Takach. "Commonwealth University's openness to creating a partnership is an asset to both of our organizations."

"That was by far the most important and valuable activity in my entire semester," said Ron Timko, a CU-Lock Haven secondary education major. "I would confidently guess that, once this is all said and done, it'll be the single most important event of my academic career. It succinctly and effectively bridged the gap between theory and practice, at a time when that gap seemed daunting and somewhat terrifying."

Participating CU students included: Emily Smeal, of Lock Haven; Emily Born, of Reading; Bailee Fox, of Williamsport; Isaiah Williams, of Williamsport; Caroline Kauffman, of Emigsville; Rachel Maurer, of Minersville; MaKenna Matthews, of Ulster; Mackenzie Vozniak, of Snow Shoe; Wanda Meredith, of State College; Skylar Lininger, of Howard; Kayla Bennett, of Sunbury; Gabby Finn, of Roseto; Hannah Lopez, of Emporium; Megan Chuhran, of Carrolltown; Kasie Saville, of Howard; Levi Storrs, of Columbia Crossroads; Russ Gleeson, of Catawissa; Addison Heasley, of Montgomery; Ron Timko, of Lock Haven; Meghan Corkle, of Millerstown; Huaixin Xue, of China; Avery Jessell, of Hughesville; Isaac Owens, of Frenchville; Antonio Perilli, of Summit Hill; Madison Kouf, of Watsontown; Charles Chambliss, of Mill Hall; Katherine Kling, of Perkasie; Ashley Ibarguen Gomez, of Wilkes Barre; Nicole Wood, of Pipersville; Megan Mengel, of Reading; Kelley Zarzycki, of Lederach; Chloe Corter, of Jersey Shore; and Elliot Dunn, of Landenberg.