Subscribe | Search archives | Submit a News Tip | Watch Inside NAU TV Nov. 12, 2009


corner corner

Daniel Kain, dean of the College of Education, spoke at the celebration on Tuesday. Photo by Dan Delaney

K-12 Center celebrates decade of teacher improvement

Northern Arizona University’s 100-year-old history of teacher education added an impressive component a decade ago, culminating in a celebration this week and a continuing verve for helping teachers improve.

NAU’s Arizona K-12 Center celebrated its 10th anniversary Tuesday with a gathering in downtown Phoenix. The real stars of the occasion, however, were the accomplishments and future plans of the center.

“When you graduate and leave a college of education—whether you’re a twenty-something or starting a new career—you are only beginning, and you will need support for the next 20 or 25 years,” said Kathy Wiebke, executive director of the Arizona K-12 Center. “We provide that support to teachers no matter where they are on that continuum.”

The center can boast of tripling the number of National Board Certified teachers, to 555, and developing a program that increased the number of master teachers from zero to 100. Master teachers become mentors to younger or less-experienced individuals, helping them progress throughout their careers.

Wiebke described the center as unique in filling the needs of practicing educators. It’s the only professional development center in Arizona, she said. “We provide development opportunities that are timely, relevant and meet the needs of the state’s teachers,” she said.

The center concentrates on three areas: learning, leadership and technology, offering 50 different learning opportunities, workshops and seminars annually. The K-12 Center offers teachers the opportunity to self-select, improving their own performance.

“We are empowering them to improve their own teaching and leadership skills,” said Penny Kotterman, the center’s associate director. “Often, development opportunities are prescribed for teachers, but our programs are offered for teachers by teachers.”

The center began in 1999 after a call by then-Gov. Jane Hull, a former elementary school teacher, to create an institute that would support teacher development and, in turn, improve student learning. The Arizona Legislature funded the Arizona K-12 Center, and over the years, it has expanded through collaborations with the three state universities and other national learning institutions, educational organizations and community and business leaders.

< back to Inside NAU E-mail this page




New Year’s holiday brings early paycheck
ITS to replace ‘Jan’
President’s Cabinet highlights
Unhealthy forests lurk under harmful mistletoe
San Francisco Street to reopen
Six-month renewal contracts begin Jan. 1
'Malware,’ viruses attacking NAU computers
Brighten the holidays for Flagstaff families
Submissions sought for NAU undergraduate writing competition
Vacation hours needed for Compassionate
Transfer of Leave participants
Obituary: Dot Reidelbach, former bookstore manager,
director of Reprographics
Delayed finals scheduled for Jan. 11 to 14
NAU Fulbright scholars teach worldwide
NAU biologist explores bizarre give-and-take between species
Athletics posts improved graduation success rate
University Marketing releases new online photo gallery
Grant fuels Native undergraduate mentors and research
Holiday break is good opportunity for using furlough days
NAU to implement e-mail sender quotas
NAU’s community college partnerships in sync with Lumina grant
Students design transit shelters for Grand Canyon gateway
Concrete plan cures cracks
NAUPD reminds drivers to follow posted traffic changes
Stay tuned when snow starts to fall


Mark Neumann, director of NAU's School of Communication, discusses the school's academic programs, changing technologies, and the school's student media center.

facebook trueblue youtube


Inside NAU is published by the NAU Office of Public Affairs for faculty, staff and friends of Northern Arizona University. We welcome story ideas related to NAU's mission, its employees and its students. Submit story ideas using our online form.

Publisher: John D. Haeger, President; Public Affairs: Tom Bauer,  Julie Bergman, Tracie Hansen, Lisa Nelson, Diane Rechel; Office Manager: Isa Rueda