Anwer Al-Zahrani, Ed.D. Instructional Technology, ’15, was in October named deputy for Curriculum and Quality Assurance at Jubail Industrial College.
John R. Almond, B.S. ’68, M.S.Ed. ’75, and Anita J. Almond, ’68, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 31. The couple was married Dec. 31, 1966, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in DeKalb. They raised two sons and are now both retired, John from a teaching career and Anita from a computer consulting career.
Colette Yeiser Boyd, B.A. ’71, M.S.Ed. ’74, was elected to the Oliver Wolcott Library Board of Trustees in Litchfield, Conn.
P.J. Fleck, B.S. Ed. ’04, Elementary Education, was named Jan. 6 as head coach of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. Fleck’s new job comes on the heels of a triumphant career at Western Michigan University, where he led the Broncos to a 2016 Mid-American Conference championship and a berth in the Jan. 2 Cotton Bowl. Read more...
“I actually had a news alert set up on Google, and it kept popping up on there – CBS News, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Scientific American, People magazine, Wired.com, CNN, hundreds of news outlets in the U.S., U.K, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East,” he adds. “The news anchors even talked about it on ‘Good Morning America,’ and BBC-TV contacted us.”
The life Robert Roy “Gus” Trantham launched here at Northern in 1949 has taken him around the world – from serving in the Korean War as a U.S. Navy lieutenant, to conducting business in China, to raising four children in suburban Glen Ellyn. His journey came full circle when he returned to NIU Saturday to pick up the diploma he earned 63 years ago.
“Sometimes you feel like you didn’t do it if you weren’t there,” said Trantham, 85.
But he was there Saturday. With his service dog Henri, his grandson U.S. Navy Captain Michael Guare by his side, over 25 family, and the entire Convocation Center cheering him on, Trantham accepted his diploma from NIU President Doug Baker at the College of Education Commencement.
Diploma in hand, Trantham said: “This was the best day ever!”
Check out some of the coverage of Gus’ big day: Read more...
The NIU College of Education’s ongoing Community Learning Series continues Thursday, Oct. 22 when the college welcomes back three distinguished alumni to share their experiences as educators and school administrators and provide insights into what it takes to be successful in today’s classrooms.
The guests will also provide an “on-the-ground” look at some of the pressing issues facing local schools and school districts, including the impact of the Illinois budget crisis, Common Core and student testing.
Dr. Brad Hawk, assistant professor in the COE’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Leadership as well as a former school superintendent himself, will moderate the panel, which includes:
Douglas Moeller, superintendent, DeKalb School District 428
Erika Schlichter, chief academic officer, District 158
Steven Koch, principal, Prairie Ridge High School
“All of our guests have been highly successful teachers who have moved up through the system, through a variety of jobs at a variety of districts,” Hawk said. “Their comments will be valuable to anyone seeking a career as a teacher but also for teachers – prospective or veteran – who are interested in taking on administrative roles.” Read more...
If you had asked Mina Blazy if she aspired to be a teacher back while she was a student at Proviso East High School, she would have told you “no.”
But the fond memories of a 10th grade chemistry teacher at that high school continue to inspire her hands-on approach to teaching – teaching science especially — today.
“You’d go by his class and he’d be lighting something on fire,” she said. “We made candy from a chemical equation in his class. I had the most fun in that classroom. He made science come alive.”
When that teacher retired and learned that Blazy (B.S. Ed. Elementary Education ’99) was teaching, he sent her all of his lessons.
Earlier this year Blazy opened the Gus Franklin Jr. STEM Academy, in Victorville, Calif., where she is currently principal.
“The academy is a huge success,” she said of its launch. “We have students from kindergarten through sixth grade learning and exploring engineering concepts through project-based learning.” Read more...
Marian Cheatham (B.S. Ed. ’77) might not exist today were it not for an ancestor’s premonition — and avoidance — of the very disaster that launched Cheatham’s career.
Cheatham is a full-time writer of contemporary and historical young adult fiction. Her debut young adult novel, “Eastland,” is based on the real story of the 1915 Eastland boating disaster that claimed the lives of 844 people in Chicago. As a child, Cheatham learned that her grandmother was somehow linked to the deadly shipwreck, but it wasn’t until she had started her writing career that she learned her grandmother was supposed to be on the ship that day. She had given up her ticket at the urging of her mother, however, who had an ominous feeling about the trip.
Cheatham now lectures about the Eastland disaster to schools, libraries and book clubs, and writes a post on the subject on the Chicago Tribune’s “Chicago Now” blog site. The ill-fated ship’s story became especially prominent this year when a recent NIU graduate discovered chilling original newsreels of the disaster, just in time for its 100th anniversary this summer.