New faculty bring real-world experience to graduate teacher education programs at UW-River Falls


September 27, 2018 – Three new faculty have been hired to coordinate and teach graduate programs in the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“Each of these individuals brings stellar education and real-world teaching experience to their positions as graduate academic directors,” said Michael Harris, dean of the college. “I am sure that our graduate students will find them to be a valuable resource in achieving their educational goals.”

Hiawatha Smith, of St. Paul,  is the new director of the elementary education program within the graduate teacher education program. This teacher certification program provides a route for individuals with an undergraduate degree in an area other than education to become certified to teach in an elementary or early childhood classroom. Students may also earn a master of science in education degree. Hiawatha received his doctorate in educational studies from University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and has taught at both the university level and in K-12 classrooms. He has been a faculty member in the UWRF Teacher Education Department since August 2017.

The new director for the graduate Montessori teacher education program, Kateri Carver, began as the interim director last summer. Carver, of St. Paul,  has a doctorate from the University of North Carolina and holds Montessori credentials in early childhood, elementary I and II. Before joining UWRF in 2017, Carver was founder and director for 20 years of the International Montessori School in Durham, N.C., an immersion program offering tracks in French, Spanish and Chinese. She has also been a guide at Great River Montessori School in St. Paul. The UWRF Montessori Teacher Education Program is designed to prepare Montessori-credentialed teachers for schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Students can earn Montessori credentials and a master of science in education degree.

Elizabeth Janey, of Woodbury, Minn., is the new program director for the Professional Development Learning Community graduate program. She began redesigning this program in October 2017 and will begin teaching a new cohort of students in February 2019. This graduate program is intended to develop existing teachers into teacher leaders by providing the tools for reflection and evaluation to enhance child learning. Students take classes on weekends and evenings with online coursework as a cohort and complete their degree in five, six-credit terms. Janey received her doctoral degree in educational leadership from Hamline University and has worked as an educator in a variety of leadership roles in Minnesota schools.

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