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College of Education celebrates 50 years

  • Provost Gayle Davis
  • Elaine Collins, dean of the College of Education
  • Blue Apple Ceremony

Posted on August 13, 2014

Grand Valley’s College of Education is celebrating 50 years of providing quality teacher-education programs.

A kickoff ceremony was held August 12 at the Eberhard Center with a Blue Apple Ceremony, recognizing 12 outstanding alumni.

In its earliest plans, Grand Valley was intended to be a liberal arts college with little or no professional emphasis. As needs grew, Grand Valley adapted accordingly to provide teacher preparation programs. The initial cohort of Grand Valley students included 45 elementary and 39 secondary candidates.

Today, the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is one of the leading providers of teacher preparation programs in the state of Michigan.

Laker Blue Apple Award recipients included:
• Jenny (Yonkman) Bangma, teacher at Creative Technologies Academy
• J. Peter DeWitt, teacher at Catholic Central High School
• Eric Fey, teacher at West Michigan Aviation Academy
• Jason Grubaugh, teacher at Plainwell High School
• Tom Hosford, principal of Rockford Freshman Center
• Audra Kowalski, teacher at Bryon Center Charter School
• Tricia McPheron, dean of students at Eastern Middle School
• Jaymie Perry, teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School
• Sara Sposaro, teacher at Zinser Elementary
• Christopher Stabile, teacher at East Grand Rapids High School
• Mark VanderKlok, teacher at Alamo Elementary
• Colleen Waite, teacher at Ottawa Hills High School

Special events are planned throughout the year highlighting people, programs and partnerships.

For more information, visit

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