Towson Graduate Named as Candidate for National Teacher of the Year
Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship, a Towson University graduate and now high school English teacher, has been named one of just four candidates for National Teacher of the Year. Holmes-Blankenship graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in English from Towson University, and earned an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction at McDaniel College. She currently teachers English at Rising Sun High School in North East, Maryland. Holmes-Blankenship was also choses as 2012-13 Maryland Teacher of the Year last October.
The National Teacher of the Year will be announced in April. If chosen, Holmes-Blankenship would be the third Maryland teacher to receive the honor in seven years.
Nancy Grasmick named Towson University Presidential Scholar
President Maravene Loeschke named Nancy S. Grasmick, former superintendent of Maryland State Schools, the Towson University Presidential Scholar for Innovation in Teacher and Leader Education."Today is one of Towson University's finest hours as a national icon of excellence in education is coming home to her alma mater to guide and implement a powerful vision for preparing teachers and education leaders," said Loeschke. "Dr. Grasmick's work will tie together all three of the university’s top priorities: innovation in teacher education; STEM education for teacher preparation and for the work force; and leadership development for students, faculty and staff."
TU Professional Education Maintains
National and State Accreditation
The Towson University Professional Education Unit is pleased to announce the continuation of its full accreditation status, certified by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as of April 2008. The Unit was granted accreditation having met all of the rigorous, performance-based accreditation standards at the initial, continuing, and advanced preparation levels. At the exit conference of the on-site visit, the visiting NCATE/MSDE team, led by Dr. Arlinda Eaton, Associate Dean, California State University, Northridge, and Dr. Margaret Trader, Chair of the Education Department and NCATE Coordinator, McDaniel College (Maryland) commended the institution for the professional levels of excellence that characterize its comprehensive preparation programming.
NCATE President Arthur Wise, in his formal letter of notification to Towson University President Robert Caret and College of Education Dean Raymond Lorion, congratulated the Unit "for displaying the high quality necessary to be granted national accreditation." He also expressed appreciation for the cooperation received from the faculty, staff and administration.
In response to the letter Dr. Lorion stated, "National accreditation, the profession's most rigorous mechanism to establishing high quality programs, is critical and well-deserved recognition of the excellence of our professional education unit, and reflects university-wide responsibility for professional education. Through the collaborative efforts of our faculty, staff, students, and P-12 colleagues, the Unit provided compelling evidence of candidates’ performance-based knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Professional accreditation ensures that we will maintain high standards of quality as Maryland’s premier professional education institution and continue to prepare the best possible candidates to educate our children.”
For more information on the accreditation, contact Dr. Jeff Kenton, Assistant Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org.