Keeping us connected
December 2022
A Message From the Dean
December always goes by very quickly in the School of Education. There are holiday celebrations, final exams, our Pinning and Hooding Ceremony, and Commencement all squeezed into the first two weeks. This December, we had our largest group of graduates to honor. We will have pictures of these events featured in our January newsletter. After the whirlwind that was the first two weeks, it is very peaceful in the SOE, and we are spending our days enrolling new students for the spring semester and getting grades finalized and recorded. I have found time to finish up some projects from first semester, as the staff and I prepare for our Christmas vacation beginning next week.  

It seems like this Christmas season, I have more people asking me, “Are you ready for Christmas?” They of course mean have I bought all of my presents? Are all of the decorations displayed? Have I made plans with my family for where we will do our celebrating? To each of those questions, I can say yes, I am ready. But then I think about the real reason we are doing all of this celebrating, the birth of our Savior, I’m not sure how much preparation I have put into honoring Him. Jay and I have a few charities that we support at the holidays and Christmas is on a Sunday this year, so of course, we will be in church. But in my heart, am I really ready? I hope you will resolve with me in the coming few days before Christmas to reflect more on the miraculous birth of Jesus, when God became a flesh and blood man in order to conquer death for all of humanity. For believers this incarnation is the beginning of our salvation story. As we gather with family and friends this Christmas to enjoy food and fellowship, gifts and decorations, and pageantry and presentation, let us make sure we keep the focus on the one who makes it all possible, Jesus. 

As has become our tradition in the SOE, we wanted to share a bit of our faculty and staff family Christmas traditions and celebrations with you, our extended SOE family. Merry Christmas!


"And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1: 14-16 NIV
Merry Christmas from the School of Education!
“These are a few of my favorite things.”
Pictured: Nathan and Lori Petrie, Sara and Trey Allen

Susan Burress started celebrating the season early by attending the Louisville Orchestra's presentation of Handel's Messiah on December 3. She said, "The music was glorious." She plans to continue celebrating the season with Richard Salmon and her family.

Elizabeth Franklin spent Thanksgiving with her mother-in-law, her husband, and her adorable toddler. Her family plans to participate in every small town Campbellsville activity during the month of December and go back to grandma's on Christmas day.

Dr. Lisa Fulks (pictured in the middle in green) will spend the season surrounded by family. They decorate and bake together and fill the season with lots of quality family time and a few Disney movies.
Dr. Sharon Hundley (pictured second on right) had a beautiful family Thanksgiving and has plans for a warm Christmas. Hundley and her husband Richard celebrate their anniversary in December, as well the birth of Christ. They plan to lie on the beach in Costa Maya, Mexico, then head up to New Orleans and, finally fly on to San Diego to spend time with her daughter and their family.

Her favorite Christmas present this year is the new grandchild her youngest daughter Victoria is carrying. Though December 25 is the traditional day gifts are exchanged, this one isn't due to arrive until February.

Dr. Joetta Kelly walked in the Christmas parade in Western Kentucky with her daughters and grandchildren. It was cold but they had fun.

They plan to be together Christmas morning. The day holds matching pajamas, breakfast, gifts, and a church service.

The Magruders can escape a room, but won't skip out on the chance to make memories this holiday season. Dr. Robin Magruder (center, in white sweater) looks forward to spending time with her family during the Christmas break. She also looks forward to reading, crocheting, and relaxing.
Dominic Sanfilippo and his family are planning an East Coast Christmas. They will be taking their cute and cheerful children to visit family in Georgia and South Carolina.

The Steeles + one (Erin’s fiancé at center back) need to schedule our Christmas cookie-baking and decorating event. Alice made tree ornaments for each of them from Mamaw Carleen Steele’s button collection. The “kids” decorate the family tree with ornaments given them each year and by now those are the only ornaments they have room for on the tree. The kids spend Christmas Eve with mom and dad, and they wake on Christmas morning to the ringing of ornament bells calling them to open gifts.

The Thomas family, pictured participating in one of their favorite holiday activities, will spend Christmas together: opening gifts, playing games, watching a movie, and eating (a lot).
Dr. Rocky Wallace, pictured on right, plans a "grand" Kentucky Christmas with his immediate family, including his beautiful grandchildren.
The Wiesmans plan to spend their time visiting family over the Christmas break. Fortunately that family is in Florida, so they will have a warm sunny Christmas.
School of Education Travel Opportunities
Participate in our School of Education Belize Servant Leadership opportunity. Enroll by November 15 to receive the Early Bird Discount! Travel is May 29 – June 7. The School of Education provides tutoring services to students in Belize at all age/grade levels. We collect needed supplies to distribute to schools and children’s homes. Educational learning excursions include a visit to the ancient Mayan site of Xunantunich, an iguana farm, the Belize Zoo, the coral reef via a glass bottom boat with a snorkeling option, a spice farm, and a Mayan chocolate factory.

All are welcome – students, faculty, staff, family, and friends. Enroll with deposit using the CU app (e-market) or on the CU website. The e-market Resource section will take you to the School of Education Belize trip link. Please contact Dr. Sharon Hundley, or Rita Curtis, with questions.
Dr. Robin Magruder and Dr. Sharon Hundley welcome all interested parties to travel with them to Spain and Portugal in May 2023. During the 13-day trip, participants will visit Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Costa del Sol, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, and Lisbon. Current undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and family are all invited on the trip. For more information, please contact Dr. Robin Magruder,, or visit
We welcome news of alumni milestones, recognitions, awards, and commendations.
Please email them to Elizabeth Franklin,