Keeping us connected
October 2022
A Message From the Dean
October 2022 began with Homecoming weekend. It was a fun family time for the School of Education as we hosted a tailgating event. It was wonderful to get together with the families of our faculty and staff in addition to retired faculty, alumni, current students, and even a future student and her parents.  We celebrated in the traditional Homecoming way in the SOE, a float, a Homecoming queen candidate, and lots of food! I want to especially thank Don Cheatham who was on triple duty for the day, driving the Homecoming Float, cooking the hamburgers and hotdogs, and escorting our Homecoming queen candidate out onto the football field. 

One of the best things about working at Campbellsville University is the emphasis placed on continual personal, professional, and spiritual growth. October provides a great opportunity for all three as we as a campus community observe Dialogue on Race. When you dialogue, you engage in a conversation that implies both sharing and listening for the specific purpose of learning. We have an opportunity for this dialogue through people who volunteer to lead conversations in classes during the month.  

This year, I had the privilege of facilitating the conversation with one of Tiffany Early’s classes, a delightfully diverse group of freshmen. They came from all over the United States and even two other countries. There were students from urban areas and students from rural areas. There were many athletes in the room and some musicians. They represented almost every major on campus. We had students of color, students of ethnic diversity, and students of differing abilities.  

I used an online resource called Living Room Conversations to guide our dialogue. It begins with some getting-to-know-you questions aimed at helping the participants think a bit more deeply about themselves as they got to know each other. The favorite question to answer for our group was, “What would your best friend say about who you are?” We learned that we were a group of loyal, friendly, optimistic, faithful people.  

Then we got into the meat of the conversation. The three questions students had a choice to answer were:
•Were conversations about race a part of your upbringing? If so, how was the subject approached? How did the people around you talk about other races?
•Do you feel your race impacts your daily life? If so, how?
•Have you ever been accused of being racist? How did it make you feel? Did it affect the way you think or act? Why or why not?
•What would a society that values racial and ethnic differences look like? What hopes and fears come up for you thinking about that society?

Many students chose to answer the first question, describing conversations that their parents had with them about how to be safe in this world. I thought about the conversations that I had with my children growing up, and while the advice I gave my children was the same, I know that my fears for their safety were not. We also had some students answer the last question, and their responses made me feel very hopeful for the society we are working to build.  

Speaking of building a society, November 8 is right around the corner, and I encourage everyone to vote. Sometimes we don’t think it is as important during a midterm election to use our voice (vote), but it is our civic duty, and one we should take seriously. We only need to look at other countries to realize the opportunities we have here in the U.S. are precious. Many have sacrificed much for us to be able to vote. In voting, we honor them.

I pray the Lord prospers you and your family during this fall season.


“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”    Revelations 7: 9-10 NIV 
A Spotlight on Special Education
in Adair County
Will Rich has been teaching at Adair County High School (ACHS) since 2015. He works “with the best people on the planet” in a “wonderful environment.” ACHS has a dedicated Special Education classroom with five teachers. Rich says it benefits the students and helps the teachers “deal with the stress of the legalities of writing an IEP.”

All his life Rich has been eager to be a part of and to serve locally in Columbia. “I have always had a passion for the youth in our community and knew that teaching was a great way to be able to better the lives of individuals in our town.” He grew up in Adair County and married his high school sweetheart. He and his wife serve as youth ministers at their local church. In 2016 he completed his Master of Arts in Special Education at Campbellsville University.

Rich had servant leadership modeled for him from a young age. His mom was a teacher and a principal. Rich noted “even on her worst days she found joy in her profession through the kids.” That is the same joy that Rich finds in his job. “The best part of teaching is, and always will be, the kids. Being able to work with the kids in my community and help to better their lives is an absolute blessing.”

Despite the passion and purpose Rich feels for his profession, he admits it is not always a walk in the park. There are many challenges. For example, this is the first complete school year without virtual students since COVID began. Functionally that means the last time seniors were in the classroom full-time they were freshmen. Rich says, “Getting everyone back into the rhythm of the rigor of a full school day as well as the social aspects of being around other students all day has been challenging.”

Rich de-stresses by spending time with his family. They have two adorable boys who brave little weekend trips and small adventures together.
Born to Teach
Karey Sellers, a first grade teacher at Liberty Elementary School in Casey County, Ky., loves to talk about innovation. She enjoys introducing inquiry and creativity to her students, and her passion for her craft is contagious.

She smiles when explaining her daily ‘learning’ culture. “In my classroom, I love to provide students the opportunity to have experiences during our lessons. Over the last few years, I have worked to gain skills in the area of student engagement. I love doing classroom transformations where I reinvent my room and create activities and lessons to keep my students engaged and learning the entire day!”

No stranger to Campbellsville University, holding three degrees from CU, Sellers sings praises for the school. She was Valedictorian in 2018 when she completed her BA in Elementary Education. She went on to earn a Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Education with a Gifted and Talented endorsement, and a Master of Education in Educational Administration in 2022.

She adds, with a smile, “Oh, don’t count me out if CU one day offers a doctorate in education. I’ll probably be right there, signing up for degree number four! CU prepared me for the classroom and allowed me to gain many experiences that helped me transition into the role of teacher easily. I loved my time at Campbellsville and I am so grateful for the impact my teachers had on me.”

In her fifth year of teaching, Sellers’ approach aligns well with the ’best practice’ model classroom of the 21st Century. And the parents of her students agree. One states, “My son loves her. She is so good with the kids. His face lights up when I mention Miss Karey.”

Her principal, David McFadden, adds, “The creativity in Miss Karey's classroom transformations is amazing. There is nothing like seeing the looks of wonder in the students' eyes as they enter the room decorated for the different themes. The students are excited to come to school each day and eager to learn.”

When asked why she first wanted to go into education, Sellers explained, “I have always loved working with children! I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was in the first grade.”

She explains her perfect day as a teacher: “I love an engaging lesson! It is as fun for me as it is for the kids. When we are learning in a different and exciting way, they never know what is next. School should be fun, and learning should be exciting!”

Sellers has been recognized for her work beyond Casey County as well, including being named Top 4 Gold Star Teacher of the Year with Get Your Teach On, Forcht Bank and LEX18 Extra Credit Teacher of the Week, and is a member of the Get Your Teach On Magic Squad – volunteers who work with educators across the country as professional development opportunities.
Exceptional Work in Taylor County
Congratulations to Taylor County Primary Center's Red Bird Award winner for October 21, Ms. Cassie Emery!

Ms. Emery was nominated by both a parent and a colleague. They said: "She’s always fantastic. My son was in her room last year and had to miss the first day of school, however, she Zoomed us and introduced him to his classmates and even read a book to the class and him still on Zoom. She came to his functions outside of school and met me during the summer to give him some things he forgot after having her wisdom teeth removed. She still responds when I reach out and always is available and reassuring. She wants to make sure every child succeeds." And "She continues to work tirelessly beyond the classroom with PTA duties. She keeps the staff informed and always answers questions with a smile."

Emery graduated from CU with her bachelor's degree in 2019. She double majored in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and P-5.
Read Across America Grant
CU's Aspiring Educators/Educators Rising will partner with the Taylor County Public Library to host a preschool story-time in honor of Read Across America. October 26, Lou Ann Flanagan, the Kentucky Educators Association UniServ director, presented our chapter with a $250 check to purchase books. Cherita Barlow, Taylor County Public Library Director, is helping CU coordinate the St. Patrick's Day themed pre-school story time which will take place in March.

Along with the purchase of books, the grant also provides funds for the purchase of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) project books to prepare integrated literacy activities. Dr. Elisha Lawrence, assessment chair and Education Peer Group co-sponsor said, "We are grateful to receive these funds as it will allow our peer group members an opportunity to partner with our library to promote early literacy in our community!"
Front row: Cherita Barlow, Taylor County Library Director; Kate Cecil; Lou Ann Flanagan, Don Cheatham. Back row: Dr. Elisha Lawrence, Reagan Schatz, Dr. Holly Graham
Education Peer Group: Service
Don Cheatham and student Kate Cecil "scooping goop" for young participants of a Homeplace Halloween at the Homeplace on Green River.
Saturday, October 21, members of the Freshman Education Orientation class, along with Education Peer Group council members, volunteered at a Fall Festival event at Homeplace on Green River. The Homeplace Halloween consisted of many crafts and activities. There were pumpkins to carve, faces to paint, and a corn maze to navigate.

The Education Peer Group earned a portion of the event sales but decided to support the local community and donated the money back to Homeplace. Homeplace provides a great indoor outdoor classroom and learning environment. They partner with different organizations to provide a range of entertainment and activities. The Education Peer Group looks forward to working with Program Director Lyn Stanton in the future.
Education Peer Group: Support
On Thursday, October 6, members of the Education Peer Group council held a CAP 2 Night. This was an event where they connected with main campus, online, and regional CU Education majors to offer a hybrid pre-professional development session to prepare the undergraduates for CAP 2 admission to the School of Education.

Attendees joined the session in-person and online to hear tips from their peers on successful preparation for this milestone in the Education program. This event was well attended and hybrid events will continue to be offered each semester so all Education majors have the opportunity to feel supported.
Seniors Kate Cecil and Reagan Schatz going over CAP 2 requirements with freshmen and sophomores.
Education Peer Group: Fellowship
On Wednesday, October 26 the Education Peer Group sponsored a Fall Fun night. The original plans called for an outdoor firepit and s'mores, but had to be changed at the last minute due to a local burn ban. But our Education students are nothing if not resourceful. With a little creativity and the help of an electric s'more maker, students were able to roast marshmallows and enjoy the evening in doors.

Wengerd's Produce & Fruit Market graciously donated over 40 mini pumpkins and gourds to our peer group to decorate and share with attendees. The snacks and the activities made for a fun night of fellowship!
A Melodious Homecoming
Front row: Holly Thomas, Rachael Williams, Mary Jane Wilkerson, Dr. Elisha Lawrence, Reagan Schatz, and Kate Cecil. Second row: Angela Wilson, Don Cheatham, Dr. Holly Graham, and Nora Harris
Every Homecoming is special but this year we celebrated some significant milestones; Fighting Tiger Football, which debuted in 1987, celebrated its 35th anniversary. The Tiger Marching Band, which took the field in 1992, celebrated its 30th anniversary, and the Homecoming Car Show, which made its first appearance in 1992, also celebrated its 30th anniversary.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the marching band, this year's Homecoming theme was "Maroon Melody." The Education Club tried to capture this year's spirit by celebrating generations of music and style.

This year's Homecoming queen was Brooke Anne Buckner, a senior majoring in Criminal Justice. Bailey Pedigo, a 5-9 Math Education and P-12 Health and Physical Education major from Glasgow, Ky., was second runner-up.
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
Hired Option 6 Candidates
Marci Smith (Educational Administration), Principal, Virtual Learning Academy, Jessamine County Schools
Brad Woods (Educational Administration), Assistant Principal, Old Kentucky Home Middle School, Nelson County Schools
Robin Stone (School Counseling), School Counselor, North Laurel Middle School, Laurel County Schools
Elizabeth Beasley (MAT P-5), 1st Grade Teacher, Cane Run Elementary School, Jefferson County Public Schools
Nick Conley (MAT P-12 Health and P.E.), Physical Education and Health Teacher, Paul Blazer High School, Ashland Independent Schools
Alyssa Ridener (MAT 5-9 Science), 6th Grade Science Teacher, Southern Middle School, Pulaski County
Eileen Haney (MAT 5-9 Science), 7th Grade Science Teacher, Lassiter Middle School, Jefferson County Public Schools
Alexis Spry (MAT IECE), Preschool Teacher, Clark County Preschool, Clark County Schools
Dedra Slone (MAT IECE), Preschool Teacher, Johns Creek Elementary School, Pike County Schools
Shannon Gregory (MAT IECE), Early Childhood Teacher, Smyrna Elementary School, Jefferson County Public Schools
Joshua Druen (MASE), Special Education Teacher, Memorial Middle School, Hart County Schools
Dustin Barnes (MASE), ECE Teacher, Taylor County Primary and Intermediate Schools, Taylor County Schools
Sarah Begley (MASE), LBD Teacher, Campbellsville Elementary School, Campbellsville Independent Schools.
We welcome news of alumni milestones, recognitions, awards, and commendations.
Please email them to Elizabeth Franklin,