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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

News Archives

Page address: http://ed.mnsu.edu/cepss/newsarchives/

CSUP Welcomes New Director, Laura Bemel

Laura BemelThe College of Education and the Center for School-University Partnerships is very pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Laura Bemel as our new Director for the Center for School-University Partnerships beginning July 1, 2014. Ms. Bemel previously served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Field & International Experiences within the College of Education, and has served as a faculty member within the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood. Ms. Bemel is the successor to Dr. Ginger Zierdt who was appointed Interim Assistant Vice-President for Undergraduate Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Dr. Ginger Zierdt Awarded the 2014 Claire E. Faust Public Service Award

Ginger ZierdtOn Monday, May 12, 2014, Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport presented Dr. Ginger Zierdt with the 2014 Claire E. Faust Public Service Award at the annual Employee Appreciation Breakfast.

The Claire E. Faust Public Service Award was developed to recognize a Minnesota State University, Mankato employee for outstanding service to the university, community, state and nation. It was named after Claire E. Faust, former Vice President of Administrative Affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Go to, http://www.mnsu.edu/hr/erc/awards/clairefaust/ to view past recipients of the award. The Employee Recognition Committee coordinates the nominating process for the award. The president makes the final decision on the annual award recipient. Recipients receive a distinguished plaque and are also recognized on a permanent plaque displayed within the university.

Minnesota State Mankato Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership Elects New Governance Council Chair, Sheri Allen

Sheri AllenMANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State University, Mankato´s Professional Development School (PDS) Governance Council, at its May 15th meeting, elected by unanimous consent Ms. Sheri Allen, Superintendent of Mankato Area Public Schools to serve as PDS Governance Council Chair for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. Superintendent Allen, who has served for three years on the PDS Governance Council, will follow outgoing Chair and retiring Superintendent, Dr. Tom Tapper, of the Owatonna Public Schools.

The Minnesota State Mankato PDS is comprised of the following partners: Bloomington, Faribault, LeSueur-Henderson, Mankato, Owatonna, Sibley East, St. Peter, and Waseca Public Schools; College of Education, and partnering teacher education faculty from the College of Science, Engineering, & Technology, College of Allied Health & Nursing, College of Arts & Humanities, and College of Behavioral Science.

PDS partners are dedicated to promoting school-university partnerships that support teacher education, student achievement, educational research and professional development. Since 2001, the PDS model has sponsored and facilitated programs that have both created and sustained genuine collaborative partnerships between P-12 and higher education which shapes educator leadership and practice. In 2012, the Minnesota State Mankato PDS was recognized by the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) for achievements in nine areas, ranging from advancing equity, to collaboration, reflection and communication, to innovation, to sharing best practices.

The governance mechanisms that bring the institutions together and provide organization and structure to the PDS model have four critical tasks (build bridges, support mutual renewal, securing and allocation of resources, and assess and plan for the long term) and provide leadership for four key processes (work with and transform existing governance, balance spontaneity with structure, promote parity and equity, and connect people and institutions).

The PDS Governance Council is represented by the following members: Mr. Todd Sesker (Supt., Faribault), Mr. Rich Hanson (Supt., LeSueur-Henderson), Ms. Sheri Allen (Supt., Mankato Area), Dr. Tom Tapper (Supt., Owatonna), Mr. Stephen Jones (Supt., Sibley East), Dr. Jeffrey Olson (Supt., St. Peter), Mr. Brian Dietz (Supt., Waseca), Dr. Jean Haar (Dean, College of Education), Dr. Ginger Zierdt (Director, Center for School-University Partnerships), and Mr. Paul Preimesberger (Assistant Director, Center for School-University Partnerships).

Minnesota State Mankato Receives NAPDS Exemplary Achievement Award
Award winners

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE NEWS RELEASE [3-9-12]

MANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State University, Mankato's College of Education initiative to improve public school teaching has been selected for one of the nation's major awards honoring such collaborative efforts — the 2012 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award.

Sponsored by the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), the award was presented today (March 9) at the NAPDS national conference in Las Vegas, Nev. It is given annually to a select few universities with true partnerships demonstrating excellent achievement for P-12 students, future teachers and practicing teachers and faculty members.

Among the past honorees are Penn State University, Indiana State University and Kansas State University.

“This is incredible news,” said Ginger Zierdt, director of Minnesota State Mankato's Center for School-University Partnerships. “It places MSU Mankato on a stage of national prominence.”

Established in 1988, the Center serves as a liaison between P-12 schools and college educator preparation programs to enrich learning and foster student and teacher development through education research, reflection and practice.

The Exemplary Achievement Award recognizes a collaboration between Minnesota State Mankato and eight public school districts — Bloomington, Faribault, LeSueur-Henderson, Mankato Area, Owatonna, St. Peter, Sibley East, and Waseca.

NAPDS is the only U.S. organization dedicated to promoting school-university partnerships that support teacher education, student achievement, educational research and professional development. Its Exemplary Achievement Award recognizes programs that have both created and sustained genuine collaborative partnerships between P-12 and higher education which shapes educator leadership and practice. Award recipients were recognized for achievements in nine areas, ranging from advancing equity, to collaboration, reflection and communication, to innovation, to sharing best practices.

“We were delighted at the response by professional development school partnerships across the country,” said Elliott Lessen, the association's awards committee chair, in a letter announcing the award selection. “I would like to commend you on the work you are doing in the name of professional development schools. I hope that you will continue both to strengthen your efforts using the nine essentials and share your partnership success with others.”

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,649 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

Zierdt Appointed to NAPDS Board

NAPDS logo

Ginger Zierdt, director of the Center for School-University Partnerships has been appointed to the National Association for Professional Development Schools Board of Directors. Zierdt will serve three years beginning March 2012.

At Minnesota State Mankato, Zierdt serves as the CSUP director as she has since 2004. Under her leadership, the multi-district professional development schools (PDS)—including one rural network of 54 P-12 school sites and an emerging metropolitan network of 5 P-12 sites—has successfully accomplished a robust slate of goals including: 1) three multi-district/multi-university PDS learning communities that address unique school and community needs, 2) an 18-month PDS Leadership Institute series, 3) legislative white papers on policy issues affecting the PDS network, and 4) a $6.25 million innovation grant, awarded to the PDS, to lead and transform teacher-preparation program to guarantee the effectiveness of the teachers candidates.

Zierdt is eager to serve the NAPDS. “My vision for the NAPDS includes advocacy for expanded rural PDS networks, most essentially focusing on the development of highly-effective clinical practice partnerships,” said Zierdt. “Additionally, my vision includes the crafting of a national PDS Leaders Academy designed to nurture and inspire practices that will facilitate cultures of positive change.”