Lynn Gangone Presents National Data to Indiana State Chapter, Visits Schools and Foundations

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently traveled to Indiana where she met with deans of colleges and schools of education throughout the state, and representatives from the State Department of Education and national foundations to discuss educator preparation from a national perspective. Gangone also was invited to be the lead speaker at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (INACTE’s) first statewide summit, and presented data from the Colleges of Education: A National Portrait report.

Ena Shelley, an AACTE board member and INACTE member, shared how important it was to hear the trend data. “When you are working within state borders, you think it is just your state, but when you see the trend data—how long teachers are staying or not staying, the demographics—it makes it real,” Shelley said. “I think the report was so important because we really haven’t had a succinct, cohesive report like the National Portrait, which gives us real data to look at … [and ask ourselves] now what can  we do about it?”

Prior to the summit, the Executive Committee of the Indiana chapter gathered the state’s deans of education together for the first time at a breakfast hosted by the Indiana Department of Education. “It was wonderful for Lynn to be able to speak to them separate from the summit, to give both a national and state perspective,” said Shelley. “And also [to see] the benefit of membership and the value of AACTE and Indiana ACTE.”

Lynn concurs, “I was both proud and elated to be part of the conversation at the inaugural meeting of the deans. It was an honor to not only share the national viewpoint, but also to hear from those in the field on a range of topics, which gave me insight into the work that is being done and the impact on teacher preparation across the state.”

In talking about the dean’s breakfast and the summit, Shelley described Gangone’s message as encouraging. “Lynn’s speech lifted up the profession, which we need,” she said. “When you’re out there doing all that hard work—in the trenches—somebody needs to come along and give us a boost of energy and that’s really what happened. People left feeling inspired and lifted up from Lynn’s remarks.”

Indiana is one of the five state chapters recently awarded a 2018-19 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, and INACTE plans to use some of the funding to plan two more summits. The chapter also plans to continue to host ongoing meetings of the deans.

During Gangone’s stay in Indiana, she and Shelley met with staff members of the Lilly Endowment, which supports a number of education programs in Indiana and the U.S., and the Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. As AACTE looks to do more research and establish creative partnerships, having these types of connections for potential financial support is vital.

“It was also important to inform them about what is happening in teacher education on the state and national level,” said Shelley. “I appreciated the professional connections that Lynn already had with the people at the foundation and endowment. The relationships were there, and really thoughtful, good conversation took place.”

Shelley, dean of the College of Education at Butler University, also provided Gangone with the opportunity to see firsthand the college’s unique partnership they have with the local public school system. Together they visited one of Butler’s lab schools—Indianapolis Public School/Butler University Laboratory School, a public magnet elementary school.

“It was an amazing visit that illustrated the profound ways we can change our approach to educating children, incorporating neuroscience and movement, and understanding how to work with children’s social and emotional needs,” said Gangone. “I was incredibly impressed with the work and genuinely thrilled to see all of these students in such a fabulous learning environment created by the Butler University College of Education.”

Shelley credits Gangone’s pack-filled trip to Indiana, and specifically the visits with teacher educators, with helping members of the state chapter feel less removed from the work of the national office. She also believes that those who are not members also benefitted, and will be motivated “to join AACTE and help advance the profession.”

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Katrina Norfleet

Content Strategist, AACTE