Wright State alumna honored with Excellence in Teaching Award

Beth Patterson, a first-grade teacher at Clark-Shawnee Elementary School, was honored by the Springfield Rotary Club. (Photo credit: Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun)

Wright State University alumna Beth Patterson loves to see the joy on her students’ faces. She loves to see her students excited about learning and she loves creating a positive classroom environment where everyone feels welcome.

Patterson, a first-grade teacher at Clark-Shawnee Elementary School, received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Rotary Club in Springfield for her devotion to her students and her hard work in the classroom.

Patterson was honored at a luncheon hosted by Ohio Edison, the Springfield Foundation, the Greater Springfield Partnership and the Springfield Rotary Club.

At the luncheon, Patterson spoke about what teaching means to her. She said that her current student teacher was in her second-grade class, which meant a lot to her.

“The people in the room at the luncheon represented my past, present and future, and I spoke about my journey as a teacher,” Patterson said. “I encouraged others who are just starting their career to know they could make a difference.”

Patterson received her master’s degree in special education from Wright State. She said that Wright State’s program was tailored toward working teachers, which allowed her to complete the program in less than two years while she worked as an intervention specialist.

“I am a better teacher because of my master’s degree from Wright State,” Patterson said. “I still draw on knowledge obtained through my master’s program on a regular basis.”

Patterson said the award renewed her enthusiasm for her career and she is incredibly grateful to the Rotary Club for honoring teachers.

“I have been honored, humbled and joyous,” she said. “I enjoy creating a positive classroom environment where everyone feels welcome, loved and able to learn.”

Dusty Columbia, Ed.D., associate professor of teacher education at Wright State, said the faculty in the Teacher Education program are proud that Patterson was honored for her excellence in teaching.

“As an alumna of our Intervention Specialist program, Beth is a teacher who has successfully completed a rigorous teacher training program focused on teaching candidates evidence-based practices and research-supported strategies for teaching and learning,” Columbia said.

“She is also a teacher who aims for and achieves excellence. While this award is wonderful for Beth, it’s even more powerful for her students! With 20 percent of the U.S. population having a disability, teachers like Beth are not only doing the hard work teachers do every day, but advocating, supporting and helping to create inclusive learning communities for students with and without disabilities,” Columbia said.

Wright State’s Intervention Specialist program offers coursework designed to fulfill a license or a full graduate degree program. Courses include studies in special education, research, assessment skills, remediation, professional ethics and the autism spectrum. Intervention specialists can learn to work with individuals diagnosed with learning disabilities or physical disabilities that may make learning difficult in a classroom setting.

The program encourages hands-on experience and exceeds state requirements with an average of over 400 hours in the field. Wright State’s programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

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