Beth Whitaker, professor of elementary, early, and special education in Indiana State University’s Bayh College of Education and a past recipient of the prestigious Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award has been named director of the university’s Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence (FCTE).
The center was established in fall 2013 to support faculty expertise and teaching innovation aimed to enhance student success. Whitaker has served as interim director since the center’s launch.
“I cannot say enough how pleased we are to name Dr. Whitaker as director of the FCTE,” said Joshua Powers, associate vice president for student success, to whom the unit reports. “She brings enormous teaching talent, high energy, and deep passion for investing in faculty success in this way.”
Located on the first floor of the Cunningham Memorial Library behind the coffee shop, the FCTE has sponsored a number of programs and events this year including two sets of book studies linked to teaching excellence, a conversation series related to the support of student learning via differentiated instruction, and a teaching triangles experience where faculty gather in threes to observe each other’s teaching and share insights and observed good practices. The Center has also just launched its new website: http://www.indstate.edu/fcte/index.htm.
“I am honored to be chosen as the director of the new Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence,” Whitaker said. “The teaching talent and expertise on this campus is deep and rich. I look forward to guiding and facilitating professional development opportunities for these remarkable faculty members. What happens in our classrooms is a vital element in student success. It will be a privilege to elevate, inform, and celebrate teaching on the campus of Indiana State University.”
There’s more to come from the FCTE including a “Mornings in May” series right after the academic year closes, Whitaker said. There are also plans to launch a master teacher program in 2014-15.
“Dr. Whitaker’s leadership and infectious enthusiasm for the work of the FCTE will really help to advance attention and pride in the teaching craft at Indiana State University,” Powers said.
Whitaker, a former classroom teacher and award-winning Blue Ribbon elementary school principal, joined the ISU faculty in 1996. She received the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s highest award for teaching excellence, in 2010. She has been published in the areas of school climate, principal leadership and teacher efficacy. She frequently works with educators in the areas of reading, language arts and teacher motivation.
Whitaker is the daughter of Tapley and Charlene McCune of Bowling Green and wife of Dr. Todd Whitaker, with whom she is the parent to Katherine, Madeline, and Harrison.