SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University has earned national recognition for its collaborative partnerships with Mardela Middle and High School (MMHS).
The University was honored with the 2015 Exemplary Professional Development School (PDS) Achievement Award from the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). Only six campuses across the country were honored. SU is the only non-research one university to earn national recognition for its PDS partnerships at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
The NAPDS Award honored SU for the collaboration that is the key underpinning of its PDS partnership with MMHS. Specifically noted was the “high productivity and morale” and “permeating spirit of reciprocal support and development” within the partnership. Also applauded was the full immersion of teacher candidates in PDS initiatives; the advocacy of school leaders; the establishment of a community of learners; and the congruent purpose and vision for the partnership between teacher candidates, interns, beginning teachers, veteran educators, administrators and faculty.
“The mission of our partnership is to provide exemplary teacher preparation coupled with a learning community that fosters continuous professional development for practicing classroom teachers and SU faculty, working together to augment student learning,” said Dr. Cheryl Parks, dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. “The NAPDS award adds to SU's reputation for excellence in PDS partnerships.”
The award was given at the 2015 conference in Atlanta in March to SU faculty and staff, including Sara Elburn, interim regional PDS coordinator; Dr. Ron Siers, Education Specialties Department chair and PDS liaison to Mardela; Paul Gasior, field experience coordinator; and Frederick Briggs, principal of Mardela Middle and High School. Over 1,000 professionals participated in the conference, including eight SU faculty, three P-12 partners and seven student interns.
This is the second time SU has won the award; the University also was recognized in 2011 for its partnerships with Worcester County Public Schools. In addition, SU won a NAPDS Spirit of Partnership Award in 2009.
For over 15 years, SU's PDS network has enabled University students to improve their practice by working with public school students. Currently, some 33 schools in seven counties partner with SU to offer a meaningful introduction to teaching.
According to Briggs, the SU/MMHS partnership enhances the learning experience for all involved. “The staff and students of Mardela Middle and High School continue to benefit from our ongoing partnership with SU,” he said. “We are able to provide our students on a day-to-day basis with more individualized learning opportunities. Our faculty and staff benefit through reciprocal professional development and the opportunity to work side-by-side with promising future teachers. Our PDS relationship is a true ‘win-win' collaborative endeavor.”
NAPDS was founded in 2005. The award recognizes “ongoing contributions in creating and sustaining genuine collaborative partnerships between P-12 and higher education” to shape educator leadership and practice.
Pictured, from left, are Elburn, Briggs, Siers and Gasior.