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COE Alumni News

Michael O. Minor, Ed.D. '09, recently met with Michelle Obama as she visited Mississippi to discuss ways to combat childhood obesity. Dr. Minor, pastor at Oak Hill Baptist Church, is also chair of the Healthy Congregations initiative which is part of the Get A Life! Childhood obesity-prevention initiative in Mississippi. The story of Mrs. Obama's visit and Mississippi's activities to fight obesity was covered by the Commercial Appeal and Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS News Hour, filmed at Dr. Minor's church in early March to include in a future news story.

Mark Ertel, M.S. '85, is Principal of Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, School of the Medical Arts in Jacksonville, Fl. The school is growing from a traditional middle grades configuration to a 6-12 with the help of a $3.6 million grant from Magnet Schools of America. Darnell-Cookman partners with the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, and its host facility, the Shands Hospital. The high school curriculum is all advanced, honors, and AP (Advanced Placement) with the medical theme integrated throughout the coursework. Visit Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School.
Dr. Richard England (Ed.D., 1985) and Dr. Barbara England (Ed.D., 2000) recently co-authored an article entitled, "Kurt Huber and Carl Orff: Two Conflicting Ideologies" which has been published in the journal Forum on Public Policy. The article is based on a presentation given by Richard at a conference at Oxford University in July, 2008.

Dr. Virginia McLaughlin (EdD 1977), the dean of William & Mary's School of Education, has been appointed by Virginia's Gov. Tim Kaine to serve on the Virginia Board of Education.  In her position with the Board of Education, McLaughlin will help with the oversight of Virginia's public school system, establish educational objectives such as the Standard of Learning tests, make annual reports to the governor and General Assembly on the condition and needs of public schools, and approve instructional materials for use in schools.  McLaughlin earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from William & Mary in 1971. She earned her master's degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt and her doctorate from Memphis State University in 1977. She returned to William and Mary in 1983 as an assistant professor, and in 1995, she became dean of the School of Education.

Dr. Patricia Buby Wachholz, whose experience as a teacher and administrator in the field of education spans nearly 30 years, has been appointed dean of the College of Education at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Wachholz will guide all aspects of the College of Education and provide leadership for the departments of early childhood education, health and physical education, middle and secondary education, and special and adult education. Wachholz received a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction from the University of Memphis and a master's in English education from the University of North Florida. She earned a bachelor's in English from Western Michigan University.

Dr. Randy McPherson, in 2011, was named the Top School Counselor in America.  Dr. Randy McPherson was chosen out of more than 230 nominees from 100,000 elementary, middle and secondary school counselors nationwide as the School Counselor of the Year award. Presented by the American School Counselor Association, the award honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates and often lifesavers for the nation's students.  The School Counselor of the Year program judges on several criteria, including: creative school counseling innovations, effective counseling programs, leadership skills and contributions to student advancement. McPherson a 15-year veteran of Trezevant Career and Technology is an innovative thinker with the compassion needed to work with students and families. His work at Trezevant Career & Technology Center helped earn its distinction as one of 10 Model Alternative Programs in the nation.  McPherson states that "counseling used to be about the top and the bottom; that's only about 30 percent of students. The other 70 percent is what most of us are. So you can't just be about numbers. Real education is about people, not numbers." Dr. McPherson earned his B S in Education Physical Education '81, Master of Science Counseling Personnel Services '84 Doctor of Education Higher Education '94, a past adjunct faculty member and
is an active member of the COE Alumni chapter.