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Bluefield Consortium Professional Development Schools Receives $30K Grant Award from WV Department of Education

  • Created
    Thursday, September 02 2010
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

(Bluefield)—A $30,000 grant award from the West Virginia Department of Education & the Arts will provide a valuable and substantial boost to the Bluefield Professional Development Schools (PDS) consortium.  The Bluefield PDS focuses upon enhancing the preparation of teacher education candidates, enhancing instructional services to students, and providing collaborative professional development activities.

“I am so pleased to receive this grant as it provides timely support for our PDS and will underwrite a variety of initiatives involving members of our consortium,” observed Dr. Betsy Steenken, BSC Teacher Education Program Director and the grant’s project director.  Consortium member schools include Montcalm Elementary, Montcalm High, Whitethorn Elementary, Bluefield Middle, Bluewell Elementary, Princeton Primary, and Bluefield Intermediate schools and BSC.

Ashley Pettus Shaw, a teacher at Montcalm Elementary School, is the public schools’ chair of the PDS Consortium.  Sandy Puckett, a retired school administrator, serves as the consortium’s liaison, visiting each school and sharing information throughout the year.

“Our leadership is intent on making the most of PDS opportunities and constantly being aware of new possibilities.” Steenken explained.  “The mission of developing quality educators is the focus through communication and increased understanding between BSC and its public school partners.  There is an important sense of collaboration and optimism as we begin a new year.”

“This grant sustains that momentum,” Steenken added.  “We will continue to offer mini-grants to member schools this year.  Our PDS schools are the primary sites for the field experiences of our teacher education students. Placing BSC teacher education students at partner sites ensures continuity and collaboration between the school and college.  Partnering with local schools is one of the primary ways that students and our faculty learn of latest educational initiatives and current technology.  We are grateful to our partner schools for helping our students receive the best possible training”.