Summer 2014

Dear Friends of Education,


I am very pleased to report that at the May meeting of the Professional Educator Standards Board our preparation programs for teachers and principals were reapproved for five years. Licensure of education professionals on behalf of the State of Washington is subject to accountability for the highest quality of practice in five domains prescribed by the state. The review process takes well over a year and involves hundreds of hours of preparation to provide evidence of our program quality and success.


Washington's assessment processes are among the most rigorous in the country. Whereas some processes only pay attention to a narrow slice of a program, the Professional Educator Standards Board has high expectations that we not only provide high quality preparation but also that our graduates actually make a difference in schools. This necessitates complex data and tracking systems, all of which we are continuously modifying for a more robust picture of what UW Bothell graduates can do.


We learned a great deal from the review and like all programs, found areas where we can improve. However, one of the accolades from the review was especially meaningful as it noted the clear program commitments to educational equity and inclusive practices. The Education Program exists to make real the mission we embrace.


We look forward to our continued leadership in educator preparation and we're always asking how we can better accomplish this aim.


Best wishes for a successful summer.

Bradley Portin
Director and Professor


Education Vision Statement

As a collaborative, scholarly and professional community, the University of Washington Bothell Education Program exists to develop and support educators who have the commitments and capabilities to promote the learning of all students in diverse contexts. We support interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the multifaceted dimensions of learning and schooling.  We give particular focus to (a) the purposes of education in a social and political democracy, (b) the responsibility of universities to collaborate with community partners, and (c) the critical role of professional educators in supporting equity in learning.

Education Mission Statement

In the Education Program at the University of Washington Bothell we strive to produce critically engaged educators and citizens who:
  • Design and employ curriculum, instructional, and inquiry practices to promote equity and social justice across educational and community contexts,
    • Contribute in responsive and informed ways to the communities with which they work,
    • Serve as leaders and change agents in their respective fields,
    • Apply research and professional knowledge to contexts and challenges of leadership, learning, and practice locally and globally,
    • Employ, adapt, and advocate for practices in a wide range of teaching and learning contexts, communities, and public spaces,
    • Dedicate themselves to continuous development of academic, practitioner, and community knowledge and skills.
  • Connect to national and international learning communities to explore educational issues and build knowledge and capacity.
  • Value intellectual diversity among faculty, engaging in and supporting scholarship that expands knowledge and informs practice.
  • Create programs that provide equitable access to educational professions.
  • Contribute to developing a citizenry well informed about complex educational issues.
  • Collaborate with local and global communities in examining and responding to educational challenges.
In This Issue

Sue Ambler, Workforce Snohomish CEO, Named 2014 UW Bothell Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

The University of Washington Bothell recently named Workforce Snohomish President and CEO Sue Ambler the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Each year, the university recognizes an alumnus who has exhibited distinguished professional achievements and outstanding community service. Ambler graduated in 1997 with a Master of Education degree from UW Bothell. Michelle Gamboa, chair of the UW Bothell Alumni Council, presented Ambler with the award at the June 15 commencement ceremony.

Ambler has a strong and diverse business background starting out as a successful fashion designer and eventually becoming CEO of Workforce Snohomish. As CEO of Workforce Snohomish, she orchestrated a financial turnaround of the company by reducing costs and partnering with local agencies such as the Sno-Isle Library system to create access centers for people seeking jobs, resume help, or referrals to larger Worksource agencies in Snohomish County.  Sue also invested 16 years in local public K-12 education as a teacher and as a founding staff member in higher education for Cascadia Community College as an academic counselor and disabilities specialist.

Sue describes herself, "I've always been a rebel; independent, and certainly entrepreneurial." After working as a fashion designer, she figured she would get her M.Ed. to pursue a career in higher education as an administrator, but while working on her M.Ed. practicum project she came to realize that administration wasn't her passion and that she needed to be closer to the "ground floor," in a classroom. Eventually, Sue ended up at Bothell High School as an intern, helping with surveys, research and data. While completing her practicum, she was hired as a student support specialist, a position that grew into a seven year stint as an intervention specialist. As Sue explains, "This is where I saw the inequities of our most disengaged families, and not just from an economic standpoint."

Through the years, Sue's advocacy continued to expand to include those groups who didn't have a voice, whether working with Gay/Straight Alliances at local schools or connecting Veterans and their families to local services; she's convinced having M.Ed. behind her name on her business card opened doors for her which otherwise would have been closed. She's been able to speak as an activist to legislators, senators, and CEOs in a thoughtful and educated way. "UW Bothell and the M.Ed. program prepared me to be at the table," she says; "You are much better served when you are educated and you can provide data, literature and the facts which leads to respect and that's what I gained from my M.Ed. and UW Bothell. This institution took who I am, who I was, and just sharpened the tool; that's what you did for me. UW Bothell allowed me to be the tip of the spear and I poke a lot of people."

Sue appreciates the fact that UW Bothell took a chance on her, or as she puts it, "furthered her worth in the world," and is extremely humbled to be recognized as this year's Distinguished Alumni.  As she prepares to retire from Workforce Snohomish in August, Sue is already looking forward to helping and supporting UW Bothell. She already serves on UW Bothell's School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Board and, as an alumna, feels a responsibility for the future of the School of Educational Studies. She hopes other Education alumni will find ways to give back to the University or get involved in an area that feels good to them which doesn't necessarily mean writing checks.

And for those new teachers about to step in the classroom for the first time, says Ambler, "Trust the education and the knowledge that you've got, that you gained, that you earned at UW Bothell. Don't question yourself and if you do, get into that literature and research to find out why you're questioning yourself. As I say, trust yourself, question others. Do it in a respectful manner but question others about why they're making decisions they are making." For those M.Ed. students, "Get out there with pride and put that M.Ed. behind your name on every single thing that you possibly can because it's going to open doors for you." 
First cohort of the Expanding Capacity for Special Education Leadership (ECSEL) program graduates

University of Washington Bothell Announces Statewide Collaboration to Prepare New Special Education Administrators

The Education Program faculty and staff are extremely pleased to congratulate the first graduating cohort of the Expanding Capacity for Special Education Leadership (ECSEL) program:  Brianne Barrett, Puyallup; Patricia Campbell, Lake Washington; Kelly Carrick, Puyallup; William Cheney, Mount Vernon; Ivy Kardes, Griffin; Karen Mataya, Renton; Kim Nelson, Auburn; Kristen Oman, Everett; Nicole Preston, Moses Lake; Karena Valiquette, Shoreline.

ECSEL is a specially-designed program for individuals aspiring to positions as local Special Education Administrators, and the program leads to both a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Washington State Residency Certification as a program administrator. ECSEL operates as a state-wide partnership among various campuses of the University of Washington and Washington State University and the state's 9 Educational Service Districts. Funding from Washington's Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the U. S. Department of Education support program development and provide scholarships for candidates in the program.

ECSEL is a two-year program that incorporates the most current research on leadership and Special Education. Year 1 focuses on Special Education leadership at the school level, and Year 2 on district-level leadership. Each year's program includes three year-long seminars (each addressing a critical theme and related topics) and a 400-hour internship to be completed in the candidate's home location. By combining a variety of communication technologies and weekend scheduling, ECSEL makes it possible for experienced individuals in Special Education to complete the requirements for a master's degree and state administrator certification while remaining in their existing positions in locations around the state. The program's faculty draws from the combined resources of ECSEL's higher education and K-12 partners so that seminars and internships are guided by faculty with both academic and practical expertise.

In addition to their accomplishment in completing ECSEL's rigorous program, the first cohort of candidates also deserve recognition for very significant work with the faculty in co-designing the ECSEL program. As the first group to try out the program assignments and learning resources, these candidates gave invaluable feedback that now guides planning for subsequent cohorts.

The second ECSEL cohort of 18 candidates was selected last spring from over 50 highly qualified applicants; their program launches with a retreat in July.
Theory into practice

Medical student at the UW School of Medicine seeks to significantly influence reform in medical education

by David Rainey, M.Ed., '14

From the time I began medical school, Iʼve been intrigued by the training process for physicians and in spare moments would find my thoughts turning to how it might be improved. I was surprised at the lack of sophistication in instructional design and the seeming lack of application of learning theory in curricular activities, as the overwhelming emphasis for students was on content memorization and the methods for transmitting that content were limited almost exclusively to lecture and textbook. As a third-year medical student, I realized that the century-old approach to training doctors was incongruous with the changes in pace, culture, and environment that had shaped the modern practice of medicine. Even more unsettling for me was how the increasingly commercial orientation of modern medicine was dictating the priorities and incentives implicit in the training process, as opposed to education and training intentionally shaping the values and practice of the profession.

I decided to apply to the UW Bothell Master of Education program to deepen my understanding of the roles of pedagogy, curriculum design, and learning theory in individual learning and how education can shape communities and influence society. The UW Bothell M.Ed. program was a good fit for me, thanks to the flexibility of the program to be tailored to my professional interests, allowing me to incorporate coursework from multiple disciplines and design independent study courses centered specifically on medical education. In addition, I found the programʼs emphasis on practitioner research, social equity, multiple perspectives, and evidence-based practices to transcend the boundaries of education as a discipline, with relevance to all fields of study and universal insights. While participating in the program, Iʼve been impressed with the faculty who are well regarded in the field, have made significant contributions to the literature, and exemplify what they teach by actively participating in ongoing efforts to shape and influence public education in the United States.

The M.Ed program at UW Bothell has been an enlightening experience and an invaluable complement to my studies in medicine. What I've learned through the program has broadened my perspective on the interests and influences served by medical education, informed my assessment of what form changes to the training of physicians should take, and how the implementation of those changes will need to be approached. I hope to use the knowledge I have gained through the program to inform my plans for the development of technological tools to support a new curricular structure for medical education that will account for the ongoing changes in the science and practice of medicine, and help physicians-in-training develop greater competency in their disciplines along with a more holistic understanding of the profession and the role we can and do play in society.
Celebrating the career of Dr. Nancy Place

Education Associate Professor, Nancy Place, retired this June after a long and distinguished career in both K12 and higher education.  Dr. Place has been a classroom teacher in several states and internationally, and college faculty and Head Teacher of the Pacific Oaks College and Children's School in Pasadena, CA.  Prior to joining the UW, Dr. Place spent 13 years as a Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist and Reading Recovery Teacher in the Bellevue School District.

Nancy Place earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Literacy, Assessment, Teacher Education) from the University of Washington Seattle in 2000 and joined the faculty at the University of Washington Bothell in 2001.

Dr. Place has taken her solid foundation in the world of practice and great teaching and her international reputation in literacy research to help prepare hundreds of teachers.  Through her impact, Nancy Place as deepened our work in schools.  More recently, Dr. Place was appointed as the first Associate Director of the Education Program.  Through her leadership role, Dr. Place advanced the work of teacher preparation and helped to cement the reputation of UW Bothell teacher candidates as the best of the best.

Most importantly, Nancy Place is an extraordinary human being.  She demonstrates exceptional support for students and colleagues always with the same goal of extending our success and impact on the educational communities we serve.

As Dr. Place prepared to retire, the Education Faculty voted to bestow one of the University's highest honors, appointment as an Associate Professor Emeritus.

We wish Dr. Place the very best in her retirement and look forward to her wise counsel in the future.
Amelia Bowers, long-time Education Advisor, set to retire this summer

It is with tremendous gratitude that we wish Education Advisor, Amelia (Mimi) Bowers heartfelt congratulations on her retirement this summer. Mimi has been with UW Bothell Education Program for 17 years and has not only advised Education students at almost every level, but also from every major on campus. Her presence will be missed but her impact will never be forgotten.

Education Faculty member Jean Eisele recounts, "She not only has talked with thousands of incoming or prospective students, she remembers 90% if not 99% of them.  And not only by name, but by former occupation, ethnicity, and specific strengths.  And, although she has 'handed them over' when they enter, she follows them and inquires regularly about different ones, following them through to the end of their program when she greets them at Commencement."

Mimi helped coordinate a trip to India with Dr. Eisele for 13 students. "I knew we would all be in very good hands.  She attended to the details of reminders to take their salt tablets, of providing a cold washcloth for a very hot forehead, of continuing over the next few years to send gifts to the daughter of our hostess," said Eisele.

Before her arrival at UW Bothell, Mimi taught in California and Washington in science education and was Manager of Public Programs at Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Mimi knows how to build and sustain networks both on and off campus. She regularly visits community college advisors, high school Teaching Academies, attends school and job fairs, and speaks with colleagues at other teacher preparation programs.

At UW Bothell there are very few staff members who do not know Amelia. She participated on countless committees, engaging enthusiastically in a wide variety of issues. It is the personal relationships she has developed with individuals that will keep her in the hearts and minds of so many Bothell staffers.  "Mimi is a kind, warmhearted person who always stops and asks you about your day," explained Jessica Trenkamp, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Advisor.

The strongest relationships Mimi has built have been with students. 17 years of information sessions, advising appointments, phone calls, and emails have led to over 700 students successfully completing the K-8 Teacher Certification program to become elementary and middle school teachers.  Few students in the program will forget the Application Binder they created at Mimi's urging. "If I meet with a student and they have a binder of information in plastic page protectors, I know they've met with Mimi and they are prepared," Trenkamp recounted.

Over the years, Mimi has helped hundreds of other students reach the goal of earning a Master of Education degree and in the last four years she tackled the challenge of recruiting for the Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. In addition, she met with students no matter what degree they pursued and often before they had been admitted to UW Bothell.

Students write, "Mimi is passionate about offering the gift of education to every person and recognizes that sometimes it takes someone saying 'You can do this.'" She said it many times and even over multiple generations. Students who met with Mimi to plan their education would, in turn, recommend siblings, spouses, and children to make an appointment and benefit from her ability to inspire them with confidence.

Amelia made the students and their needs an absolute priority. She influenced every Education advisor, and many from other departments, modeling patience, thoughtfulness and deep concern for the students. Even as she retires, Mimi and her family have found a way to continue her mission to support future teachers. With the support of Program Alumni and friends, the Education Program is pleased to announce an endowed scholarship in Amelia Bowers' name (see below).

Program Director Brad Portin says, "Every lasting effort is built on a solid foundation of 'pioneers' who have helped us become more than we could imagine.  We are a better program and campus because of Mimi's colleagueship."

Dr. Eisele and Education Emeritus faculty Carole Kubota put it best when they say, "When any of our students would be asked who was instrumental in their choosing UW Bothell, you can put a sure bet on their answer -- Amelia."

One of the many ways we want to honor Mimi's legacy is by supporting the Endowed Scholarship that she and her family have established. Mimi's son, Logan, has generously pledged to match every gift given through this campaign up to $15,000, which means that every dollar you give will have double the impact!

Please consider making a donation in honor of Mimi. Your donation, no matter the size, will go a long way to supporting the work and the students to which Mimi has devoted her career. You can give online or by phone at 425.352.3716.

Education professors selected as 2014 Worthington Distinguished Scholars

Allison Hintz and Antony Smith were selected as 2014 Worthington Distinguished Scholars and will be receiving $14,232 for their work this summer on "Fostering Story-Time Mathematical Discussions with Young Children." 

This award will enable the development and implementation of a toolkit to facilitate math discussions with young children through shared reading experiences during story time in Seattle Public Libraries.  The investigators have developed a process to mathematize the literature for use with young children based upon research conducted in kindergarten classrooms.  This research has resulted in multiple conference and invited presentations and appeared in a nationwide practitioner journal for teachers. By expanding their study of integrating math discussions into shared reading experiences beyond the school setting, the investigators hope to more effectively reach a diverse population.
Linking Research and Practice

Congratulations to Allison Hintz who was one of the three finalists for the "Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award" for the journal, Teaching Children Mathematics, published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Allison's article, "Strengthening Discussions," was published in the December/January 2014 issue.

As Allison writes:
"Strategy-sharing discussions are a common and important part of learning in mathematics classrooms, and thinking about how participating in discussions can place demands on students is essential. Certain demands, such as making and articulating mistakes, sharing ideas, and listening, can be noteworthy for children. By using the ideas offered in this article, teachers can make the too-often implicit facets of discussion explicit as they teach children how to participate in and learn from strategy sharing."
Students awarded scholarships

Congratulations to our new Martinez Fellows from UW Bothell for 2014-2015: Sobia Sheikh and Elisa Yzaguirre! Sobia and Elisa are Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification students.

Sobia Sheikh, along with Revati Madhira (K8 Teacher Certification), was awarded the Leon Bradley Scholarship from the American Association of School Personnel Administrators.

Carly Ann Peterson, recent UW Bothell IAS graduate and incoming student in the Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. program, recently received a James Madison Fellowship recognizing promising future teachers.
  • Learn more about the Martinez Foundation here.
  • Learn more about the American Association of School Personnel Administrators here 
  • Learn more about the James Madison Fellowship here  

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