Faculty of Teacher Education Wins Sears Helgos Special Education Award
Suzette Youngs, Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Northern Colorado, has been named the recipient of the 2022 Sears Helgos Special Education Award.
Administered by UNC’s Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the award recognizes UNC’s commitment to quality, innovative education and the historical importance of its educational mission at UNC, and recognizes faculty members (tenure, tenure). term, renewable contract). He has made outstanding contributions to teaching and learning that lead to the intellectual development and better lives of his students.
Youngs has 30 years of teaching experience, 11 years in primary school, 19 years in tertiary education, 13 of those years at UNC. Early in her teaching career, Youngs taught various age-group classrooms from her 4th grade through her 6th grade in Pagosa Springs. This alternative classroom focused on experiential learning and utilized a project-based curriculum that partnered with her parents and caregivers to bring specific expertise to the classroom and assessment. After earning her PhD in Literacy Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, Youngs developed her relationship-based educational philosophy here.
Here at UNC, Youngs has focused on primary literacy education and diverse children’s literature undergraduate and postgraduate programs. She chose her UNC because of its focus on developing effective, engaging and inclusive teachers, and her reputation. Building learner and teacher communities is at the heart of her work, and through this award various ways of bringing together different groups of learners and teachers to benefit UNC and other educational environments. can be emphasized.
“Everyone who walks my professional path is a potential difference maker, and I want to be a part of it.” Research includes: “How will my work affect my children and students?” Being an advocate for students, teachers and children is what I do at UNC. ”
In that advocacy, Youngs collaborated with another literacy colleague to develop the UNC Future Teachers Network. The network focuses on connecting and supporting aspiring educators and hosts UNC’s annual Future Teachers Conference. The event will offer presentations and workshops for attendees, including information and perspectives from current pre-service teachers, early-career teachers, veteran educators, and UNC faculty and administrators. The conference is the only event of its kind in Colorado and welcomes over 200 of her future teachers from across the state for her two days. This also includes special sessions for those aspiring to teach locally. Next year’s conference is scheduled for her February 3rd, making the event her ninth consecutive year.
“Building relationships is very important in the classroom, but it’s also the best tool for recruiting and retaining new educators,” Youngs said. “We need to show them that the support and resources are there.
Moving forward, Youngs hopes to further develop the Future Teachers Network and continue to explore new literacy tracks for colleges.
“We want to work on a course for aspiring teachers and a professional development pathway for current teachers, based on multimodal literacy instruction and assessment,” Youngs said. . “We live in a new world of digital literacy, and there are many exciting opportunities to apply this in the classroom.”
“We also want to build a new Children’s Community Library here on the UNC campus to continue building meaningful relationships between the UNC Teacher Education School and the community, local students and aspiring educators. “
About UNC’s Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award
The award is administered by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, with the generous support of Kathleen Sears and Jim Hergoth, and is awarded annually to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding teaching records at UNC. Applications were reviewed and winners were selected by a committee of Vice Deans/Associate Deans, one from each university and previous winners.