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Bethel-Northridge collaboration earns partnership award for teacher ed.

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – An award that the Bethel College Department of Teacher Education received recently affirms its efforts to collaborate with the local school system.

Doug Siemens, director of elementary teacher education at Bethel, along with fellow faculty members Allen Jantz and Lisa Janzen Scott and Bethel Vice President for Academic Affairs Brad Born attended the 29th Friends of Education Awards banquet in El Dorado April 10 to accept a Partner Activity Award. Organized by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force and Kansas Partners in Education, the annual event honors individuals and institutions that support public schools in Kansas.

Newton Unified School District 373 nominated Bethel College for the award based on its partnership activity with the school system for the newly revised Teaching the Expressive Arts class, taught at Northridge Elementary School by USD 373 teachers Denetta Denno, Brian Postier, Gail Pryce and LaDonna Voth.

Through the partnership, Bethel students have been able to combine theory and practice in immediate and meaningful ways with students and teachers.

“One of the intended outcomes of moving the class to Northridge was to give our students an opportunity to see how teachers can creatively collaborate across the curriculum in art, music, physical education and writing,” said Siemens. “It was a great success and it is wonderful to be recognized for trying something new.”

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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