Dennis Sterner is a professor of education and Dean Emeritus of the Whitworth School of Education. Sterner was a public-school science teacher and administrator prior to coming to Whitworth in 1988. He is active in professional education, having served as president of the Pacific Education Institute (PEI), as president of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE), as president of the Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE), as chair of the Washington State Professional Education Advisory Committee (PEAC), and as a member of the board of examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). He received the Washington State Award for Excellence in Teacher Education in 1998, and was a national consultant for the Project for Excellence in Teacher Education (PETE).
Former Washington Governor Gary Locke appointed Sterner to represent private colleges on the state's Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) in June 2000; He was reappointed to the board by Governor Christine Gregoire and served until May 2007.
At Whitworth, Sterner has served on numerous committees including the Dean’s Council, the Dean’s Cabinet and the President’s University Council. He currently serves on the Sustainability Committee, the Verbrugge Environmental Center Committee and the Environmental Studies Committee. He teaches secondary methods courses in the undergraduate program, and foundation and leadership courses in the graduate program. In 1995, he received the senior faculty award for excellence in teaching. His research interests include environmental/sustainability education, educational reform, science education, and assessment. Sterner received his Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Montana.