Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 29, 2001

Whitworth Professor Receives Excellence in Teacher Preparation Award

Doris K. Liebert, professor of education and director of student teaching for the Whitworth College School of Education, was awarded the Excellence in Teacher Preparation Award at an official ceremony Thursday in the Rotunda of the Legislative Building in Olympia. State Board of Education President Gary Gainer, Governor Gary Locke, State Superintendent Terry Bergeson and Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell) presented the award to Liebert, who was selected by the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board at its April 25 meeting.

"The recognition coming from colleagues who share the same goals is particularly affirming," Liebert said. "The reward for a teacher educator is the success of our graduates and their positive influence on children in the schools. At Whitworth, our mission is to provide our students 'an education of mind and heart,' and that's certainly our focus as we prepare future teachers. A strong base in academics and pedagogy is essential, but effective teachers are also caring individuals who know how to relate to their students, colleagues and community."

The award, which is open to educators in any teacher-preparation programs approved by the State Board of Education, recognizes excellence in teaching, innovative developments and efforts in teacher-preparation as it relates to state learning goals, leadership among colleagues on campus and in the community, contributions to the field of education and teacher preparation and communication with legislators, common school teachers, administrators and others about teacher preparation.

"This award recognizes Doris's high level of accomplishment in teacher education," says Dennis Sterner, dean of Whitworth's School of Education and recipient of the same award in 1998. "Doris is very deserving because of the many ways in which her influence is present in our undergraduate and master in teaching programs."

Randall Michaelis, who chairs Whitworth's department of education and who nominated Liebert for the award, adds, "In all of the courses that she teaches, Dr. Liebert uses a variety of instructional strategies that engage students physically and mentally. In addition to portfolios, learning centers and cooperative learning, she has been a leader in the use of case studies to encourage critical thinking and has recently included 'storyline' as a strategy in her elementary methods class. Doris Liebert not only teaches well, but she also works tirelessly to ensure the success of our student teachers."

In addition to the recognition, the award carries with it a $2,500 stipend to the Whitworth College Professional Education Advisory Board to enhance professional development. Liebert said that the award money will be used for a new laptop computer that she can use this summer to write new storyline curriculum materials for elementary teachers. Liebert and Whitworth student teachers will field-test these materials in public school classrooms.

Liebert joined Whitworth's faculty in 1982 and assumed the responsibilities of directing student teaching in 1984. She received the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1990 and the YWCA Women of Achievement Award in 1988. Liebert also has contributed to several books and has authored numerous articles for refereed educational journals. She is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Council for the Social Studies and the Northwest Association of Teacher Educators.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,000 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Dennis Sterner, dean of the Whitworth School of Education, (509) 777-4411 or dsterner@whitworth.edu.

Randall Michaelis, chair of Whitworth's Department of Education, (509) 777-4402 or rmichaelis@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

Related Links

Whitworth Press Release Index