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Faculty & Staff

The Whitworth School of Education has as its greatest resource an exceptional faculty. This diverse group is dedicated to the concept of teaching as a calling. From the classroom to field supervision to leadership in higher education, our faculty and staff stand out as leaders in education.

Meet the Director

David Cherry, Ph.D.  David Cherry

Professor and Director, Master in Teaching Program

Why teach in and direct the Master in Teaching (MIT) Program?
For the past 35 years, at two different universities, I have felt called to help prepare future teachers. For the last 20 years, I have been honored to serve at Whitworth, as the director of the MIT program. The candidates attracted to this program have the drive, passion and maturity to do the hard work of becoming exceptional teachers. What better group of professionals can one mentor than those preparing to serve students in a positive, life-affirming classroom experience? As a teacher-educator, I find that being involved in their preparation is invigorating, fulfilling and, ultimately, a privilege.

I have also been fortunate to be surrounded by very talented and committed colleagues who work collaboratively on creating the best possible environment for teacher preparation. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the teachers we've prepared in the classroom engaging with individual students and realizing their dream of educating students for a lifetime of success.

David's hobbies include yardwork, tinkering with cars, riding bikes (both the pedaling kind and a Honda Goldwing), swimming, running and watching his son play baseball.

Meet the Assistant Director

Matt Karsh Matt Karsh

Assistant Director, Master in Teaching Program

What drew you to become the assistant director for Whitworth's MIT program?
Whitworth has a tradition of excellence in preparing teachers who will go out and make a difference in their communities. I was excited at the opportunity to be a part of such a respected program at a university with an incredible reputation.

The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to help people reach their goals, specifically their goals to become certified teachers and educators. I sincerely believe in the impact that teachers have on children's lives, and by helping support the MIT program I can help as Whitworth develops the best teachers.

Matt's hobbies include serving at church, cooking, running, watching football, travelling and experiencing new cultures with his wife.

Meet Our Faculty

Lori Johnson, Ed.D. Lori Johnson

What drew you to teaching as a career?
I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, but life happened differently: Instead of a teaching degree, I completed a bachelor's degree in speech communications. When the opportunity arose, I wound up at Whitworth earning my teaching certificate and master's degree in a fabulous program. That was 19 years ago. I love working with children and being part of the magic of learning. The energy and joy elementary students bring to school every day make it a wonderful place to teach and learn.

Why do you enjoy teaching in the MIT program?
I enjoy working with future teacher-leaders as they learn about best and current practices and discover that they can have a positive impact on the everyday lives of so many students. I enjoy sharing my love of literacy with teacher candidates and hearing how they ignite students' interest in reading. There's nothing better than watching a student get lost in a book!

What piece of advice would you offer someone interested in becoming a teacher?

Volunteer in a school, watch the magic that happens, and then come and be a part of it!

Lori is an assistant professor and the elementary coordinator of the Whitworth Master in Teaching Program. She recently completed her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Washington, and she holds an MIT from Whitworth and a B.A. in speech communications from Western Washington University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in early and middle-childhood literacy: reading and language arts. She currently holds a Washington state teaching certificate endorsed in: K-8 elementary, K-12 reading, and 4-12 speech.

Lori has extensive experience in elementary teaching and learning, including 17 years of K-6 experience as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, and Pre-K through 6th grade library-media specialist. She is a facilitator of adult learning with teacher candidates and practicing teachers.

Doreen Keller, Ed.D. Doreen Keller

What drew you to teaching as a career?
My mother: She was an elementary-school teacher for 36 years. She taught students in some of the poorest neighborhoods, and she always loved what she did. I remember her former students approaching her in grocery stores, at theme parks, and in restaurants to tell her how thankful they were to have had her as their teacher. As a child, I saw firsthand how much she affected young people's lives, and I knew that teaching was what I wanted to pursue.

What piece of advice would you offer someone interested in becoming a teacher?
Make sure you are getting into teaching because you love and care about kids. The relationships you make with your students are the most important factor in your success and theirs.

What's your fondest memory of a teacher from your own K-12 experience?
My high school English teacher was the perfect balance of smart, demanding, consistent and, above all, loving. She pushed me to do better with my writing and introduced me to the idea of having to work harder for the first time. She passed away shortly before I began my first year of teaching, and I wish I had shared with her how much she influenced my life.

Doreen is an assistant professor for the Whitworth Master in Teaching Program. She recently completed her doctorate at Washington State University, and she holds an MIT from Gonzaga University and a B.A. in English from the University of Washington.

Doreen has extensive experience in secondary teaching and learning, including 11 years of instructing English/language arts classes at Mt. Spokane High School, as well as seven years of experience as an adjunct faculty instructor at Gonzaga University.