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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 38 years at two Christian liberal arts universities, I have had the opportunity to participate in the preparation of many future P-12 teachers. For the past 22 years, it has been a privilege 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 teacher leaders. What better group of professionals can one mentor than those preparing to serve their diverse students in a positive, life-affirming classroom experience? Some have gone on to become administrators in their school districts and beyond. Several have continued their education earning doctoral degrees and have become teacher educators themselves.

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. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is hearing about the successes our graduates have advocating for and empowering their students to believe in themselves. They choose to be a positive and contributing influence whether at the family level, workplace or beyond.  

Biography
David earned both a bachelor's and master’s degree from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. He was born in Colombia and lived there and in Costa Rica for 15 years. He taught at the high school and elementary levels prior to becoming a professor. David enjoys being with his family and friends. His hobbies include yardwork, riding bikes (both the pedaling kind and a Honda Goldwing), and triathlons. 

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, traveling and experiencing new cultures with his wife.

Meet Our Faculty

Pam LeBret, M.Ed. 

What drew you to teaching as a career?

I have a passion for teaching and I believe it is my calling, and when I entered the profession, my inner voice was telling me to do so. Many factors drew me to teaching as a career. One factor is I look at teaching as a chance to transform lives and help students in various ways, from academics to welfare and emotional learning. Another factor is teaching gives me a chance to be creative, continuously; I can be creative in every lesson I deliver to engage the students all of the time. So many opportunities that arise in teaching allow me to try new ideas to optimize the learning environment. Another factor that drew me to being a teacher is it gives me the opportunity to grow and learn on a regular basis, which promotes the belief of a growth mindset. Finally, being a part of the educational profession, there is always satisfaction somewhere. 

Why do you enjoy teaching in the MIT program?

Teaching in the MIT program allows me to be a major contributor to our future teachers' learning experiences. I am able to share my passion for education, and to experience that same inner voice telling MITs to be a teacher has been a lifelong goal for me. Collaborating with future educators about effective and ongoing practices is part of my passion for the education field. In addition, I love seeing excitement as graduate students discover how they will influence our future leaders of tomorrow.  

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

Teaching is definitely not about the vacations and breaks you get each calendar year or the lack of pay one gets. It is about teaching a concept and seeing the “lightbulbs” turn on every day and the differences that you make in a child’s life. That is the reward of teaching.

Biography

I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, teacher certification, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Media and Technology from Arizona State University. During my time in Arizona, I taught at the elementary and middle school levels for 12-plus years and served as an ELL site-based coordinator. I am originally from Spokane and returned to be closer to family. Shortly after moving back, I took a position as a regional consultant with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I traveled to various schools throughout the Northwest and Alaska and supported both teachers and their students as they worked toward a common goal to be successful in reading. I also coached and guided teachers in implementing an intervention program designed by Scholastic.

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.

Biography
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.