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Release: May 7, 2002

Teacher Certification Ceremony set for May 17

The University of Iowa College of Education will once again honor new teachers with a special Teacher Certification Ceremony at 8 p.m. Friday, May 17 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

More than 250 students have been invited to the event, which was started in May 2001 to give new teachers greater recognition than is possible during the commencement ceremony. At the UI, all undergraduate education majors are enrolled in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which will hold its commencement this year on Saturday, May 18, at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

"Teaching in today's schools is more challenging, and potentially more rewarding, than ever before," said College of Education Dean Sandra Damico. "Our graduates deserve a special sendoff as they embark on the great and good task of educating this country's children."

The keynote speaker for the event will be 2001 Iowa Teacher of the Year Gail B. Wortmann, who teaches anatomy and physiology at Ottumwa High School in Ottumwa. Wortman, who also teaches general physical science at the Ottumwa campus of Buena Vista University, serves nationally as a Pioneer Mentor for Pioneer New Media Technologies Inc., of California and is a fellow in the Access Excellence program. She also mentors beginning teachers in her own school and across the nation via the Web.

Also scheduled to speak are Gary Sasso, Ph.D., professor of special education, and Sheila M. McShane, a social studies education student. McShane, who is majoring in history and minoring in sociology, has been on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's List from 1998-2002, has worked and studied in Ireland and Germany and has volunteered in an adult English as a Second Language program in West Liberty.

The Willowwind School Children's Choir will provide music during the ceremony.

Founded in 1872, the University of Iowa College of Education was the nation's first permanent college-level department of education. Since then the College has gained an international reputation of excellence in fields as diverse as rehabilitation counseling, testing and measurement, and language and literacy. It is home to the Iowa Testing Programs, developer of the widely used Iowa Tests of Basic Skills; to the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; and to such top-ranked programs as Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Elementary Teacher Education, Secondary Teacher Education, and English Education and Literacy.