School of Education Remembers Keshia Korman
Keshia Korman, who served exceptionally well in the School of Education at UW Tacoma as our inaugural Director of Field Placements and Partnerships, as well as a Field Supervisor and Lecturer in our Secondary Education and Teaching English Language Learners Teacher Certification Programs, passed away on April 1, 2019. During this difficult time of mourning and remembering, we send our deepest condolences and love to Keshia’s family and her many friends across the nation and in our community.
Keshia started at UW Tacoma in 2014 as a field supervisor and lecturer in our dual-track K-8/Teaching English Language Learner and Secondary Education programs. In June 2018, she was hired full-time as our inaugural Director of Field Placements and Partnerships. Keshia was our clear candidate of choice. A career changer with over 20 years of exceptional experience as a classroom teacher and a school leader, she was skilled at mentoring and supporting pre-service teachers in our Teacher Certification Programs. She was also deeply passionate about sparking children’s interest in scientific inquiry and research, especially young persons from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the STEM fields.
While at UW Tacoma, Keshia demonstrated exemplary leadership to the School of Education by, among others: chairing our Teacher Certification Program Professional Education Advisory Board (PEAB); serving as a member of the search committee for the Assistant Professor in Special Education position that led to the hire of Gordon Brobbey from the University of South Florida (he will join our faculty on September 16, 2019); and streamlining our assessment and evaluation systems, as well as various policies, processes, and procedures related to field placements. She oversaw the day-to-day operations of our Office of Field Placements and Partnerships, a new subdivision in the School of Education that was created in summer 2018 to support field supervisors, mentor teachers, and teacher candidates, as well as to centralize and coordinate the school’s dozens of community and school partnerships.
As a seasoned educator herself who had a deep level of respect for the work of teachers, Keshia supported our vast networks of school partners to bridge the theory-practice divide between the learning taking place between the university setting and the K-12 classrooms. She taught reflective seminar, a course that provided teacher candidates with the dispositions, knowledge, and skills to prepare for the responsibilities of full-time teaching. Keshia was also highly respected by our school partners because she brought practical knowledge that helped us always center the best interests of children and families in both our conversations and decisions.
Keshia earned her MA in Teaching from National-Louis University in Illinois with endorsements in Middle-Level Education and General and Physical Science. She also obtained her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Union College in New York.
Here is a memorable quote from Keshia when she joined us in summer 2018: “Being raised in the inner city of New York and attending Brooklyn Technical High School has cultivated my appreciation for supporting urban-serving environments. Although I began my journey as a mechanical engineer, I always had [and will have] the heart of a teacher.”
Reflections from Rachel Endō, Dean of the School of Education:
Keshia always had the heart and soul of everyone’s favorite teacher. Whenever Keshia visited UW Tacoma teacher candidates in their field placements at our partner K-12 schools, it was such a joy to see so many faces light up. The children would run up to Keshia with excitement to tell her about their new pets, the birth of new siblings, and to share what they just learned in school in great detail. Always one to nurture brilliant young minds, she would sit next to any child who wanted to connect with her with a warm smile. It was such a delight to see Keshia bring such joy to so many lives, especially young children who viewed her as a friend and a role model, as well as the teacher they always wanted.
Moreover, I was always moved by Keshia’s deep care for all people, grace, patience, and wonderful sense of humor. She always found the good in every person she encountered. She inspired me to be better and do better.
It was such an honor to know Keshia as a colleague and friend. I know many of you have more loving memories to share as well, and I look forward to continuing to celebrate, honor, and remember Keshia.