E3 Newsletter - January 2019

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Educate. Empower. Excel.

School of Education Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 2

Update from the Dean

Dean Rachel EndoDear Friends of the School of Education,

I am honored to share with you a few recent developments and updates going into my second year as Dean of the School of Education at UW Tacoma in the most-recent version of our E3 Newsletter (named after our mission: Educate, Empower, Excel). I am grateful and honored to be part of such a dynamic community of learners and teachers, as well as continuing to explore Tacoma and Washington state.

We welcomed over 100 students entering our programs this 2018-2019 academic year. Our high-talent students are aspiring or current educators and school leaders who are deeply committed to making a positive difference in our community. I have had the privilege of meeting some of our students during class visits or in the field, and look forward to meeting many more of them in the coming months.

In this edition of E3, we spotlight four of our outstanding alumni and current students including Phil Marr, Chanira Reang Sperry, Marcee Boggs, and Saovra “Sy” Ear. We look forward to showcasing more profiles from our outstanding students in future editions.

We are in a year of transition with several current or recent personnel updates including upcoming retirements. We are also in the process of hiring four new faculty for the 2019-2020 academic year including three tenure-track assistant professors in educational leadership, school psychology, and special education. In addition, we are searching for a new Director of our Ed.D. Program. We will post periodic updates to our website on the search status, and will announce our new hires as soon as offers are accepted.

The School of Education is in the process of launching two new academic programs to enhance our existing offerings. In fall 2020, we plan to launch a new Ed.S. in School Psychology. Associate Professor Laura Feuerborn has been at the forefront of getting this proposal approved. In fall 2021, we plan to launch a new B.A. in Educational Studies. The effort to launch our undergraduate major has been a long one, and has involved the steady leadership of Associate Professor Julia Aguirre, Associate Professor Laura Feuerborn, and Professor Christopher Knaus. We will keep the community apprised of new developments as we start to move toward final approvals of both programs.

Finally, I am very proud of the many accomplishments of the School of Education’s talented faculty and staff, which are spotlighted in the “Accomplishments” section of the newsletter.

I look forward to sharing more news with you in the near future.

Respectfully Yours,

Rachel Endo
Dean and Professor, School of Education


Spotlighting Alumni and Current Students

Are you an alumni or current student? Contact us at uwted@uw.edu if you would like to have your profile featured and share news in a future edition of our E3 Newsletter.

Phil MarrPhil Marr, M.Ed. alumni

In the Spring of 2018, Phil completed the M.Ed. for Practicing Educators program with the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) study option. He choose the SEL study option to strengthen his understanding of how to address the social and emotional needs of the secondary students and families he supports on a daily basis. Since completing the M.Ed. program, he has felt more empowered in his daily practice, and has seen many opportunities to advance his career in the field of education. Recently, Phil began working with the UW Tacoma School of Education as a Project Coordinator for a 21st Century Social and Emotional Learning grant for the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound, Tacoma Public Schools, Clover Park School District, and the YMCA. As part of the UW Tacoma evaluation team, he collaborates with the grant partners and coordinates the data collection process. The overall design of this grant project is to align academic and social emotional learning with all aspects of a child's life throughout the year. Phil says, "I am honored to be a part of this grant project, and I believe that the M.Ed.-SEL program has put me into a position where I can achieve all of my career goals and give back to the community where I live."

Chanira Reang SperryChanira Reang Sperry, Ed.D. student

Chanira is the daughter of Cambodian refugees.  In 1975, her family fled their home on a military base in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge Communist Party takeover.  After a long journey at sea on a ship crammed with 300 Cambodian refugees that was originally built for 30 crew members, and two plane rides, her family arrived in Corvallis, Oregon through the sponsorship of two churches. They were among the first Southeast Asians to arrive in Oregon.  As the only Cambodian family living in Corvallis, the isolating and minoritizing experiences influenced her work with Southeast Asian college student retention.  In 2015, she developed a seminar entitled, “Emerging Identities:  Southeast Asian Scholarship & Visibility” for the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s Educational Opportunities Program.  The primary goal of the course is to connect cultural affirmation to academic learning, which can lead to positive academic outcomes.  The seminar offers an opportunity for students to explore Southeast Asian history, culture, politics, and ethnic identities. Furthermore, the course focuses on challenging existing assumptions, beliefs, and stereotypes about Southeast Asian identities.  Chanira’s approach to teaching these concepts are intersectional and embrace feminist ideologies, decolonizing methodologies, student development, critical race theory and all attempts at a liberating education for students.  Her work with Southeast Asian college student initiatives has led her to pursue an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at UW Tacoma.  Her research aims to increase understanding of how Southeast Asian undergraduate students experience campus racial climates as well as the navigational strategies they use to achieve educational success.

Marcee BoggsMarcee Boggs, Ed.D. student

On November 8, 2018, a town of 27,000 people, along with many neighboring towns, were destroyed in a matter of hours. Marcee's family has lived in the foothills below Paradise for over 30 years, and plan for fires all year, but nothing could prepare them for the Camp Fire. They are threatened by fires frequently, and endured the devastating Humboldt Fire in 2008, but the Camp Fire was much different than the rest. She was getting ready for work when she received a message from her mother that her family was evacuating, the fire was spreading quickly, and they did not have time to load up any of the livestock besides their one-week old triplet lambs, the border collies, and a neighbor’s horses. As her family watched the flames close in around their house, her mother and sister evacuated with the animals they were able to load, and her dad decided to shelter in place and protect the ranch. He and a neighbor immediately started cutting fire breaks with tractors, turning sprinklers on neighborhood houses, and creating defensible space. In disbelief, all she could do from Seattle was watch the news and the horrors from her hometown being posted on social media. Her father, and one of the neighbors, managed to save the ranch and the houses on their remote gravel road. Marcee was glad, "but this is only one positive outcome compared to thousands of stories of loss and devastation." She says, "The past weeks have been filled with fear, heartache, and uncertainty, but also love and hope. The road to recovery will be long, but we are #ButteStrong."

Saovra "Sy" EarSaovra “Sy” Ear, Ed.D. alumni

Saovra “Sy” Ear is a graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma's Doctoral Program.  In November, he became the Interim Vice President for Student Services at Highline College.  Before joining Highline, he was the Dean for Student Success at Edmonds Community College, overseeing the Enrollment and Entry Services areas. He also served as interim vice president for Edmonds’ Student Services division. In addition to his work at Edmonds, Sy spent time at Green River College and at South Seattle College in a number of areas, including advising, transition services for English language learners, and financial aid.  In leading the Student Services division at Highline, Sy is overseeing a variety of services and programs to promote student access, retention and completion. He earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington Tacoma and his master’s degree in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. He is also a graduate of the 2017 Washington Executive Leadership Academy (WELA) and also completed the Leadership Development Program for Higher Education (LDPHE), sponsored by Leadership Education for Asians Pacific (LEAP) out of California. 


Personnel Updates

We have had several personnel transitions this year, and three upcoming retirements. Professor Gregory Benner, who joined the faculty in 2007 and went on to serve as Executive Director of the Center for Strong Schools from 2012-2017, started a new position in summer 2018 as the Helen and Pat O'Sullivan Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Alabama. Also, Senior Lecturer Ely Vargas resigned in summer 2018 after four years of service as our Teacher Certification Program Coordinator.

Eduardo Armijo was hired permanently in spring 2018 as our inaugural Data and Grants Manager after serving as our temporary Data Steward for over a year. Keshia Korman was hired in summer 2018 as our inaugural Director of Field Placements and Partnerships (an expanded role from the Teacher Certification Program Coordinator position).

Finally, three of our longtime colleagues, Diane Kinder (Faculty Program Coordinator and Professor of Special Education), Ginger MacDonald (Director and Professor of the Ed.D. Program), and Marcy Stein (Professor of Special Education and a Founding Faculty of Education at UW Tacoma) are all retiring on June 15, 2019. We will share more information with the community about how we plan to celebrate their many accomplishments and careers at UW Tacoma.

Welcome Eduardo Armijo

Eduardo Armijo transitioned on April 01, 2018 into a revised position with expanded responsibilities as our Data and Grants Manager after serving exceptionally well in a temporary role as our Data Steward for over a year. He has led the School of Education through key data reporting elements, including reports to the Professional Educator Standards Board, and the submission of Title II data. Eduardo also had a key role in the revision of the School of Education’s Student Information System.

Dr. Armijo has nearly 30 years of experience in grants management, program evaluation, and research including having served as a Data Analyst and Program Assessment/Evaluation Strategic Advisor for the Human Services Department with the City of Seattle; as an Evaluation Specialist and Research Scientist at UW Seattle in the College of Education; and as a Program Evaluator at UT El Paso's Office of Institutional Studies and Materials Research Center of Excellence. With a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UW Seattle, his research interests are in the areas of multicultural education and technology, particularly with K-8 and early childhood education populations.

Eduardo notes, “I have a keen interest in how data informs practitioners and researchers on the effectiveness of education programs. I started my career evaluating programs designed to increase the number of middle and high school Hispanic students choosing science and engineering as a career; and in later years focused on evaluating and researching school-based programs that helped preschool and K-12 students succeed in school. I look forward to using my skills to contribute wherever I can.”

Welcome Keshia Korman

Keshia KormanKeshia Korman joined us on June 18, 2018 as our new Director of Field Placements and Partnerships, following a national search. The search committee was led by a faculty-staff team including Cindy Valerio, Director of Operations (Chair), Megan Bentley-Moon (Adviser and Certification Officer), Belinda Louie (Professor and TELL Faculty Program Coordinator), and Rob MacGregor (Director of the Educational Administration Program and Professor of Practice).

Keshia has over 20 years of experience in the field of education including as a K-12 science teacher and a university instructor teaching courses in physics and science methods for pre-service teachers. She has been a field supervisor and lecturer at UW Seattle and UW Tacoma, and is also an edTPA scorer. Keshia holds the MAT degree from National-Louis University in Illinois with endorsements in middle-level education and general and physical science; and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in New York.

Keshia remarks, “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 the heart of a teacher, and enjoy working with children. I look forward to working with all of you, our school partners, and our teacher candidates to create the conditions needed to support the growth and well-being of all children.”


Faculty Accomplishments

Kathleen Beaudoin, Associate Professor


  • Drs. Kathy Beaudoin and Laura Feuerborn are conducting a year-long training project working with special education paraprofessionals and their partner teachers in Educational Service District 113 and the Marysville School District.  The project aims to improve the workplace safety of special education personnel by providing training in proactive and preventative practices for addressing problem behavior.
  • Improving Safety Conditions for All Special Education Personnel through Collaborative Safety Protocol Training, Principal Investigator. Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP), $150,000 (funded, 2018). Subcontract for services, $50,449 to ESD 113.


  • Beaudoin, K., Skočić Mihić, S., & Lončarić, D. (2018). Croatian preschool teachers’ self-perceived competence in managing the challenging behaviors of children. Journal Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 8(2), 123-138.
  • Feuerborn, L. L., Tyre, A. D., & Beaudoin, K. (2018). Classified staff perceptions of behavior and discipline: Implications for schoolwide positive behavior supports. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 20(2), 101-112.
  • Chadhuri, R. & Beaudoin, K. (2018). Support that principals need. Washington Principal, 35-36. (Dr. Chadhuri was in our first Ed.D. cohort at UWT)

Conference Presentations 

  • Chadhuri, R. & Beaudoin, K. (June, 2018). Supports Critical to a School Principal’s Effectiveness. Paper presented at the annual summer conference for the Association of Washington State Principals, Spokane, Washington. (Dr. Chadhuri was in our first Ed.D. cohort at UWT)
  • Beaudoin, K. & Feuerborn, L. (March, 2018). Increasing Safe Environments for Special Education Paraprofessionals Through Positive and Preventive Practices.Paper presented at the 15th annual conference on Positive Behavior Support, San Diego, California.
  • Beaudoin, K. & Feuerborn, L. (February, 2018). Training Special Education Paraprofessionals in Positive and Preventive Practices: Lessons Learned. Paper presented at the 16th annual Northwest PBIS Network Conference, Tacoma, Washington.

Rachel Endo, Dean and Professor


  • The Incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s: Literature for the high school classroom. Urbana, IL: The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Published June 2018.  Also, includes a supplemental NCTE blog post titled “Racialized Detainment Then and Now” that reflects on the causes and consequences of the current border crisis involving Central American migrants, as well as the incarceration and separation of other racialized families. Rachel writes that in times of national anxiety, teachers have a challenging yet critical opportunity to engage students in rich discussions about the state of our democracy in uncertain times.  


  • Arthur R. King, Jr. Award for Curriculum Innovation and Promoting Equity in Education, Pacific Circle Consortium. Accepted July 2018.
  • University of Illinois College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. Accepted March 2018.

Conference Presentations 

  • What's American? Whose America? Who's American? Lessons learned 76 years after Executive Order 9066. Plenary speaker. Pacific Circle Consortium International Conference. Minneapolis, MN. July 2018.
  • Women of color scholars as socially un/desirable bodies of difference: Perspectives from an Asian American dean. Symposium session sponsored by the Committee on Scholars and Advocates for Gender Equity in Education: Narratives of Resistance and Resilience: The Experiences of Women of Color Scholars in Predominantly White Colleges/Schools of Education (also, session organizer and chair). With S. Wright Stamm (discussant); H. Kim, Simmons College; N. Marrun, UNLV, R. Neal, Hamline University; and S. Storms Fairfield University. American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting. New York, NY. April 2018.
  • Community experts who transform teacher education: A tribute to Philip Borer Nelson. Paper session sponsored by SIG Critical Educators for Social Justice: Transforming schools from the outside-in: Families and communities as school activists. With L. Basford, Hamline University. American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting. New York, NY.  April 2018.

Laura Feuerborn, Associate Professor


  • The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) reviewed the research evaluating her socio-emotional learning program, Strong Kids, which is now listed on its approved programs. To learn more about Strong Kids, visit https://strongkidsresources.com/

Community Engagement

  • Project SELF. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound, Project SELF is a 5-year project that analyzes how a socio-emotional learning curriculum offered to youth who also attend Clover Park or Tacoma public schools impacts their academic achievement, their families’/parents’ engagement in their academic pursuits, and the students' overall well-being. Phil Marr (UWT M.Ed. 2018) is also serving as the project coordinator.

Conference Presentations 

  • Introducing Stronger Social and Emotional Programming. Workshop presented at the Washington State Association of School Psychologists (WSASP). Seatac, WA.
  • Understanding and countering common “misses: in behavioral consultation with teams. Workshop presented at the Washington State Association of School Psychologists (WSASP). Seatac, WA.


  • With Associate Professor Kathleen Beaudoin. Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline in Middle and High Schools, Principal Investigator, The University of Washington Tacoma’s Publicly Engaged Scholarship Internal Pilot Funding Program, University of Washington, Tacoma.

Christopher Knaus, Professor


  • Knaus, C. B. (2018). “If Everyone Would Just Act White: Education as a Global Investment in Whiteness". In J. Brooks and G. Theoharis (Eds.), Whiteucation: How Privilege, Power and Prejudice are Destroying School and Society. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Knaus, C. B., & Brown II, M. C. (2018). The absence of indigenous African higher education: Contextualizing whiteness, post-apartheid racism, and intentionality. In M. C. Brown II & T. E Dancy II (Eds.), Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global perspectives on race and stratification in postsecondary education (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities: Research, Policy and Praxis, Vol. 14), 263-288. Emerald Publishing.

Conference Presentations 

  • Strom, K., & Knaus, C. B. (2018). Exploring Problems of Practice in Mentoring for Social Justice; CIG Sponsored Session EdD Programs for Social Justice. Presented to the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Knowledge Forum on the Ed.D., Phoenix, AZ.
  • Knaus, C. B., Naone, K., Rogers-Ard, R. (2018). Mentoring Workshop: Resistance, Resilience, and Longevity within Academia. Presented to the 8th International Conference on Education and Social Justice, Honolulu, HI.
  • Knaus, C. B. (2018). Applying a Critical Race Theory of Higher Education. Presented to the 8th International Conference on Education and Social Justice, Honolulu, HI.
  • Knaus, C. B. (2018). Excavating Multiracialities: Digging Through Contemporary Dilemmas of Epistemic and Experiential Violence in Multiracial Identity Formations. Spotlight Panel Presented to the Fourth Quadrennial Race & Pedagogy National Conference, Tacoma, WA.
  • Wilson, K., Webster, T. C., Tamaami, B., & Knaus, C. B. (2018). Hostility, Trauma, and Critical Race Theory: Nourishing Resistant Voices in Colonial Spaces. Presented to the Fourth Quadrennial Race & Pedagogy National Conference, Tacoma, WA.
    • Presented with one UWT undergraduate student (Beleqsa Tamaami) and two current Ed.D. students (Kenderick Wilson and Trayvon-Conrad Webster).

Professional Community

  • Smith, M., Pon, N., Knaus, C., Liston, M., & Marsh, T. (2018). Stay Woke: Critical Race Theory in Education. An Introductory Seminar. Puget Sound Educational Services District, Renton, WA.
  • Knaus, C. B. (2018). Engaging Standardized Testing Bias. Professional Educators Standards Board Testing Barriers Work Group. Highline College, WA.
  • Knaus, C. B. (2018). Building Community Partnerships with Diversity in Mind: Decentering Institutional Practice to Diversify the STEM Teacher Workforce. NextGen WA, Tacoma.

José Rios, Associate Professor


  • with Anita Lenges (UWS), Ricardo Valdez (Heritage University) and Corey McKenna (Heritage University). Dr. Rios is providing professional development related to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at several school districts in the Yakima Valley of Washington state.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, (2018-19). Title V Grant. Theory to Practice: Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation for Hispanics (ESTPH; $135,962).
  • with Ed Geary (WWU), Julie Antilla (SPU), Kathy Baldwin (EWU), Jenny Dechaine (CWU), and Tamara Nelson (WSU Vancouver).  Dr. Rios is leading the Diversity Working Group, facilitating professional development workshops, and participating in various initiatives focused on diversifying the STEM teacher workforce in Washington State.
  • Project Leader, (2016-2020). NSF Grant. The Next Generation of STEM Teacher Preparation in Washington State (NextGen-WA; $65,000 subcontract).


  • Rios, J. (2018). "What do you call a Latino with a PhD? Profesor!" In A. Kemp (Ed.), The Dignity of the Calling: Educators share the beginnings of their journeys. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Conference Presentations 

  • Rios, J., Thomson, R., Louie, B., & Zhu, M. (2018, March). Developing professional development for NGSS and CCSS: Stories of interdisciplinary collaboration and transformation. Presentation at the annual Critical Questions in Education Conference, Portland, Oregon.
  • Rios, J. (2018, October). Seeing Science in the Community. Presentation at the annual Teaching Equity is Central Conference, Ellensburg, Washington.

Professional Community

  • Rios, J. (2018, October). NGSS in the Classroom. Workshop presented for the Theory to Practice: Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation for Hispanics (ESTPH) – Title V Grant at Roosevelt Elementary School, Granger, WA.
  • Rios, J. (2018, September). NGSS in the Classroom. Workshop presented for the Theory to Practice: Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation for Hispanics (ESTPH) – Title V Grant at Harrah Elementary School, Harrah, WA.
  • Rios, J. (2018, August). Deconstructing NGSS. Workshop presented for the Theory to Practice: Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation for Hispanics (ESTPH) – Title V Grant at Heritage University, Toppenish, WA.