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Department of Education

The Maureen Kelly Hess Prize is awarded annually to a student who is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in special education or a Master of Science with a concentration in special education. The education department faculty selects the prize recipient. This prize was established by the Hess and Kelly families in memory of Maureen Kelly Hess, Class of 1981, after her death in April 1993. The prize is awarded to Brenna Elizondo.

Brenna is a senior in the education department. Throughout her time at Hood College, she has excelled academically. She is in the Honors Program and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta and Chi Alpha Sigma. She has been an active member of the Ionic Society and is a member of Mortar Board. She will graduate with certification in both elementary and special education. Brenna is a natural teacher who has demonstrated a commitment and passion for the field of education, particularly special education. She has an amazing ability to connect with diverse students with wide ranges of abilities. Her scholarship, enthusiasm and dedication will enable her to be an outstanding teacher.

The Park-Doff Award is presented to the student in the senior class who appears most promising as a teacher in the field of early childhood education. Classmates Sara Bell Parkhurst Van Why and Katherine Nixdorff Wilson, both Class of 1973 early childhood education majors, established this prize in 1974 to honor an outstanding student majoring in this field. No other prize existed at this time for ECE majors. Sarah Irvin is this year’s recipient.

Sarah is a respectful, hardworking student who always enthusiastically goes the extra mile. As an intern, she is always teaching with her students’ needs in mind, making her an excellent teacher. Sarah gets along well with her mentors and peers and knows how to be part of a team. She has always had a real passion for working with our youngest learners and has an intuitive feel for knowing what each and every one of her students needs to feel comfortable, happy and engaged. We look forward to hearing of all the great things she will do as a teacher!

The Hypatia Mathematics/Science Education Prize is awarded to the education student who exemplifies excellence in the field of mathematics or science teaching. This prize, named for the female Greek mathematician who taught at the Library of Alexandria in the early fifth century, is awarded in honor of past Department of Education professors of mathematics and science pedagogy at Hood College. The prize is awarded to Ashley Gates.

Ashley is a senior elementary and special education major who is also minoring in mathematics education. While Ashley shines in all areas of teaching, she is particularly talented in the area of mathematics education. Her curiosity about mathematical concepts and her perseverance in solving problems make her an excellent role model for elementary students. Professors appreciate her enthusiasm, thoughtful contributions to classroom discussions and her quality of work. In addition, Ashley has taken it upon herself to attend professional conferences on mathematical education, to tutor in mathematics, and to learn American Sign Language. Her positive attitude, professionalism and strong content knowledge will make her an outstanding teacher.

The Charles E. Tressler Outstanding Student Award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement by a student who intends to enter a career in education. This award was established to honor the late Giles Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education Charles E. Tressler. Professor Tressler taught at Hood from 1964 to 1990 and served for many years as chair of the Department of Education. The award is a gift from the estate of Samuel Eig. This year’s recipient is Brittany Whitham.

Brittany is from Colorado and came to Hood College four years ago. This resident assistant chose Hood for its education program and to be part of the swim team. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and she is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and SPURS. She was in the Ionic Society and vice president of Alpha Lambda Delta. In addition, she is a third-year participant with the Alternative Spring Break trip to Borgne, Haiti. She will graduate as a secondary English major this May. Next year, Brittany will be teaching in Baltimore with Teach for America, a very selective and competitive program for exemplary teachers. She is eager to be a part of a movement to reach students of all cultures and backgrounds and to be able to work with those students who are the neediest.

The Johanna Chait Essex ’53 Prize In Early Childhood Education was established by the family of Johanna Chait Essex ’53 in honor of her 80th birthday. Johanna devoted her professional life to educating nursery school children. The prize is awarded annually to a junior who shows the most promise as an early childhood education teacher as evidenced by performance throughout the internship at the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School. Erin Super is the recipient of this prize.

Erin is an intern at the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School this semester. She is very passionate about becoming a teacher. She approaches everything with enthusiasm and creates an environment that makes youngsters want to join in and participate. Erin is always on time, very responsible with her presentations and constantly ready to go over and above required expectations. Her love of learning is evident in her positive interactions with her professors, classmates and the children she works with. We look forward to working with Erin as an intern during her student teaching experiences.