A donation of $1 million from ENMU alumna Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, of Dublin, Ohio, is helping Eastern New Mexico University launch a new coteaching project with the Portales Municipal School District.
The coteaching project is designed to recruit, train and retain teachers within ENMU and the Portales school system, utilizing a system in which a prospective teacher is paired with a clinical teacher. The teaching duo focuses on co-planning, co-teaching, and co-assessing in a classroom setting. In this way, mentor teachers and prospective teachers can learn more about their chosen profession while incorporating teaching strategies best administered as a team.
“Future, beginning, and experienced teachers need professional learning opportunities every year so that they expand their knowledge and skills. Both the more experienced coaches and the teachers receiving support grow immensely in the process. And there is no more critical need than the learning of literacy,” Pinnell stated. “Shared leadership and responsive coaching are highly effective tools designed to support both intellectual growth and skills as well as to promote teacher satisfaction and dedication to the role of teaching.”
Dr. Pinnell’s past grant of $310,000 to the ENMU Child Development Center in Portales, added a two-year-old pre-school classroom and enhanced the Birth to Pre-Kindergarten students’ hands-on learning and early childhood literature library.
The 1966 ENMU alumna was inducted into the ENMU Educator Hall of Honor in 2014 for her exceptional career developing internationally renowned teaching methods in early childhood literacy. She was named Philanthropist of the Year by the ENMU Foundation in 2019.
“ENMU is honored to have such a dynamic and knowledgeable partner as Dr. Pinnell for these projects,” Dr. Patrice Caldwell, ENMU President commented. “We greatly value her nationally recognized expertise in these areas and her engagement with our campus and our faculty in bringing these projects into being. We look forward to improving programs and learning outcomes with her valuable guidance and generous funding.”