Teachers College recognizes retiring faculty

May 8, 2012

Seven faculty members of The Teachers College received special recognition at the 27th Annual Teachers College Honors Banquet held May 6 at Emporia State University.

Dr. Phil BennettDr. Phil Bennett is retiring as Dean and Professor of The Teachers College. Bennett was selected as dean of the college in 2009, taking over for Dr. Tes Mehring, who became ESU’s provost and vice-president for academic affairs in May 2008. Bennett served as associate dean of college since 2001, twice filling the role of interim dean during the fall semesters of 2004 and 2006.

Prior to his ESU service, Bennett was dean of the School of Education at Lander University in Greenwood, SC, served as coordinator of teacher education for the Kansas State Department of Edu­cation (KSDE), directed teacher education and served as a faculty member at MidAmerica Nazarene Univer­sity, and taught mathematics at the college and high school levels.

Bennett worked at the National Council for Accredita­tion of Teacher Education (NCATE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. during a sabbatical in 2008. NCATE is the professional accrediting organization for schools, colleges, and departments of education in the United States.

Over the course of his career, Bennett authored or co-authored grants of bringing in more than $1,000,000.  He authored or co-authored a number of articles and numerous presentations at a variety of state, regional, and national conventions.

Dr. Larry ClarkDr. Larry Clark retired as Executive Director of the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence.  In a career spanning almost five decades, he worked as teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent. 


Before coming to ESU, Clark was the superintendent at Burlington USD 244. His research interest is computer networking and he has presented at Kansas Association of School Boards and National Association of School Boards conventions. Clark is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and National Association of School Administrators.

Dr. Eileen Hogan is retiring as Professor of Early Childhood Education. Prior to coming to ESU, she was on the faculty of Southwest Baptist University, Stephens College, and Bethany College. 

At ESU, Hogan has chaired the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education and directed the Early Childhood Programs. Currently, she is the Professional Development School coordinator in Kansas City, KS. 

She has made numerous presentations at state, regional, and national presentations and has published articles and chapters in journals such as Multicultural Perspectives and is co-author of the book Essential Spanish Phrasebook for Teachers. She served on numerous community, ESU, and Kansas State Department of Education committees including the Butler County Community College EC Board, Early Childhood IHE Kansas Task force, Board Member for the Kansas Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program, and board member for the Child Development Center.  She was also a member of the Governor’s task force on Early Childhood: Care, Education, & Health: Vision for the 21st Century. She authored the proposal to create a new licensure program in Early Childhood Education Birth-K for The Teachers College, which was approved by KSDE.  

Dr. Diane Miller retired as Professor of Adaptive Special Education in December.  Prior to joining the faculty, she was an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Special Education for the US Department of Education. 

At ESU, she taught nearly every graduate adaptive special education course the university offers.  Her research interests include increasing interactions with students in online courses, managing student behavior, virtual mentoring, and advocacy.  She has presented at regional and national conventions and published in these areas.  She received The Teachers College Faculty Excellence Awards in both Instruction and Service. 

A sample of Miller’s service contributions to the university, state, and nation include:  President of the ESU Faculty, President, Vice-President and Current - Past President of Kansas Learning Disabilities Association, Current President of the Kansas University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, NCATE Program Reviewer, and textbook reviewer.

Dr. Sue PetersonDr. Sue Peterson retired in December as the Director of the Office of Professional Education Services (OPES), which oversees student teaching. Before coming to ESU, she served in a number of administrative roles at Mississippi State University. 

At ESU, she served on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Steering Committee and the Council on Teacher Education.  She provided the leadership for preparing the college for its review by the KSDE and NCATE for the standard on clinical experiences.

Active in both the Kansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Peterson just finished two years as a member of the Constitution Committee, and the Association of Teacher Educators in Kansas.

During her years as OPES Director, Peterson represented The Teachers College to public school administrators and teachers, advocating for the optimal clinical experiences for ESU’s student teachers with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity. 

Dr. Jon SwardDr. Jon Sward is retiring as Assistant Professor of Mental Health Counseling.  Sward came to ESU after having a distinguished career including administrative and supervisory work in community mental health care, counseling services at mental health centers and correctional facilities, a private practice in mental health counseling, and a private practice in law.

Sward taught a variety of courses in the master’s program in mental health counseling and served as Interim Director of what is now called Community Clinic Services. A member of several professional organizations, he served as President of the Kansas Association of Counselor Educators.

Sward made numerous presentations at state and national meetings with articles on topics as diverse as helping women with addictions and trauma, reducing dental fear, and privileged communication and confidentiality issues when counseling couples. 

Dr. Phil WurtzDr. Phil Wurtz is retiring as Professor of Mental Health Counseling and Director of the Mental Health Counseling program. His reputation as a gifted teacher was validated by the many who have expressed their heartfelt appreciation of their professional development from taking his courses.  In recognition of his teaching, Wurtz received The Teachers College Excellence in Instruction faculty award. 

Wurtz served on numerous department, college, and university committees.  He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Counseling Association and the American Association for Adult Development and Aging.  Wurtz is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in Kansas.  He also is Director of Counseling and Psychological Services based in Emporia and Topeka.

His research includes similarities and differences between the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board’s Code of Professional Misconduct and the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics and comparing CACREP and non-CACREP Counseling Education Programs’ admission and retention policies.



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