by Claire Miller
When Diane Woodard (Ed.S. ’94) was a student at Georgia State University, it wasn’t uncommon to see William Suttles, former GSU president, greeting students as he walked through campus.
“One of the coolest things about going to school at Georgia State was running into Dr. Suttles – he knew everyone and always said hello,” said Woodard, who earned her specialist degree in leadership from the College of Education. “It made me feel welcome.”
That same spirit was alive in her classes, as well. Woodard remembers her professors treating their students like professionals and working to ensure they were prepared for their teaching careers.
“My professors wanted me to know that they cared about my education,” she said. “I really enjoyed my time there.”
After graduating from Georgia State, Woodard had a long career teaching music at both junior high and high schools in Georgia before accepting the choral director position at The Galloway School in Atlanta.
She’s one of 26 teachers and administrators at Galloway who received their degrees from the COE, and she had the opportunity to reminisce about her time on campus with her fellow Panthers during the Nov. 10 “Early Morning Dew” alumni breakfast.
COE Dean Randy Kamphaus and Elisa Tate, COE alumni relations coordinator, organize “Early Morning Dew” breakfasts at metro-Atlanta schools throughout the year to reconnect with alumni and thank them for their hard work.
“When I was at Georgia State, the therapeutic recreation undergraduate program was new and there were only 12 of us in it,” Denny Beatty (B.S. ’94), health and physical education teacher at Galloway, told his colleagues. “It felt like a graduate program. Our numbers were low, but at the time, that was a good thing because we received more individual attention.”
Beth Farohki, Galloway’s head of school, believes the “Early Morning Dews” strengthen the link between the university and K-12 schools where graduates are implementing what they learned every day.
“The breakfast is an important way to have the College of Education administrators come to the place of learning that their graduates help to create,” she said. “Connecting with alumni is important to keep the educational ties strong and vibrant for the Atlanta community.”
For more information about the “Early Morning Dew” breakfasts and other alumni events, visit http://education.gsu.edu/main/alumni.htm.