“Coincidences mean you’re on the right path,” British author Simon Van Booy once said. For assistant professors Stacy Hill and Doreen Keller, working at the same school districts seem to be their right path. Both Hill and Keller previously worked in the Whitworth School of Education as visiting professors and will resume their roles as educators for the next school year.
Hill has been teaching in varying capacities for the last 17 years, and many of those years have been at Whitworth, she said, but it is not the first time she and Keller have worked together.
“We have been friends since we were both hired to teach English at Mt. Spokane High School in 1998,” Hill said. “After we both left Mt. Spokane, Doreen went to teach at Gonzaga and I came here, but now we are back together at Whitworth as assistant professors.”
Keller also discussed in an e-mail the importance of her friendship with Hill that began in 1998.
“We quickly became good friends along with another colleague who was hired the same year,” Keller said. “When I advise teacher candidates about managing collegial relationships, I always share that they need to find trusted and respected colleagues with whom they can process and confide in. This makes all the difference in getting careers off on the right start. I am thankful every day for my friendship with Stacy.”
Hill was an educator for both the Masters in Teaching Program and the Evening Teacher Certification Program in the past, but next year she will be assigned full time to the ETC.
“I have a soft spot in my heart for adults returning to school,” she said.
The ETC is designed for working adults, Hill said.
“The evening classes are nice because the students can continue to work while in school,” she said. “Most people are juggling full-time jobs and families along with their class schedule.”
Hill will miss the MIT Program, she said, but she is looking forward to continuing at ETC.
Keller acted as a visiting professor this year for MIT and will continue with the program next year.
“The more I continue to learn about the program and the more I am a part of it, the more I am convinced we are as good or better than the best comparable programs in the country,” Keller said. “I am proud to be part of the team that makes it so great.”
Even though both of the professors are going to be assigned to a specific program, there may be possibilities where they can branch out and teach in different settings.
“For the most part, they will remain in their set program, but there is some fluidity in terms of what courses they teach and the terms they teach them in,” said Scott D’Amico, the assistant director of the MIT Program.
A strength that each professor shares is the fact that they have experience teaching in the Spokane School District.
“Stacy and Doreen know the public school climate in this area, so they have numerous connections, which are always beneficial as they help to place our students into the districts,” D’Amico said.
Hill and Keller both said they look forward to continuing their careers at Whitworth, emphasizing the inviting environment Whitworth has to offer.
“I had heard about how great the community was from Stacy and others who are Whitworth alums,” Keller said. “What I found when I arrived was how open and supportive and grace-filled the community is.”
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