Portia Downey and Jennifer Johnson take on new roles

Portia Downey and Jennifer Johnson have recently taken on new or enhanced roles within the college.

Formerly the COE’s partnership coordinator, Portia is now coordinator of professional development, reporting to the associate dean of academic affairs. In her new position, which became effective Aug. 1, Portia is responsible for developing partnerships with school districts, schools, and school personnel to provide engaged learning opportunities for COE students. She will also work to connect COE faculty with schools for professional development and/or research opportunities.

Portia Downey
Portia Downey

“Given Portia’s extensive experience, enthusiasm and energy, she will be a key player in helping the college fulfill its mission to provide professional development opportunities for our partners and to build innovative programs to support our students, faculty and staff,” said Marc VanOverbeke, associate dean.

Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson begins in her new role as director of teacher preparation and development on Sept. 16, reporting to the college’s associate dean of academic affairs. Her new duties include providing leadership for the COE on teacher preparation and development, and on P-20 initiatives, overseeing COE teacher licensure services, supervising school-university partnership efforts, and coordinating all clinical observation and student teaching placements for the college among other responsibilities.

“Jennifer Johnson is ideal for this new role in the college,” Marc said. “She has developed productive relationships with school districts, and she has the respect of both our school district partners and our students.  She will work closely with the dean’s office and with our teacher education programs as we continue to educate and graduate outstanding future teachers.  I’m thrilled that both Portia and Jennifer have accepted these new roles in the college, and I look forward to working closely with both of them.”

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