Awardee Mentors Future Teachers

Dr. Brenda DollDr. Brenda Doll balances the high academic expectations of her McKendree education students with a sense of caring. The director of teacher education received the 2013 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for her outstanding contributions to the profession and her students.

Since 2009, Brenda has prepared McKendree’s teacher candidates academically and emotionally for the challenges they can expect to face in education. “I need to provide safe learning environments so my students can study, practice and learn to take risks by trying out new and innovative instructional strategies,” she said. “Building trusting relationships with teacher candidates enables us to set the bar high and produce high-quality teachers.”

“She is an organized and purposeful teacher who models the effective instructional methods about which she teaches. She spends countless hours meeting individually with students and resolving issues that arise during field experiences and student teaching,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost.

Dr. Tami Eggleston, associate dean, praised Brenda’s “extremely high level of commitment, energy, and passion. Her rapport with teacher candidates in the classroom, as well as her mentoring of those in field experiences and student teaching, is outstanding. She has taken student teaching seminars to a higher level by including guest speakers that can discuss interviewing practices, new trends in education and transitioning to the career.”

“I chose to teach at McKendree so I could continue to build strong relationships with my teacher candidate students in the same way that I nurtured connections with my elementary students for many years,” said Brenda, who taught school for 18 years in her hometown of Elkhart, Ill., Katy, Texas and Hampton Roads, Va.

Six current or former students are also 2013 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awardees:

Deborah (Brandenburger) Brimm ’78, a fifth-grade teacher at Bluffview Elementary School in Dupo, Ill.

Cristal (Thomason) Faust, MAED ’10, a honors math teacher at Shiloh Middle School in Shiloh, Ill.

Jill Kraft, MAED ’12, a Title 1 reading teacher at Franklin School in Belleville, Ill.

Christy Lutz, MAED ’08, a K-4 teacher at Illini Elementary School in Fairview Heights, Ill.

Crista Schafer, MAED ’14, a speech teacher at Whiteside Middle School in Belleville, Ill.

Rebecca Sedabres ’06, a second-grade teacher at Bernard Long Elementary School in Madison, Ill.

The awards were presented to 103 St. Louis area educators on Nov. 10, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Mo. They are sponsored annually by Emerson, a global manufacturing and technology company.