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“Wall of Fame”: School of Education Honors Citadel Graduates.


Dear Friends of the School of Education:


Col. Tony W. Johnson
Dean of Education
On Friday evening September 19th, the School of Education sponsored the inaugural "Wall of Fame" celebration honoring Citadel graduates who had distinguished themselves as educators and corporate leaders for their ongoing support of education in the Lowcountry and beyond.  In addition to recognizing individuals and corporations for their achievements,  this very special event highlighted recent accomplishments of The Citadel's School of Education and invited our guests (130 strong) to join us in the ongoing transformation of a good school of education into a great one.


The School of Education presented four awards this evening: three that recognized significant accomplishments and/or contributions to education representing our four divisions:  Counselor Education; Educational Leadership; Literacy Education, and Teacher Education.  The final award is best described as the Dean's award and is presented to a corporation for their significant contributions enhancing the quality of education in the region and beyond.


Plaques honoring each of the evening's honorees were displayed at the event and will soon be permanently displayed on a wall in Capers Hall for all to see.  Hopefully, as future educators-both cadets and graduate students-are exposed to this "Wall of Fame," they will be inspired to aim high in their pursuit of educational excellence.  Our goal is to make this an annual event adding four or five new recipients to the "Wall of Fame" each year.  In addition to having their pictures and names forever enshrined on the "wall," each recipient received an engraved crystal paperweight. 


Dean Johnson and Wall of Fame
Honoree, Creighton Eddings
On September 19th, Creighton Eddings became the first ever "Wall of Fame" recipient.   Creighton earned two master's degrees from The Citadel, the first in 2005 in counselor education and second in educational leadership in 2007.  He is a school counselor and assistant principal in the Berkeley County School District, was the 2008 Teacher of the Year for Devon Forest Elementary School, and was among the top three Honor Roll teachers recognized in the Berkeley County Teacher of the Year competition.  In addition Creighton is the Tri-county Counseling Association's Counselor of the Year and the recipient of the 2007 Ava Ledford Child Advocate Award from the Exchange Club.  It bears noting that -due in part to his familiarity with the transformation that is occurring in the School of Education and because he personifies "principled educational leadership"-faculty selected Mr. Eddings to participate in the recent accreditation review of the School of Education.


Joining Creighton as an inaugural "Wall of Fame" recipient is the Wachovia Foundation for its overall commitment to improving literacy and specifically for its support of the School of Education's summer reading program and our Masters in Literacy Education.   During the first three years of this partnership, funding from the Wachovia Foundation has enabled the School of Education to train approximately 140 graduate students and area teachers to diagnose a child's reading deficiency and to correct it using the most appropriate remedy. As graduate students and teachers tutored children one-on-one as part of a graduate course, these 140 area children and their classmates benefitted from their teachers enhanced ability to teach reading effectively.   These efforts continue to grow and now include a special cohort-based literacy program for 24 teachers of the Charleston County School District.


Wall of Fame Honoree, Thomas
Melvin, and General Grinalds
The recipient of the inaugural "Wall of Fame" award for teacher education is Mr. Thomas Melvin.  Mr. Melvin graduated from The Citadel in 1982 with a degree in social studies education.  He also earned masters degrees in business and education from Webster University and the University of Redlands.   After serving as a marine and in the National Guard, Thomas became a teacher, assistant principal, and principal.  For almost two decades, Thomas has been active in the California Literacy Association, the International Reading Association, the California Adult Education Administrators Association, and serves as an accreditation team member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a Life Member of The Citadel Alumni Association.  As Principal of Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, California, his responsibilities include overseeing all academic, vocational, and law library services for over 4,000 inmates.       


The final member of these inaugural inductees into the School of Education "Wall of Fame" is the SCANA Corporation.  It is clear that SCANA lives up to its core value of serving our community.  By initiating, sustaining, and expanding the Homework Center Program in South Carolina and neighboring states, SCANA continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to public education.   Expanding from 13 to 32 centers, SCANA supports after school tutoring in mathematics, reading, and study skills for at-risk children in safe and structured learning environments.  In addition, SCANA matches dollar-for-dollar employee contributions to South Carolina schools and supports numerous initiatives designed to improve the quality of education in state and region.  For their continuous and generous support of public education for almost two decades, the Dean's inaugural "Wall of Fame" award is presented to the SCANA Corporation.


Before concluding this very special event, guests were asked to reexamine the great books motif of the invitation, agenda, and related materials.  The quotation by Horace Mann on the cover of the invitation---"the common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man"-was purposely chosen for it reflects our belief that a strong and vibrant democracy and a robust economy are dependent upon excellence in our public schools.


Guests were reminded that the back cover of the invitation are a row or shelf of classic or great books.  Printed on the spines of two of these books is our mission of "preparing principled educational leaders" who--as quiet leaders-in "small and obscure" ways make a difference in the lives of their students.  For a fuller explanation what it means to be a principled educational leader, please see the article in the fall 2008 issue of  The Citadel.   Also in keeping with the great books motif, guests received a brochure identifying five major initiatives in The Citadel School of Education's march toward excellence.  As noted in the brochure,  we respectively ask for your support  of our vision  of becoming the national model for the development of "principled educational leaders."


The celebration concluded by recognizing the Hirshey Award winners (both cadet and graduate students) selected each year since 1987 as the outstanding education major of that academic year.    This grand evening came to an end with a very special thank- you to Mr. Edward Pendarvis and his friends for their generous support of the first annual "Wall of Fame" celebration. 



Tony W. Johnson

Professor and Dean