Mount Education professors earn leadership awards

April 12, 2018

Two Mount Saint Mary College Education professors were recently honored for their leadership, dedication, and service to the community.
Janine Bixler, professor of Education and chair of the Division of Educa Portrait of: Janine Bixlertion, was given the National School Development Council’s 2018 Cooperative Leadership Award. Colleague Frances Spielhagen, professor of Education and co-director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Development, earned the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s 2018 Educational Leadership Award.

Bixler, who also serves as the director for the Mount’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL), was nominated for the award by the Mid Hudson School Study Council. The award is presented to a member of the National School Development Council who has exhibited exemplary leadership within the council, particularly those who have worked to create cooperative educational programs in local communities.

The Mount’s CELL program seeks to conduct research that has a direct impact on classroom literacy instruction and the preparation of teachers of literacy. Among many other initiatives, CELL hosts a weekly literacy program for underserved children at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, staffed by Mount faculty and undergraduate and graduate students.

“The award acknowledges many, not just me,” said Bixler. “I am honored to collaborate with dedicated Mount Saint Mary College colleagues and our school and community partners – all who share a commitment to prepare highly effective educators, to ignite a love of learning in all children, and to seek learning opportunities to engage with children and their families beyond our classrooms.”

Spielhagen was n Fran Spielhagenominated for the Educational Leadership Award by the Mount’s Division of Education, and did not know that she was being considered for the honor. It came as a happy surprise to her, she said, when it was announced that she had won the award.

“I am thrilled and edified by the recognition, since it combines my current career with the work I did for three decades as a high school teacher,” said Spielhagen. “This marks my 50th year in education, so in many ways this award feels like a capstone.” 

Spielhagen will begin her phased retirement from the Mount beginning next semester, but will continue to be active in her role as an educator. 

“I remain committed to the mission of public education and the heroic work that public school teachers do,” said Spielhagen. “I am grateful that my efforts have been fruitful and have been recognized by the people who make a difference in students’ lives every day.”


RIGHT: Janine Bixler, professor of Education, director of the Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning, and chair of the Division of Education at Mount Saint Mary College.

LEFT: Frances Spielhagen, professor of Education and co-director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Development at Mount Saint Mary College.