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New name, leadership for K-State center that helps rural schools

The Center for Rural and Small Schools is now known as the Rural Education Center.

March 26, 2019

3 Min Read
school bus
ADDRESSING NEEDS: K-State changes name, leadership of Center that addresses the needs of rural schools.Maksymowicz/gettyimages

A center offered by the Kansas State University College of Education to address the needs of rural schools in Kansas has a new name and new leadership.

The Center for Rural Education and Small Schools has been renamed the Rural Education Center and will be led by J. Spencer Clark, director, and Lori Goodson, assistant director.

Clark and Goodson will emphasize advocacy for rural schools and their communities by pursuing grant opportunities and other sources of funding to support various rural educational projects. They will also conduct research and coordinate other educational activities to support the learning opportunities for rural students and teachers.

Clark and Goodson look forward to supporting current curriculum initiatives and goals associated with the Kansas State Department of Education school redesign, STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics — education, place-based education and civic engagement in rural schools.

The center was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents in 1978.

"In the four decades since the center was created, many changes have occurred in rural communities and rural schools and we are proud, as a land-grant institution, to usher in this newest iteration of impactful and responsive programming," says Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. "Dr. Clark and Dr. Goodson are outstanding faculty members and talented grant writers who will bring innovation and imagination — rooted in their own experiences with rural schools — to the communities they'll serve. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the small and rural schools that we serve."

The College of Education continues to produce many of the teachers and administrators in the state's rural schools. Embracing its leadership role in the state's educational field, the Rural Education Center plans to continue to fulfill its responsibility in helping rural schools be successful.

"We believe rural schools represent the heartbeat of their communities, and Kansas schools provide outstanding educational opportunities," Clark says. "Our goal is to help build upon that foundation and help our schools receive recognition for pursuing their potential."

Clark, associate professor, has worked with rural schools and rural initiatives in Indiana, Utah and Kansas for the past 12 years, and has taught elementary, middle and high school students in the Kansas City area. Goodson, assistant professor, had a 20-year career in journalism before teaching in Wamego's USD 320 for 14 years, first teaching language arts at Wamego Middle School and then English and journalism at Wamego High School. She is national board certified in early adolescence English language arts.

Both Clark and Goodson are products of rural communities and appreciate the level of education and encouragement they received in those districts.

"As individuals who have benefited from the comfortable, yet encouraging environment of a rural school, Dr. Clark and I want the center to be a strong voice for rural schools of Kansas at the state, regional and national level," Goodson says. "We know from experience that quality educators are providing outstanding learning opportunities for their students, and we want to do everything possible to help that continue."

The Rural Education Center will be headquartered in 202 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive, Manhattan, Kan. For more information about the center, or to discuss issues facing rural schools, contact Clark at [email protected] or Goodson at [email protected].

Source: Kansas State University News Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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