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Gannon School of Education welcomes visit from Acting Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Education, Eric Hagarty

Published: 09/29/2022

Students in Gannon’s School of Education welcomed Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Eric Hagarty this week.

Students in Gannon’s School of Education welcomed Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Eric Hagarty this week.

Students in Gannon’s School of Education welcomed Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Eric Hagarty this week. 

Following a tour of campus, Hagarty joined School of Education faculty Dr. Leigh Forbes and Dr. Lisa Brown for an engaging discussion with 14 future educators, encouraging them on their career paths and giving his heartfelt thanks for choosing to dedicate themselves to the public service of teaching. 

More: Read more in-depth insights into the Secretary's visit from Dr. Forbes.

Hagerty eagerly invited students to ask questions to him and his team, encouraging attendees to share feedback on what they hoped could be done on the state level to provide resources or support their entrance into - and longevity in - the teaching profession. 

Students and faculty shared candid experiences from classrooms and placements, and questions ranged from concerns about developmental delays exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic that continue to permeate the K-12 ecosystem, to what the state could be doing to help alleviate teacher burnout, to plans for re-evaluating assessments currently used to benchmark perceived student aptitude and successes, particularly outside the realm of their socioeconomic situation. 

Hagarty shared insights about the Department’s focus on the “science of reading” and accelerated learning supports being created and provided for some of these instances - delays magnified by the pandemic, in particular. He also encouraged everyone to explore the resources available at education.pa.gov, filled with the PA Educator Workforce Strategic Plan to Recruit and Retain teachers in the state. 

“We have to do more to change the perception of the teaching profession in the K-12 student population,” Hagarty said, as he and his team shared insights on why so few young people are turning toward becoming teachers, and why it’s an imperative goal to make the path to becoming an educator attractive, accessible and inclusive. 

Ultimately, Hagarty shared his gratitude for students striving to enter the classroom during a time when there is a nationwide teacher shortage. “We’re developing the next generation of incredible teachers. You're crushing it. Thank you - and we’re here for you.” 

Learn more about the School of Education at Gannon University:

Gannon University prepares students with the skills and experiences to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in a wide variety of concentrations and tracks. Undergraduate options include two- and four-year degrees in our Pennsylvania Department of Education teacher certification programs.  Graduate options include an online Master of Education program, a variety of Pennsylvania Department of Education approved endorsements, and programs for obtaining administrative certification as a principal or superintendent. Gannon's education degree helps you take the next step in your education and sets yourself up for future success.

More: Read more in-depth insights into the Secretary's visit from Dr. Forbes. 

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.