03.01.18 – The Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling held the first Educators Rising conference on February 26 at the Northwestern Teacher Education Center. High school students who aspire to be teachers participated in events with current Northwestern education students, professors, the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, the 2012 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and current Northwestern faculty member, and the 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year. Read more.


02.19.18 – Dr. Kimberly McAlister, dean of Northwestern State University’s College of Education and Human Development, right, and Stacy Peoples of Mansfield High School, left, welcomed about 100 students from six regional high schools to NSU for the regional conference of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Friday. Peoples is FCCLA regional vice president of public relations and state vice president of STAR Events. NSU’s Child and Family Studies program serves as the university sponsor for FCCLA, a national student organization that provides personal growth, leadership development and career preparation opportunities for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education. The conference was held in conjunction with national FCCLA Week. The mission of FCCLA is to promote personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education. Focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner and community leader, members develop skills for life through: character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and career preparation.  NSU’s Child and Family Studies program hosted the conference to expose high schoolers to career opportunities in psychology, social work and child and family studies.


12.10.17 – Dr. Kimberly Walker McAlister was approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors as the next dean of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, within which the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling is housed. McAlister will lead that department and the Departments of Health and Human Performance, Military Science, Psychology, and Social Work.

McAlister has been head of the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling since 2014 and was head of the Department of Teaching and Learning from 2010 until the name changed in 2014. She has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 1998, holding the Dan and Lilly Chase Endowed Professorship in 2016-2017.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I accept these new responsibilities as dean of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development,” said McAlister. It is my privilege to continue my passion of education, working with department heads, faculty and staff to serve our students in reaching their academic and professional goals.”

McAlister said she was appreciative of the opportunity to lead the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, which offers degrees at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels.

“My goal is to foster continued growth in building each of our academic units, and activate increased collaboration within and outside our Northwestern community,” she said. “It a phenomenal opportunity to lead and work at Northwestern.”

Before joining Northwestern’s faculty she was a mathematics teacher at Baton Rouge Magnet High, Sulphur High, and Bolton High.

McAlister serves as a site member of national accreditation teams for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as well as a state team member. She has previously served as a Board of Examiner team member and chair for accreditation teams for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher education from 2009 to 2016. McAlister is president-elect of the Louisiana Association for Colleges of Teacher Education and is also the organization’s treasurer.

She has authored numerous publications for national and international professional journals and made a number of presentations at state, national and international education conferences.

McAlister earned an Ed.D. (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. She received a master’s degree from Northwestern State and a bachelor’s from Northeast Louisiana University.

Dr. Dustin Hebert, associate professor of education and program coordinator of educational technology leadership, has been named interim department head of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling for 2018 while a search for a permanent department head is conducted. Hebert has been a faculty member at Northwestern State since August 2014. Previously, he held faculty and leadership positions at McNeese State University and Louisiana State University-Eunice and was a business and social studies teacher at Crowley High. Hebert holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McNeese State and educational specialist and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University.

McAlister’s and Hebert’s appointments are effective January 3, 2018.


12.06.17 – Dr. Michelle Fazio-Brunson and Dr. Katrina Jordan, both professors in Northwestern State University’s early childhood education program, presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in November where they shared their research titled, “Addressing the Cradle to Prison Pipeline through Early Childhood Education Service Learning Projects.” Their service learning project focuses on remapping the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” into a “Cradle to College Pipeline” by providing early literacy activities and familial support to local at-risk students. Donations of school supplies and books are always needed. To make a contribution, contact Dr. Michelle Fazio-Brunson at


10.21.17 – Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development honored several alumni during Homecoming festivities with induction into the Hall of Distinguished Educators and recognition as Distinguished Young Professionals. From left are Dr. Vickie Gentry, dean of the College, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Billy Crawford of New Orleans, Jeffrey Powell of Plaquemine, Judy Lincecum Stewart of Broussard, Dr. Larry Gracie of Oriental, North Carolina; Sedrick Clark of Gladewater, Texas; Dr. Steve Horton and Dr. Connie Melder of Natchitoches and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. Those inducted into the Hall of Distinction earned a degree in one of NSU’s teacher preparation programs and are recognized for their contributions to the field of education at the local, state or national level.


10.11.17 – Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development will honor several individuals with induction into the Hall of Distinguished Educators and will honor two Distinguished Young Professionals during Homecoming festivities Saturday, Oct. 21. Individuals will be honored during a reunion at 1 p.m. in the Commons Area of the Teacher Education Center, followed by the induction ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the TEC Auditorium.

This year’s Distinguished Educators are Billy Crawford of New Orleans, Dr. Larry Gracie of Oriental, North Carolina; Dr. Steve Horton and Dr. Connie Melder of Natchitoches and Judy Lincecum Stewart of Broussard. Sedrick Clark of Gladewater, Texas, and Jeffrey Powell of Plaquemine are the Young Professionals.

Crawford graduated from NSU with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and English in 1968, earned a master’s degree in school administration in 1972 and completed 30+ hours of additional courses in education and administration at Louisiana State University. He began his career as a teacher in Vernon Parish in 1969 and from that time until 1995 served as a coach, counselor, assistant principal and principal in Leesville, Anacoco and Hornbeck. In 1995 he became a consultant to the Louisiana State Department of Education working with 15 Louisiana high schools to improve the teaching and learning process.

He then served as assistant superintendent of the Louisiana State Department of Education in the Office of Student and School Performance and as a consultant to Ascension Parish Schools and Waynesboro, Mississippi Middle School. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Crawford served as a school counselor at Hurricane Katrina Elementary School in Scotlandville for evacuated children in shelters from 2005-06 and at a counselor in the New Orleans Recovery School District. Crawford and his wife Callie have four children and seven grandchildren.

Gracie graduated from Northwestern State in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s in counseling and student personnel administration from Texas A&M-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) in 1971. He heard a Ph.D. in education management system and design with a concentration in higher education and student development at Florida State University in 1976. He began his career at the University of New Orleans in 1971 working with student activities and in financial aid and from 1976-77 was director of sponsored research and special projects for the State University System of Florida. At North Carolina State University, he served from 1977-1994 as as coordinate or student affairs research, dean of student development, associate director of university planning and analysis and director of space planning and management.

Gracie served as district executive for the Boy Scouts of America from 2006-2008 and was dean of curriculum, interim president and chief academic officer and vice president of instructional services with Pamlico Community College from 2008-2013. Gracie and his wife Joan have five children, 10 grandchildren and many pets.

Horton earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with concentrations in news editorial and public relations and a minor in business administration and a bachelor’s in secondary education-English and journalism in 1988. He earned a master’s degree in journalism at LSU in 1990 and a Ph.D. in vocational education with a concentration in adult and extension education and a minor in mass communication at LSU in 1998. Horton is the fourth generation of his family to earn teacher education degrees at Northwestern.

Horton began his career teaching at Captain Shreve High School, then taught journalism and served as director of student publications from 1990-97 when he was named director of Alumni Affairs. He then served as a professor and head of the Department of Journalism from 1999-2005 before serving as vice provost and chief academic officer, dean of the Graduate School and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2016. He is currently the executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Sciences and the Arts. Horton and his wife Emilyn have two children.

Melder earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at LSU in 1977, a master’s in special education at NSU in 1984 and a doctoral degree in curriculum in and instruction at Louisiana Tech in 2014. She began her career as a classroom teacher and hearing impaired program coordinator for the Natchitoches Parish School Board from 1977-85. She was supervising teacher at NSU Middle Lab from 1985-2001 and joined the faculty at NSU in 2001.

Since 2007, Melder has been director of field experience and clinical practice and an associate professor with NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development. Melder and her husband Sonny have three children and three grandchildren.

Stewart earned a degree in math education at Northwestern State in 1976 and took graduate classes at McNeese State University and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1982-86. She taught in nine parishes and all but two of her more than 37 years in the classroom were in public schools teaching match and social studies to middle schoolers and algebra and senior math in high schools. She spent one year teaching elementary math in a private school and another year traveling throughout Louisiana tutoring students who had not passed the fourth grade math LEAP test.

Stewart taught and coached gifted math students for Literary Rally and State Mathcounts and at one point developed a team that successfully competed in competitive math tournaments. She and her husband Bart Stewart have three children and nine grandchildren.

Clark earned bachelor’s degree in secondary education at LSU in 1994 and a master’s in education Leadership at NSU in 1996. He will earn his doctor of education in educational leadership from Louisiana Tech University Tech University next year. Clark began his career as a teacher in DeSoto Parish before serving as assistant principal at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport from 199-2003 and at Baton Rouge Magnet from 2003-04. He was principal at Foster Middle School in the Longview, Texas, Independent School system from 2004-2010 before leading Mansfield High as principal from 2010-17. He is currently superintendent for Gladewater Independent Schools.

During his time as principal at Mansfield High, the school rose from a D rating on the state’s academic watch list to a B rating, going from a 66 percent graduation rate to a 96 percent graduation rate. Clark is married to Katonya Samuels Clark.

Powell earned a degree in business administration at LSU in 1999, earned alternate teaching certification in middle school mathematics at NSU in 2004 and completed a master’s in education leadership at NSU in 2006. He taught high school science, special education middle school match, reading, science and social studies and coached football track and basketball in Grant Parish for 6-1/2 years before serving as assistant principal at Buckeye and Tioga Jr. High and director of middle schools and magnet programs in Rapides Parish. He is currently the chief academic officer for Iberville Parish School Board.

Powell and his wife Bridget are parents to six children.

The Hall of Distinguished Educators is one of Northwestern’s N Traditions. Read more about the Hall and other N Traditions.


09.28.17 – The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) today recognized the NSU Middle Lab School and five other Louisiana public schools as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools that are either high-performing or have closed achievement gaps, especially among minority or disadvantaged students. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels. Nominated schools submit applications to the USDOE for the award.

“The leaders, educators, students, and families of these six schools should be incredibly proud of what they have accomplished,” said John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education. “Their ability to either steadily improve student achievement over subsequent years or consistently remain one of the top performing schools in the state is a commendable achievement worthy of this distinguished honor.”

All six of Louisiana’s selected schools are recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools” and are among the state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels.

Learn more about this year’s recognized schools from Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education.

Read more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.


05.12.17 – The spring 2017 graduates of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development were recognized at a reception preceding the 10 a.m. commencement exercises on May 12, 2017. The reception is a tradition in the College and is held prior to each commencement for graduates and their guests.


04.25.17 – CTTIE-1 endorsement courses will be offered during two 2017 sessions. The summer session dates are July 3-28, and the fall session dates are October 16-November 10. Cost and registration details are available on the flyer. Download the flyer.