Contact Dawn Insanalli, director of Public Relations, at (914) 637-2726 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jessica Morales
Ionian Staff Writer
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Malissa Scheuring-Leipold, is living proof that there is more to teaching than a quick lecture and a piece of chalk. Leipold recently earned Teacher of Honor designation from Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society of education. This award recognized her unique teaching efforts inside and outside of the classroom that gets students readily prepared for their future teaching success. Needless to say, Leipold was astonished when she heard the news. " It is often difficult for me to recognize my accomplishments, as it is my nature to always believe I can do more," said Leipold. " I have never received an honor of this magnitude." Since the award's establishment in the spring of 2008, Kappa Delta Pi has awarded this honor to only a select amount of educators from around the world. Not only does this award come from an international organization, but the criteria for eligibility is very extensive, making this award very esteemed and admired within the worldwide education field. Leipold joins a very small group of educators who are also recognized with this honor." This award is very prestigious and has a rigorous application process," said Professor of Education and Chair of the Education Department Catherine O'Callaghan.In order for someone to receive this award, first, one has to be a member of Kappa Delta Pi, which requires certain criteria to join. Then, an educator must have more than three years of classroom teaching experience, submit evidence of professional development, leadership, community service, meaningful contribution to the education profession and demonstrate a commitment to integrity and high standards in the classroom. A former student of Leipold, Anna Buczek, thought her former professor was very deserving of this award." Hearing about Dr. Leipold's award is no surprise," Buczek said. " She is different from any other professor that I have had because of the passion and love that she has for teaching. It is an honor to have such a great professor teach at our school and I am very proud to say I had her for one of my classes." Leipold has had significant impact on various aspects of Iona. Not only is she a professor and freshmen advisor, but Leipold serves as coordinator of the Education Leadership Program at Iona and also operates on the Committee on Academic Affairs and the Committee on the Budget. Alongside this, she helped to revise the education department's entire curriculum and helped to earn Iona NCATE accreditation, creating national recognition for the program.Leipold also presented at an international educational leadership conference in Malta last year on her paper, "Teacher Motivations and Factors Influencing New York State High School Teachers' Job Satisfaction." She has published numerous articles, manuscripts and her book, "Job Satisfaction." O'Callaghan looks to Leipold's service learning approach as another prominent part of her platform. " She practices what she preaches and is very involved with the students in the classroom as well as with service projects outside the classroom," said O'Callaghan.She added that service learning is a way a teacher can involve his or her students in community service projects, creating a more hands-on approach to the student's teaching preparation. This idea is emphasized within Kappa Delta Pi and has grown to be a big topic within education over the past 10 years. Leipold actively gets her students involved with Lay Apostolic Ministries with the Poor (LAMP), a Catholic missionary association that helps the poor of the metropolitan New York City area. Her parents, Drs. Tom and Lyn Scheuring, began LAMP over 28 years ago. The Iona community has taken part in LAMP through the LAMP cafe, which is a canteen truck that brings food and spiritual nourishment to the hungry in the south Bronx. Students have made sandwiches and distributed the food themselves to the poor. "No one can say that their lives were not affected by a teacher, and I want to know that in this short life, I did the most I could for others and influenced them to use their potential, leading not only to their own fulfillment, happiness and peace but to that of others as well," said Leipold. Buczek also sees how passionate Leipold is about community service." Dr. Leipold has often discussed her volunteer work and community service with us," Buczek said. " She always explains how important it is to give to others and the different ways to get involved in community service." This idea has clearly resonated with her classes, as everyone's dedication to service shows. O'Callaghan stresses how important service learning opportunities like these are for students. She notes that the majority of first teaching jobs for Iona education students are in urban districts with low-socio economics and comments that service learning volunteer work helps prep students for those experiences." Participating in service learning, like LAMP, allows students to open their eyes because with these soup kitchens and canteens, the students see not just the homeless, but mothers and their children," said O'Callaghan, "the students see that those kids at the canteen could be the students in front of them when they become teachers." Through this way of service learning, Leipold shows how teaching is more than what is taught and learned within the walls of classroom." My personal philosophy of teaching is that it is our responsibility as teachers to awaken in others the desire to learn for the sake of learning, to enrich our own lives and the lives of others," said Leipold. " I truly believe that teaching is a calling and not a job, and if someone is called to serve others in this way, there is no doubt that they will be an effective teacher."
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