School of Education announces new hire, leadership and program updates - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Skip to Main Content
Go Back

School of Education announces new hire, leadership and program updates

July 13, 2021

Newsletters>Cardinal Update

DeAundra Jenkins-Holder, Ed.D., joins M.A. in Teaching (MAT) program

Michael Lovorn, School of Education dean, is pleased to announce that DeAundra Jenkins-Holder, Ed.D., has been hired as associate program director for the newly merged M.A. in Teaching program (more information below). Jenkins-Holder has many connections to the Twin Cities but comes to Saint Mary’s most recently from Tennessee, where she worked as a renowned and accomplished master teacher and school leader for several years. She has taught pre-K to higher education and has significant experience in private, public, and charter schools in Minnesota, Utah, and Tennessee. Jenkins-Holder describes herself as a “teacher of teachers” and has specialized expertise in cultural competency, teacher efficacy, instructional design, and student achievement. She also has significant experience working with Title I budgets, hiring staff, student activities, and all matters related to school improvement. She is the founder and director of the Dream Fulfillment Center, Inc., a nonprofit tutoring, ACT/GED Test prep center. To date, her center has helped more than 500 students reach or surpass their ACT goal score. We are indeed fortunate to have DeAundra join our Saint Mary’s community and look forward to her contributions to the M.A. in Teaching program.

Clinical Field Experiences (CFE) offices merge

In promotion and achievement of our one university initiative, the School of Education has merged the Winona and Twin Cities Clinical Field Experiences (CFE) offices. Effective July 2021, this new centralized CFE office will fall under the direction of Becki Warnock. In addition to performing in her role as director of field placement in the Twin Cities, Warnock will now serve Winona-based education licensure students in the B.A. in Education and the M.A. in Teaching programs. Warnock has been at Saint Mary’s for nearly 17 years and has served the School of Education since 2015. Office of Field Placement staff members Patricia Leonard and Katie Dierkes will continue in their roles of serving licensure students in the M.A. in ESL, M.A. in Special Education, and M.A. in Teaching programs.

M.A. in Teaching (MAT) programs merge

The School of Education is also in the process of merging the Winona and Twin Cities M.A. in Teaching programs. Effective July 2021, Katie Hubbard has been named program director of the newly-merged M.A. in Teaching and is leading efforts to combine and streamline advising and course offerings. She is joined by new associate director DeAundra Jenkins-Holder and assistant director Cindy Kronebusch in these efforts, and together, the team is looking forward to supporting students on both campuses.

M.A. in Special Education (SPED) program searches for program director 

In June 2021, the School of Education initiated a search for a new M.A. in Special Education program director. ESL program director Shannon Tanghe has agreed to serve in the interim role until the end of August 2021. Simultaneously, Lisa Thorsell has moved into the permanent assistant program director role. With her experience in disability services and in the role of SPED program coordinator, Thorsell will provide much-needed stability throughout this transition and going forward. Thorsell will continue to assist Katie Hubbard with the K-12 Reading program through December 2021.