Phyllis Owens

Assistant Professor of Education

Education

M.S. in English, Radford University ‘78
B.S. in Education, Concord University (Majors: English and Library Science) ‘67

Bio

Professor Owens joined the Bluefield College family in the fall of 2006 as an instructor in the Division of Education; in 2011, she was promoted to Assistant Professor. Prior to coming to Bluefield College, she had an extensive career in public education where she taught English and writing. Owens earned accolades as county teacher of the year, finalist for WV teacher of the year, WV Language Arts Teacher of the Year and an Ashland Achievement recipient. Additionally, she was published in Adjunct Mentor, Writing for Success, WV English Journal and The Quarterly, a National Writing Project publication. An affiliate with the WV Writing Project, Owens traveled throughout West Virginia as a consultant; she was also the WV director of Project Outreach that allowed her to be a national consultant for teaching writing and professional development. Upon arriving at Bluefield College, Owens began working with Dr. Donna H. Watson to achieve national accreditation for The Teacher Education Program, and she continues to be actively involved in the promotion of the program.  Proud of her Appalachian heritage, Owens was involved in Bluefield College’s Symposium in 2012 and continues promoting Celebration of Appalachia.  While at Bluefield College, Owens enjoys mentoring student teachers and inspires them saying, “Have high expectation for your students, but have even higher expectations for yourself.”

Donna Watson

Associate Professor of Education; Dean of the School of Education

Education

Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, 2005
M.S. in Secondary Education, Radford University, Radford, VA, 1983
B.A. in English, Bluefield College, Bluefield, VA, 1980, Summa cum Laude

Bio

After graduating from Bluefield College in 1980 and teaching in public schools for 16 years, Dr. Watson came back to her alma mater to work as an Adjunct Instructor in Education, delighted to work with her former professor, Dr. Gerald Clay. Upon completing her doctoral degree in 2005, she became full-time faculty; and in the following year, she was named the Chair of the Division of Education upon Dr. Clay’s retirement.  In August 2012, she became the Dean of the newly formed School of Education.  Dr. Watson’s years of teaching mathematics in middle school in neighboring McDowell County, WV, along with providing professional development for teachers in the region, provided a strong foundation of authentic experience for teaching the education courses.  Her dissertation, Learning Mathematics in Central Appalachia: Life Histories of Beginning Elementary Teachers, connected a research base to that rich experience in public school teaching.  Dr. Watson’s enthusiasm for teaching is often evident, such as when she dresses like a triangle to read aloud a children’s book, when her students make paper in science methods class, or when she tries out a new recipe to share with the student teachers.  Always intrigued by innovative teaching strategies, she models the use of technology tools and hands-on manipulatives for learning.  But most of all, Dr. Watson believes that caring is an essential quality for good teaching; she often tells the student teachers at the end of seminar each week, “Now go out to spread goodness and light.”

April Workman

Assistant Professor of Education

Education

M.S. in Special Education, Old Dominion University, 2001
B.S. in Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Barton College, 1997

Bio

Mrs.  Workman joined the Bluefield College family in the fall of 2012 as a full time faculty member.  Before coming to Bluefield, Mrs. Workman taught in various roles as a special educator.  Her past 16 years of experience have allowed her to serve as an interpreter/teacher for the deaf, a teacher for students with severe disabilities, and a teacher for students with mild disabilities in an inclusive setting.  Mrs. Workman also received her Autism Graduate Certificate in 2011 from George Mason University.  She currently serves as an autism specialist team member on the Tazewell County Community Autism Support Team (CAST), where she conducts staff developments and helps provide support to students with autism and resources to their families within the school and community.  Mrs. Workman also received licensure in Administration and Supervision from Concord University in 2005.  She is currently a doctoral student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with plans to finish her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education in 2014. Mrs. Workman’s experiences with children who have disabilities led her to believe, “Nothing provides more profound satisfaction than assisting a child with special needs to bring out their strengths within themselves.”