OVAE Connection -- October 14, 2010
Archived Information

OVAE Welcomes Leigh Jenkins

Leigh Jenkins is serving in OVAE as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow for 2010. The Einstein Fellowship Program offers current elementary and secondary mathematics, technology, and science classroom teachers with demonstrated excellence in teaching an opportunity to serve in the national public policy arena. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Jenkins has lived in Morgan County, W. Va., since 1989, teaching in its schools for the last 12 years. She worked as an Environmental Specialist for Gifford-Hill, a cement corporation, in Texas before moving to W. Va. She taught Advanced Placement biology and Advanced Placement environmental science, as well as advanced biology, at Berkeley Springs High School. Jenkins holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas A & M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso, both in sociology. She earned both her teaching certification in biology and general science and her Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from Shepherd College.

While at the Department of Education, Jenkins will be lending a teacher’s perspective to issues promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in secondary and post-secondary programs. She is working on the current federal initiative to promote sustainability education and environmental literacy in public schools. She was recently involved with the coordination of the Sustainability Education Summit: Citizenship and Pathways for a Green Economy, designed to help build shared visions and strategies for education’s role in building a sustainable and green economy

Tennessee Receives Grant Investing in Financial Education for College Access and Success

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $1.7 million to the Tennessee Department of Education through the Financial Education for College Access and Success Program. The purpose of the grant is to develop, implement, and evaluate middle school and high school personal finance instructional materials and teacher training. The program will examine how to better prepare students to apply for federal student financial aid and enroll in college by implementing new approaches that will teach students to invest in higher education and make sound financial planning decisions. All materials developed through this program will be open education resources, produced under an open license. The materials will be available online for educators across the country to modify or adopt. In addition, the methodology to provide service-learning fairs at the middle school level for students and parents will be developed, and fairs will be held during three years of the project. For further information about the Tennessee Collegiate Financial Planning Project, contact Emily Williams at

Departments of Labor and Education Host Forum on Post-secondary Credential Attainment

On Sept. 28, 2010, ED’s Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier and the Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration Jane Oates hosted a credentialing forum. National education and workforce sector representatives met for a facilitated discussion to identify strategies through which the public workforce and educational systems can increase the number of adults who attain industry-recognized and/or postsecondary credentials that result in increased earnings, employment, and career advancement. In addition to identifying strategies, the group also identified barriers to reaching the goal and began the process of developing recommendations for overcoming them.

Nevada Selects Deeds as Adult Education Coordinator

Brad Deeds has joined Nevada’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education as the state’s new adult education coordinator. For the past six years, Deeds served as manager of adult basic education at Truckee Meadows Community College. Deeds was responsible for launching programs supporting adult education students’ transition to postsecondary opportunities and recently served on the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education Immigration Workgroup. He is a founding board member and current recording secretary of Nevada Adult Educators as well as president-elect of the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association.

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Last Modified: 10/14/2010