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Alumni & Friends

An Apple for SF State

An estimated 70 percent of school teachers in San Francisco earned their credentials or degrees at SF State. Countless others can be found in classrooms across the country. How did SF State influence their careers as educators? The following alumni, all of whom earned their teaching credentials at the University, answer:

Noreen O'Connor (M.A., '93), an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and associate director of Web communications for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, found that the faculty at SF State "showed me how to open up a space in the classroom to allow many voices to be heard, and they stepped back to allow their students the time to understand multiple points of view."

Thomas MacMillan (B.A., '60; M.A., '61) and Leota MacMillan (B.A., '61) of Ukiah found that their success in academia "was built upon the wondrous shoulders of the faculty of San Francisco State University" including Tom Lantos, DeVere Pentony, Thurston Womack, Art Bierman, Shep Insel, John Dennis, Sinclair Kerby-Miller and Ed Kauffman. "We learned the craft of teaching from men and women who were completely and selflessly devoted to their students, their subject matter, and their academic standing in the larger groves of academe, where they published, presented and discussed. From them we learned the proper order of concern: students first, subject matter second and the larger groves third.

"Leota is a former kindergarten teacher and preschool program director. Thomas served as a dean and faculty member at three colleges including Mendocino College, where an endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence was established in his name.

What lessons learned at SF State serve you well in your career?

E-mail sfsumag@sfsu.edu, and look for selected responses in our online issue in May.

More: Teacher Training: A Look Back

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