Milligan appoints Clay as Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Star Photo/Curtis Carden  Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean R. Garland Young, left, welcomes Dr. Tausha Clay as the new Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education Tuesday morning.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean R. Garland Young, left, welcomes Dr. Tausha Clay as the new Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education Tuesday morning.

A motivator. A mentor. Someone who holds their students to high standards and makes sure they achieve them.
It was those comments echoed by Dr. Lyn Howell from the student body that reaffirmed the Milligan College’s decision Tuesday to install Dr. Tausha Clay as the institution’s newest Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education during a special ceremony held at the Mary B. Martin Auditorium inside Seeger Memorial Chapel.
Clay succeeds Howell, who previously held the title before retiring at the end of the fall semester in 2016 after 15 years of service at Milligan.
During the ceremony, Howell praised the efforts of Clay, who spent Monday down in Nashville with the state’s education taskforce to address needs in Tennessee.
Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer provided the invocation and welcome while Robert E. Rainwater, pastor of Piney Flats Baptist Presbyterian Church, read scripture. After the citation from Howell, R. Garland Young, vice president for academic affairs provided the charge to install Clay as the new chair of teacher education.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Dr. Clay and the entire education faculty, our education graduates are among the most sought-after teachers in area school systems,” Young said.
The chair was created to honor the memory of Dr. Paul Clark, a member of Milligan’s education faculty that served from 1965 to 1998 and is considered to be the “father of teacher education at Milligan.” Clark used his vision and leadership to lead Milligan’s initial accreditation with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the expansion of the current curriculum and the development of the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program.
Milligan alumnus Kenneth Richardson (’58) and his wife, Revenna, established the chair after spending their careers in education with Ken being a longtime member of the College’s Board of Advisors.
“I would like to thank Milligan alumnus Kenneth Richardson and his wife, Revenna Richardson, of Clayton, Indiana, for their generosity and their support of the Paul Clark Chair of Education,” Clay said during the event. “I would like to extend my gratitude to Milligan College administration, faculty, staff and students.” Clay also recognized her family members, who sat in the front row of the auditorium to support their loved one’s newest position within Milligan.
Clay holds a Bachelor of Science (’94), Master of Education (’00) and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (’05) from East Tennessee State University. Before joining Milligan’s faculty in 2005, Clay served as a doctoral fellow and adjunct instructor at ETSU. The new chair’s previous teaching experience includes working as a kindergarten, multi-age and fourth grade teacher in North Carolina and Tennessee.
“(Dr. Clark) paved the way for a highly successful education program,” Clay said.
The associate professor of education went on to talk about Clark’s presence within the school and work of instituting scholarship, purpose and faith to make the education program a success.
“Thousands of graduates are serving as teachers, coaches, counselors and administrators at schools across the nation and a few are in other nations,” Clay said.
Rounding out her speech, the chair went on to say that “teachers shape the future” and talked about a recent encounter with a student on campus that she taught at a young age.
“It was the start of a new semester and in walks this young lady on the first day of school with a big smile on her face,” Clay recalled. “She asked me ‘do you remember me’ and I immediately recalled this six-year-old, with long blonde hair and bangs down into her eye … ‘why yes’ I said, ‘I taught you in first grade.’ Throughout the semester she made comments about how I taught class when she was in first grade … my goal was to teach this first grader how to read, and now I know teachers do so much more.”
Clay added she hopes to continue that mindset for students moving forward.
“It is my hope that I have ignited a fire in this student as well as all of the other Milligan education students that I have been so fortunate to teach over the last 12 years,” she said. “It is my hope that I have inspired each of them to teach, seeing God’s hand in all subjects, to shape culture, showing kindness and compassion to all students and to change lives using their god-given ability to change the world, one student at a time.”

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