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Biola Graduate Named Teacher of the Year

Third grade teacher and Biola School of Education alumna Alice Donawerth (M.A.Ed. Personalized ʼ13), has been selected as Teacher of the Year at Rancho Cañada Elementary School in Southern California. She has also been awarded Teacher of the Year for the entire Saddleback Valley Unified School District.

Donawerth began her teaching career more than 30 years ago and decided to continue her education at Biola.

“My two daughters were attending Biola when I went to a welcome dinner. [Biola President] Dr. Corey talked about the impact that Biola students have in their workplaces by ‘impacting the world for Christ,’” said Donawerth. “I decided that I wanted to be better equipped to impact those at my school for Christ, so I enrolled in the online masters program.”

Donawerth commends the Biola School of Education for its biblical integration and spiritual growth opportunities that exceeded her expectations.

“I loved the Bible integration portion of every class. I was continually challenged to look at ways I could live out my faith with my students, parents and colleagues,” said Donawerth. “The teaching staff at Biola invested themselves into their students...they were there to help me do my best and grow in knowledge. I think the difference is the professors truly care about their students and the integration of faith has an eternal impact.”

While at Biola, Donawerth learned current practices, new educational theories and research skills that are relevant to her teaching today.

“When I started teaching, mainstreaming of exceptional students was not discussed,” she said. “My Special Education class gave me the opportunity to learn more about the needs of my exceptional students that are now in my class every year.”

The convenience of the online program also offered Donawerth unexpected opportunities for fellowship, engagement and encouragement. She adds, “even though my classes were online, I still felt a strong community with my teachers and other students. I worked with educators from around the world, shared ideas, held each other up in prayer and so much more.”

The graduate program is offered online as well as on campus at Biola. Additionally, students can personalize their coursework and select a mix of the two formats. Biola’s teaching programs and the care and personal attention of faculty offer a unique opportunity for educators to further their teaching career and make an impact for Christ in the classroom.

For more information, please visit the School of Education website.