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Winterton Leads State Professional Educators Group

July 1 marked the beginning of Sally Winterton's two-year position as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (PAC-TE). She represented both PAC-TE and West Chester University recently as a panelist on Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN)'s Sunday program "Focus on Education" in July, when the topic was teacher preparation.

Winterton just concluded her tenure as president-elect of the nonprofit for Pennsylvanians who are engaged in the preparation and development of professional educators. The organization provides strong advocacy for teacher preparation within the commonwealth, although it does not lobby. "We do interact with legislators, especially the education committees," Winterton explains. "We can serve as advisors to our legislators on issues related to education at both the state and federal level."

At WCU, Winterton is interim associate dean for Partnerships and Faculty Development in the College of Education. She joined the West Chester faculty in 2001, and has been a PAC-TE member for more than 20 years.

As president, she is charged with supporting the PAC-TE strategic plan's "major goals related to advocacy of teacher preparation; exploring alternative delivery of conference presentations; and collaborating with other education stakeholders involved with education in Pennsylvania, including the PA Department of Education and legislators. I plan to move these goals forward." She adds that her commitment to PAC-TE includes presiding over four Board meetings "and a two-day summer board retreat. Generally, the PAC-TE president attends State Board of Education meetings, which are held six times a year."

PAC-TE also hosts a Teacher Education Assembly in October and Winterton, who has been on the conference planning committee for more than 15 years, will this time have a much more visible role.

Her leadership with PAC-TE meshes well with her role in teacher preparation at WCU as well as her research interests in student teaching supervision and technology. She has worn several hats in the College of Education, but every role -- from teaching established courses, rewriting others or developing new programs to supervising pre-service teachers in the classroom ­– has centered on preparing future teachers to be their best by giving them the skills and knowledge to succeed in "what I believe to be a noble profession."