Gift provides high-tech classroom

Hanover College has just completed renovations to transform the east wing of Newby Hall, which houses the College’s education department, creating a modern, model classroom.

The upgrade included gutting one of the classrooms and installing new carpet, paint and furniture, as well as a new sink, cabinets and technology. The focal point of the room is the new interactive Promethean whiteboard.

“Having this kind of technology will allow us to prepare our future teachers better,” said Director of Teacher Education Jonathan Dee. “Boards like this are a common sight in the majority of K-12 classrooms, even in kindergarten. The addition of the sink area helps us make way for an increased science presence in the classroom.”

Funding for the project came from a gift by Donald T. Mount, a member of the class of 1950. A business administration major and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, he and his wife, the late Fern Susnick Mount, had previously established an endowed scholarship for Hanover students. Mount made the gift in memory of his wife who died 2011 and whose family included many public school teachers.

“This gift has exceeded our wildest dreams,” said Associate Professor of Education and department chair Deborah Hanson. “Our department knew we needed to include a stronger technology component in our teacher education program, but was unsure how to make that happen. We are very grateful to the Mount and Susnick families for this gift.”

Remodeling has turned a space once used as a library into a resource center, with updated computers, furniture and flat screen television for student interaction and collaboration.

“The goal was to turn this once unused space, into one we use for professional development, and students use for collaborating, or just doing work,” added Dee. “We never really had a dedicated space for that.”

Additional technology includes the purchase of 20 iPads for use by education department faculty and students, and for incorporating them into various aspects of the curriculum. According to Dee, many K-12 schools use iPads for their students as early as second grade, with many moving to either a tablet or laptop-based system, eliminating the need for textbooks.

Hanover held a dedication for the new space on Sept. 6, 2012, with 15 members of the Mount and Susnick families in attendance. Marc Slaton, who serves as assistant superintendent for Scottsburg (Ind.) School District 2 was the guest speaker. As a public school representative, he is a leader in technology integration. Slaton also serves on the College’s education advisory board and as a collaborator in many of the department’s events.