We are proud and honored to announce:

The Buffalo State Professional Development Schools Consortium (PDS) received the 2013 Spirit of Partnership Award at this year’s NAPDS National Conference held in New Orleans from February 13 - February 17, 2013.

On behalf of University of South Carolina, who makes this annual award, Bruce Field stated three significant reasons why Buffalo State’s PDS was receiving this year’s award.

The award which began in 2006 is given by the University of South Carolina’s Conference Planning Team every year to a PDS partnership that has made a significant contribution to the building and sustaining of PDSs through its consistent support of the PDS National Conference.  Dr. Field stated, “Buffalo State clearly fits that description, as you and your colleagues have been ever-present participants in the conference for quite some time. But it’s not just about showing up; it’s also about making a meaningful impact. Your partnership’s work through the years has been impressive, but I think in recent years you have gone above and beyond in what you provide the national (and international!) PDS community. Your focus on preparing the next generation of educators for the global community has Buffalo State out front in our collective effort to carry the PDS message across international boundaries.” The Buffalo State PDS has established and collaborated with two International PDS’s, one in Santiago, Chile under the leadership of Dr. Pixita del Prado Hill and the other in Lusaka, Africa under the leadership of Dr. Hibajene Shandomo.  And third, “related to that initiative is your bringing that next generation of educators to the table so they will not only be prepared for the ever-changing world but will also step into leaderships roles when our generation passes on the torch of collaboration.”  It was through the suggestion of Buffalo State’s PDS Co-Director, Leslie Day, that teacher candidates were invited to the National Conference to share their research through poster sessions and with concurrent presentations with their mentoring college faculty. 

Seventeen members of our PDS Consortium traveled to New Orleans to contribute their professional knowledge through several different workshops, poster sessions, and presentations.  They were all invited to take the stage to receive the Spirit of Partnership Award.  Leslie Day gave the acceptance remarks and expressed appreciation on behalf of the entire PDS Consortium.

For more information please contact Leslie Day at 878-5935 or 868-2079,, or contact:

Dr. Bruce E. Field, Executive Director, School-University Partnerships and Clinical Experiences, College of Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208.   (803) 777-3029;



BS Faculty and Students to Present at NAPDS Conference, New Orleans, February 14-17

BS Faculty:

Leslie Day: “Professional Development In The 21st Century”

Nancy Chicola: “Zambia WOW”

Hibajene Shandomo: “Zambia WOW”

Pixita del Prado Hill: “It Truly Takes A Village To Align With The Common Core: Teacher Candidates, Global Children's Literature, Families, And The Local Grocery Store - What An Impact!”

Kim Truesdell: “It Truly Takes A Village To Align With The Common Core: Teacher Candidates, Global Children's Literature, Families, And The Local Grocery Store - What An Impact!”

Sherri Weber: “A Recipe For Urban Literacy Success: Using Your School Librarian And A College Professor”

PDS Partner:

Laura Thomson: “A Recipe For Urban Literacy Success: Using Your School Librarian And A College Professor”

Undergaduate Teacher Candidates:

Nick Galfo: “Open Mic For Interns: A Wish List For PDS,” “Professional Development In The 21st Century,” and “Technology...The New Beginning”

Ryan O’Rourke: “Open Mic For Interns: A Wish List For PDS”, “Professional Development In The 21st Century”, and “An Analytical Look Into Teacher Candidate Growth In A PDS”

Breanna McKenley: “Multiculturalism: Applying The Theory To The Global Classroom”

Holli Diez: “Cross-Cultural Relationships: From Buffalo, New York To Lusaka, Zambia”

Kelly Jasinski: “Universal Teaching Strategies: From Buffalo To Lusaka”

Graduate Students:

Margaret Henry: “The Zambian Classroom Culture: The Effects of A Lack Of Resources”

Brittany Fehskens: “Open Mic For Interns: A Wish List For PDS,”,“Professional Development In The 21st Century,” and “The Life Of A Grad Student: PDS Involvement And The Development Of My Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” 

BS Graduate Student and Faculty Make the Front Page of the NAPDS Website!

Please visit to read an article by graduate student Michelle Francisco and her faculty mentors Dr. Coralee Smith and Rosemary Arioli Leibowitz.  The article speaks to the benefits of the PDS Mini-Grant program, and also talks about using Skpe in the classroom to reach professionals in various field and incorporate them into the classroom structure and enhance learning.

SUNY Cortland Visits BS PDS

SUNY Cortland administrators, faculty, and staff were recent guests at a PDS meeting, here to learn how to implement our PDS model.  PDS Co-Director Leslie Day received the following message (excerpted) from Dr. Andrea Lachance, Dean, School of Education, SUNY Cortland:

"Hello Leslie!

I hope this email finds you well during this hectic time of year. I wanted to update you on where we our with our fledgling PDS. We are going to run a pilot with one school in the spring. This was the school where we did the two-week immersion experience this fall. It was an enormous success and faculty at both the school and the college want to deepen our partnership (see link to the article below). What better way than through the PDS model?

We are going to borrow heavily from the PDS agreement you shared with us. I can't tell you how grateful we are to have you as a model in this. It makes moving into this so much easier....

...We are hopeful that by next year, we will be able to roll this out into several more schools. We will keep you posted. I am also trying to get a few faculty to the PDS conference – so hopefully some folks can catch up with you there. I can foresee us potentially doing a joint presentation there someday about how one college mentored the other in creating a PDS! Our folks are still talking about our visit to Buffalo – so much so that others are wondering why they didn't go…

So – thank you for your generosity of spirit and actions. Your work continues to inspire us and propel us forward. Have a great holiday.


PDS Co-Director Leslie Day shares excerpt of letter from Teacher of the Year and PDS Retreat Keynote speaker Katie Ferguson

"November 5, 2012

Dear Leslie,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for asking me to be a guest speaker during the Professional Development Schools Retreat in September.  It was an incredible honor to share my message as Teacher of the Year with prospective teachers, cooperating teachers, administrators, and the faculty of Buffalo State.  I felt exuberant to speak in such a welcoming venue!  I was incredibly honored by the warm reception you gave me, the amazingly organized schedule, and the fantastic accomodations.  By far, my visit to Buffalo State was the most well-planned and rewarding for me of all of my school visits this year.

As Teacher of the Year, I've been very grateful to impart, through my experiences, what I find to be the most important aspect of education:  Belief.  If I was able to influence even just one pre-service teacher to look past labels and see the brimming potential in his or her students, then I am ecstatic to have made a difference!...

...My experience at Buffalo State will rest among my fondest memories of being Teacher of the Year.  Thank you for everything!  To say it was a wonderful experience is an understatement - it was truly marvelous.  Thank you so much!

Your partner in education,

Kathleen Ferguson"

Blue Ribbon Day for Professional Development Schools Consortium

Thursday, November 15, was another blue-ribbon day for the Buffalo State Professional Development Schools Consortium (PDS). The Buffalo

State PDS team was chosen to present its model of clinically rich partnerships at a kickoff convention of over 200 faculty members, school partners, and administrators from across the state, convened in Albany by SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher to engage participants in envisioning the future of teacher and school leader education in New York State.

At one of six afternoon breakout sessions, School of Education dean Wendy Paterson introduced PDS Co-Directors Leslie Day and Pixita del Prado Hill and PDS liaison faculty members David Henry and Theresa Harris-Tigg. Their session description read, “The Buffalo State PDS typifies the recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Panel that teacher education must shift from largely campus-based management of field experiences toward a clinically rich school-located and school-created model of teacher preparation.” The team presented an overview of the many facets of clinical practice and collaborative school-university partnerships exemplified in the PDS Consortium for the SUNY audience.

NYS Teacher of the Year to Speak at Buffalo State

Katie Ferguson, New York State's 42nd Teacher of the Year, will speak at Buffalo State on Thursday, September 27th.  The event will be held at the Performing Arts Center in Rockwell Hall, beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Please check back for more information.  Ms. Ferguson will also address the PDS Retreat on September 28th, 2012.


2012-2013 Faculty Accomplishments:

PDS Co-Director Leslie Day and Professor Laura Klenk attend Leader in Me event at Winchester Elementary; please click here to view a powerpoint of the event.

Dr. Hibajene Shandomo Receives Award

Congratulations to Dr. Hibajene Shandomo who was the recipient of the Award to Faculty and Staff For The Promotion of Respect for Equity and Campus Diversity for 2012-2013. She was nominated by her students. Breanna McKenley, who traveled to Zambia with her, spoke at the ceremony describing the many ways in which Dr. Shandomo has influenced her perspectives on diversity and multiculturalism.

Leslie Day, PDS Co-Director, Receives Leadership Award

PDS student representative Nick Galfo nominated PDS Co-Director Leslie Day to be a part of the USG Women’s History Celebration Luncheon at which she received a certificate that stated: 

“Awarded to Leslie Day for your leadership and commitment to supporting and elevating all women at Buffalo State."

The certificate was signed by Andrea Wright, United Students Government AVP for Student Life and Tamara McMillan, Associate Director of Student Life for Leadership.

Reva Fish, Assistant Professor, Social and Psychological Foundations of Education, and Laura Klenk, Assistant Professor, Elementary Education and Reading

Reva Fish, assistant professor in the Social and Psychological Foundations of Education Department, and Laura Klenk, assistant professor in the Elementary Education and Reading Department, were featured presenters at the 2013 Conference on the Value of Play held at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina, February 17–20.

They presented two of their studies about play in early childhood education. The first presentation, “But It’s Not Time to Switch: The Impact of Academic Press in Head Start,” addressed their findings from a US Play Coalition-funded study of Head Start stakeholders' views about developmentally appropriate means to meet preschool standards.

The second presentation, “I’m the Conductor of the Store! One Child’s Search for Identity in the Dramatic Play Center,” addressed findings from Klenk’s data collection about the change in the dynamics of play in a classroom when one child takes charge of the play centers.

Rosemary Arioli, EER Lecturer, Featured on the Buffalo State Daily

While meeting with her current students at Henry Hudson School 28 in the Rochester City School District (RCSD), Rosemary Arioli, lecturer with the Elementary Education and Reading Department, had a very pleasant surprise: four of her former students stopped in to say "Hi." Even better, all four have been hired recently by the RCSD, three in School 28.

“How often does that happen?” marveled Arioli, who serves as assistant coordinator of student-teaching placement as well as supervisor of student teachers at School 28, a pre-K through sixth grade school.

All four—Shalyn Kanaley, ’11; Jason Legrett, ’09; Tellis Lott, ’10; and Samantha Ramsey, ‘12—belonged to cohorts who completed their student teaching at School 28. Arioli piloted the cohort model, which is now common in the School of Education. “A group of students teach in one school, and their supervisor is in the school at least twice a week,” explained Arioli. “It works well because the students and supervisor become connected to the school.”

Arioli also helped bring School 28 into the Professional Development Schools Consortium, adding to the rich collaboration that benefits both the school and the Buffalo State teacher candidates.

To view the whole article, please visit: 

Leslie Day and Laura Klenk Accept Award from Winchester Elementary

On March 21, 2013 at the Winchester Elementary School Leadership Celebration, the Buffalo State Professional Development Schools Consortium received a leadership award from Winchester which read: “for your tireless efforts and support to Winchester Elementary. Our community is a better place because you care!”

The PDS Consortium has had a school-university partnership for nearly 15 years with Winchester Elementary in West Seneca. Dr. Kim Truesdell and more recently Dr. Laura Klenk have taught their methods courses on-site at Winchester. Winchester Elementary became a Stephen Covey Leader in Me Lighthouse School 3 years ago and has been an inspiration to other schools and universities.

Kathleen Brachmann, principal, presented the award. Leslie Day and Laura Klenk accepted the award on behalf of Buffalo State’s Professional Development Schools Consortium.

Maria Ceprano, Professor, Elementary Education and Reading

Maria Ceprano, professor of elementary education and reading, has collaborated with Mary Shea, professor of education at Canisius College, in an article appearing in the spring 2013 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi Record 49 (1): 4–8. The article is titled "The Attack on Teachers and Schools of Education: Identifying the Bullies and Bystanders." 

Equity and Campus Diversity Fall Minigrant Award Recipients

The Equity and Campus Diversity Office congratulates the following recipients of fall 2012 minigrant awards:  Pixita Del Prado Hill, and Kim Truesdell, Associate Professors of Elementary Education and Reading, for the Adopt a Children’s Book Event.

Maria Ceprano, Professor of Elementary Education and Reading
Barbara Bontempo, Professor of English; Maria Ceprano, Professor of Elementary Education and Reading; Deborah Daly, Keyboard Specialist, Human Resource Management; and John Gounard, Director, International Student Affairs.  For their contributions and continuous service on Project Flight’s board of directors, four Buffalo State faculty and staff members received the Project Flight Literacy Award for Outstanding Service to Children and Families: Barbara Bontempo, professor of English; Maria Ceprano, professor of Elementary Education and Reading; Deborah Daly, keyboard specialist in the Human Resource Management Office; and John Gounard, director of international student affairs.  Shout out to Project Flight and Maria!

Professor McLeish Assists Visiting Chinese Teacher Delegation

Professor Wendy McLeish was contacted over the Thanksgiving break by Dr. Sue Wang, of the China National Institute for Educational Research. She was asked if she would arrange visits to schools for a delegation of ten kindergarten teachers on December 3.

A group of ten kindergarten teachers from China are visiting the United States. In China "kindergarten" is used for teachers of children ages 3-6 years. They arrived in the US on November 23.  First stop was sunny California. They spent some time at University of CA Long Beach with the Head Start on Science folks. Next stop was Las Vegas. They arrived in Buffalo on Saturday, December 1.

The group spent time at two local elementary schools on December 3. The first visit was at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School in Amherst. Ms. Mary Lavin, Primary House Principal, welcomed the group. The teachers visited kindergarten and first grade classes, observed ELL sessions, and spent time in the UPK classes. One of the highlights was a young boy from China, who arrived in Amherst last year with no English. Now he is quite fluent. He read aloud a six page story he wrote recently in Writer's Workshop in English.

Next the group traveled to Bennett Park Montessori School. Mrs. Diane Sauer greeted the group and gave a quick overview of the school. There were many questions about the Montessori classrooms and the Montessori training the teachers complete. The teachers got a workout climbing up and going down the four flights of stairs. Teachers visited the classrooms for 3-5 year olds, 5-7 year olds, and toured through a few upper grade classrooms. Many of the 3-5 year old classes have pets. The room with the rabbit loose in the classroom was a hit.

The teachers were surprised to see students working on the floor as well as at tables. "This could never happen in China," one teacher said. Class sizes in China are much larger and students sit at desks with their hands folded. Apparently the parents of younger children are looking for change in the education system. They want their children to learn through play.

Other highlights: The teachers were surprised with homemade biscuits offered by the home economics teacher. In the shop area the seventh and eighth graders are restoring donated bicycles as part of the school's year long theme on "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."



Dr. Pixita del Prado Hill Named Co-Director of PDS

Effective Fall, 2012, Dr. Pixita del Prado Hill will assume the role of co-director of the Buffalo State PDS.  Working with long-time director Professor Leslie Day, Dr. del Prado Hill will be coordinating with our PDS partners and partner schools, developing events and activities, and representing the PDS at the national and international levels.  Dr. del Prado Hill recently returned from leading Buffalo State's first PDS Abroad group of students through the PDS experience in Santiago, Chile.  To read more about Dr. del Prado Hill's accomplishments, please visit her Buffalo State faculty webpage:

Mary C. Cummings

Professor Cummings, PDS Advisory Council member, has spent much of the month of October promoting the efforts of department programs and the PDS within the Buffalo community. This has not only served to inform the community but it supports Buffalo State's "Year of the City."  Professor Cummings' accomplishments include:

1. Panel participant for the League of Women Voters. Topic: Multilingual challenges and what the Elementary Education and Reading Department is doing to help train Teacher Candidates. Other panel members included the Director of the Multilingual Education Department, the Coordinator of the Adult Education program, teachers and academic tutors for the Buffalo City Public Schools.

2. Moderated a roundtable discussion at the Buffalo State Community Academic Center (CAC). Topic: Voices of Youth Leadership. This roundtable was attended by youth leaders in programs on both the West and the East side of Buffalo that provide support in multiple ways; adult education, tutor and second language support, financial and educational literacy.

3. Presented at the Western New York Service Learning Conference recently held at Niagara University. Topic: Student Growth through Service Learning. This was a presentation based on a long term study of undergraduate teacher candidates participation in partnerships on the West and North West side of Buffalo. The study focused on areas of growth in the candidates understanding of diversity, second language acquisition and social studies content, and their own personal growth in connecting to the need to be a community member that serves.  
4. Participated as a Board Member for XCel Leadership Center, which provides educational services to multiple populations on the North West Side of Buffalo; Journey's End Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement agency serving all of Buffalo; BELL Network (Buffalo English Language Learners) which provides cradle to career programming for students in the 14213 zip code.
2012 - 2013 Student Accomplishments:

EDU 211 Students in Action at BPS 90

BPS 90 recently held a family literacy night that Professor Rosemary Arioli's EDU 211 students participated in. Pam Schunk is the principal BPS 90, and she has been highly committed to PDS and allowing our students to take part in her school. Professor Arioli partnered with Dr. Theresa Janczak from EXED; EXE graduate students created the games and organized the program. EDU 211 students were assigned to work with classroom teachers, students and parents to play the games. 


2012-2013 PDS Partner Accomplishments:

Our PDS Community Partners include all of our participating schools, as well as the following groups; click on each of the following for more information about their current activities and opportunities:  The Buffalo Science Museum/Tifft Nature Preserve, The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Project Flight, and Wegman's.

Buffalo City Mural on Display in E. H. Butler Library

A multimedia mural collage on canvas, created by fifth- and sixth-grade students at Enterprise Charter School, is on display in the lobby wall case of E. H. Butler Library. The mural was inspired by a visit from Caldecott award-winning illustrator and author Bryan Collier and made possible by a Professional Development Schools minigrant awarded to the school by the Elementary Education and Reading Department. For more information on the mural, an appropriate exhibit for the Year of the City theme, contact Maria Ceprano, professor of elementary education and reading, ext. 5613.

Winchester Elementary

PDS Partner, Winchester Elementary School, was recently the subject of a Buffalo News article which documents the efforts of Principal Kathleen Brachmann and teacher Dawn Voelker to include a student into the classroom through the use of new, innovative technology.  To view the article, please copy this link into your browser window:  


In appreciation for its support of the Global Book Hour, on June 29th, 2012, Wegmans Stores was presented the 2012 Buffalo State Equity and Campus Diversity Program Award. Hosted at Wegmans Amherst Street Store on Buffalo's West Side, the Global Book Hour promotes family literacy and global awareness through a weekly book hour that integrates geography, music, visual art, and healthy eating. Buffalo State teacher candidates provide an interactive read aloud, reading strategies and activities for local families, and each child leaves with a copy of the multi-cultural book at the end of each session.

This collaboration could not happen without the generous support of Wegmans staff; for their time in transforming the Market Cafe into an enchanting reading room and their healthy snacks which nourish the children each week (and often the teacher candidates). We are so thankful and appreciative of their efforts.

Please visit the Global Book Hour page at for more information.