CSU College of Education Inducts Three into Hall of Fame

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University’s College of Education has inducted Owen Ditchfield, Ann McDuffie and Dan Trotter into its Hall of Fame, recognizing CSU graduates for “extraordinary contributions to the teaching profession.”

Ditchfield, media specialist for Fort Benning’s White Elementary; McDuffie, headmaster and principal of St. Luke Elementary in Columbus; and Trotter, principal of Ellerslie’s Pine Ridge Elementary, were honored as part of the annual College of Education and Alumni Association Awards Banquet May 6.

Ditchfield, now in his 19th year White Elementary, holds a master’s degree in secondary English education from CSU and completed advanced courses in middle grades education, library media and classroom technology.

In 34 years with Fort Benning schools, he has held leadership positions, pioneered innovative techniques and initiated numerous projects. He is particularly noted for integrating multimedia applications into reading activities.

His extracurricular leadership activities include drama, environment and gardening clubs, coaching students in a closed-circuit broadcasting team and “Battle of the Books” competitions.

He is a charter board member of the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation and served a term on the Muscogee County School Board.

Dan Trotter, Ann McDuffie, Owen Ditchfield at College of Education event.He also is a founding member of both Columbus South, Inc., and South Columbus Concerned Citizens and serves on the boards for Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity and the mayor’s Commission on International Relations and Cultural Liaison Encounters.

Previous honors include Keep Columbus Beautiful’s Educator of the Year and the Columbus Library Association’s LIBRA award. Named a “Community Hero” in 1996, he carried the Olympic Torch along Victory Drive.

McDuffie joined St. Luke in 2003 after 30 years in the Muscogee County School District, including work as a math and science teacher at Rothschild Junior High from 1973-1986. As an elementary science consultant for the district from 1986 and 2001, she mentored other science teachers and developed the annual, district-wide Science Olympics competition.

In 1991, she became principal of Edgewood Elementary, where she is credited for “collaborative leadership” teachers in school improvement initiatives. Subsequent successes led her to earning a Milken Foundation National Educator Award in 1996.

In 2000, she became principal of the newly opened Midland Academy, where her innovative leadership helped secure a Georgia Humanities Council grant to teach writing, culminating in a published book of local oral histories compiled by students.

At St. Luke, she has guided the school’s growth in enrollment from 75 to more than 450 students and has helped position the school for national accreditation.

She also has served as an adjunct professor for CSU’s College of Education, where she earned her master’s degree in middle grades education (’79) after completing her undergraduate studies in biology, also at CSU.

She has served in numerous professional leadership roles throughout her career and serves on the St. Luke Methodist Church Administrative Board.

Trotter, the 2007 Georgia Elementary School Principal of the Year and a CSU College of Education Distinguished alumnus, graduated from CSU in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies.

His 36-year career includes coaching basketball from 1976 to 1987 in Tennessee at Martin College and Cleveland State Community College. A sports Hall of Fame inductee at Martin, he coached the men’s program to eight consecutive winning season and 147 victories — more than any coach in the school’s history.

Returning to Georgia, he became assistant principal in 1988 at Carrollton High School. Establishing himself as a school administrator, he earned a specialist degree in education, leadership and administration in 1991 from West Georgia College. He joined Pine Ridge in 2000 after four years as principal at Park Elementary in Hamilton.

According to a nominator, “fosters partnerships between the community and the school to provide a support system for students to reach their full potential.”

Community service activities include 10 years as a church deacon, and he has served on “Relay for Life” committees at both Park and Pine Ridge schools.

CSU College of Education Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee comprised of current and former CSU education faculty and community leaders. Nominees must have at least 15 years of service in a preschool-college setting.

For more information, call Roger Hatcher, CSU’s partner school network coordinator in the College of Education, at 706-569-3118.