CSU to Host 2009 National Teacher of the Year

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The reigning national teacher of the year — a former cop who has mentored troubled teens in both careers — will share his story and professional insight Tuesday and Wednesday, March 16-17 with Columbus State University education majors and professors.

Anthony Mullen, a Greenwich, Conn., special education teacher, also will visit and speak to educators in the Musocogee County and Fort Benning school systems.

Hosted by Columbus State University’s College of Education and Health Professions, Mullen will discuss school dropout issues, the primary topic of his message during his yearlong national tour that began last June.

The former Long Island police captain will give a speech to CSU student teachers and education faculty during a 7:30-9:30 a.m. breakfast in the Cunningham Center’s Blanchard Hall. He will remain in Blanchard Hall to answer CSU student questions in a 9:30-10:15 a.m. forum that’s also open to the media.

Anthony Mullen Mullen, right, of Greenwich’s Arch School, an alternative education program, works in a highly structured environment with students who have severe emotional disabilities.

“I teach these young adults because they are the most complex population to educate and therefore challenge my abilities as an educator,” he says.

Mullen often worked with troubled teens during his 20 years in law enforcement before completing his master’s degree in elementary education and special education and becoming a teacher in 2001. “I actively sought teaching positions that included the job description ‘working with students with severe behavioral or emotional problems’” he said. “I knew that my biography and work experience would provide me the empathy and skills necessary to help such young people.”

Following his activities with CSU, Mullen will attend a luncheon at the Fort Benning Officers Club with Fort Benning teachers of the year (12:45-1:45 p.m. Tuesday), speak at Faith Middle School to teachers and leadership personnel (2:15-3:15 p.m. Tuesday), attend the Muscogee County School District Teacher of the Year Breakfast at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center (7:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday) and attend the Rotary Club of Columbus’ luncheon, also at the trade center on Wednesday.

The National Teacher of Year award is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Mullen has been visiting educators nationwide since June 1, fulfilling his duties as the national spokesperson for education. For more information on Mullen and the National Teacher of the Year Award, go to http://www.ccsso.org/Projects/national_teacher_of_the_year/.