Educators Named to College Hall of Fame

Columbus State University has selected local educators Paul (Tom) Hackett, Peggy (Jan) Hyatt and Leslie Robertson for its College of Education Hall of Fame.

The honor signifies each as CSU graduates who have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching profession.

The university was to induct the trio as its second such hall of fame class during the annual College of Education and Alumni Association Awards Banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25 at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center.

Hackett serves as CSUs educational leadership program coordinator and professor. Hyatt is Midland Middle Schools choral director and Robertson, the 2005 Muscogee County School District Teacher of the Year, teaches reading for the districts Academic Success Center.

Hackett holds a bachelors degree in English (1977) and a masters degree in educational leadership (1986) from CSU. He returned to the university in 2004 following four years as Superintendent of Phenix City Public Schools during which he guided the system to several milestones including: a first-ever clear designation from the state department of education signifying academics, finance, safety and discipline in accordance with state accountability standards.

Also under Hacketts leadership, Lakeland Elementarys K-4 science program became East Alabamas first magnet program. Later, Phenix City Elementarys science curriculum earned the school designation as one of just 50 NASA Explorer schools in the nation. During the same year, Hackett implemented a grades 3-6 Renaissance Accelerated Learning Academy that was cited as unique in its diagnostic and prescriptive approaches to bringing students to grade level.

At CSU, Hackett is credited with solidifying educational leadership cohort programs, leading accreditation-related projects and developing an initial draft for a proposed doctoral program.

Hyatts teaching career started in 1984 following 10 years as a professional musician. After teaching music for Gentian and Forrest Road elementary schools, she advanced to choral director in 1993, serving Clubview Elementary and Richards and Midland (present) middle schools. Her choirs have been high in demand for performances locally and statewide.

Her choirs also have accumulated years of consecutive superior ratings from the Georgia Music Educators Association for which she presently serves as an adjudicator. From CSU, she earned her bachelors degree in music in 1975 and masters degree in education in 1986. While earning a specialist degree from CSU in 2002 she became Georgias first secondary music teacher to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Subsequently she has mentored other national board music teacher candidates in Georgia.

Robertson, with a 1989 masters degree from CSU, has earned recognition for effectively diagnosing reading difficulties and designing individual learning programs for her students at the Academic Success Center. She also serves as supervisor of Secondary Vocational Connections, the centers dropout recovery program. Her work has led her to giving presentations on reading improvement and guiding at-risk students at national, regional and state-level conferences. She also has effectively written technology and book grants including a $3,005 Muscogee Excellence Grant for scan and read software. She also has provided leadership for several school-wide initiatives such as creating a DVD documentary of the schools history for a campus-improvement fundraiser and preparing for the school's 100-year anniversary celebration in 2006.

CSU College of Education Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee comprised of CSU education faculty and administrators. In addition to holding a CSU degree or certification endorsement, nominees must have 15 or more years of teaching service. Posthumous awards may be granted without the service-year requirement.

For more information, contact Roger Hatcher, CSUs partner school network coordinator in the College of Education, at 706-569-3118.