Dr. Lenae Lazzelle
The Phelps Center for Gifted Education serves around 900 gifted students in the Springfield area, giving Drury's graduate students many opportunities to work directly with this demographic as they earn their master's degrees. Dr. Lenae Lazelle is the director of the Phelps Center. We sat down with Dr. Lazelle to find out what makes the partnership with Drury's School of Education and Child Development such a valuable asset to educators and students alike.
"What makes Drury's program the absolute best is we have people who are actually doctors in psychology, administrators, counselors and people who write curriculum. These people all together are able to make a curriculum for our students that's just unmatched throughout the state."
From the moment you mention it, it is clear that Dr. Lazelle is passionate about gifted education. As the director of gifted education for Springfield Public Schools, Dr. Lazelle brings a current practitioner's perspective to Drury's Center for Gifted Education: "Through the coordination between Springfield Public Schools and Drury we create a program to meet the needs of all of our gifted students."
Dr. Lazelle cites the longevity of Drury's programs as a key part of making a difference for gifted students: "We've been really fortunate that for 35 years we've been producing excellence in teachers in gifted education. "
Drury's graduate students work directly with Center for Gifted Education pre-college programs,
providing gifted-specific learning experiences for all ages.
"They're working with four-year-olds, and they're working with seventeen-year-olds and they get a full scale practicum. That's just not offered anywhere else."
Drury University graduates make up a large proportion of the Phelps Center's teaching corps. Dr. Lazelle reflects on the impact that Drury's M.Ed. in Gifted Education has had on the Center: "I have about 30 teachers and I would say the majority, probably over 95% of my teachers here, did go through the Drury graduate program in gifted education."
"What makes Drury's graduates unique is that I know they have a well rounded background, taught by experts in the field."
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