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Class Notes: Brenaus College of Education has new leader

Brenau University will have a new leader guiding the school’s College of Education following a nationwide search.

Sandra Leslie, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, comes to Gainesville by way of Shorter University where she served as the chair and dean of the School of Education. Prior to that she was an associate professor and director of secondary education at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

“Dr. Leslie brings professional experience and credibility within the profession,” said Nancy Krippel, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Brenau. “We are delighted that someone of her stature will be guiding our program as it prepares future generations of teachers and school administrators to address the critical issues in education.”

Leslie said that part of her job will be to help boost enrollment in the college, which has slowed the past five years due to economic uncertainty for teachers.

“We will do that,” she said, “by being the best program in the state of Georgia and by expanding our reputation for recruitment in other states as well.”

Leslie expressed confidence that the economy for public school education will improve.

“To suggest that there will not be jobs available for educators is a short-sighted view,” she said. “We’re seeing a ‘graying’ of the teacher workforce, for example. Between 33 and 50 percent of all teachers are approaching retirement age in the next few years, and someone will have to replace them.”

Brenau’s College of Education recently received recognition for having one of the nation’s top 10 online graduate education programs as a complement to its on-campus undergraduate and graduate offerings.

“Brenau is very highly regarded in the state,” said Leslie, who has also worked with the Board of Examiners for Georgia Institutions of Higher Education and on several institutional review teams for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. “The College of Education has a great, committed faculty.”

Leslie attended Pennsylvania State University where she majored in secondary education and Latin. She received a master’s degree in middle grades language arts from Queens College in Charlotte, N.C., and a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina.

She began her tenure on July 2.

Lee Johnson covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: