Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler University’s College of Education (COE) since 2005 and a professor in the College since 1982, has been selected to receive the Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).
The award will be presented to the Dean on February 23 in Las Vegas.
The Pomeroy Award is given to a person or persons who have made exceptional contributions to AACTE, to a national or state organization involved in teacher education, or to persons responsible for the development of exemplary teacher education initiatives.
Shelley provided the leadership to create the first Butler University memo of understanding between the University and the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to establish Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy (now Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School). In addition, she led creation of the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, focused on early childhood and elementary education.
She also was instrumental in bringing Reggio-inspired educational practices to Indiana through the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative. She was able to bring an international exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy, to the Indiana Statehouse for a six-month stay that provided many professional development experiences for hundreds of educators from around and beyond the state.
“Each success in the College of Education is not from a solo experience in my role as a Dean, but rather it is a beautiful symphony created by colleagues in the College and in the schools,” Shelley said. “There is a saying that ‘a leader is only as good as the team that surrounds them,’ and I have found that to be very true. I truly have the dream team in my College.”
Shelley’s approach to education is well known around the COE and Butler: “The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools as they should be, not simply perpetuating schools as they currently exist. We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in our schools and society and to help them to become agents of change.”
Shelley’s COE colleagues said her efforts on behalf of the College, its faculty, staff, and students have been outstanding.
“She has always been charismatic, clear in her vision and integrity, but at her core profoundly decent and kind,” said Professor of Education Arthur Hochman. “This is the reason that she makes so many connections, achieves what might appear impossible, and the reason that so many want to walk in her wake.”
“If you are looking for a positive educator and advocate who challenges the status quo and works tirelessly at lifting up the greatest profession in the world, then look no further,” Associate Dean Debra Lecklider wrote on Shelley’s behalf.
Shelley earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana State University.
“Each day I see the future of education in the talented young people who have chosen it as their vocation,” she said. “These young people could do anything, and they want to teach. I see great teachers doing extremely difficult work as I spend time in the schools. It will be up to our society to invest in educators by valuing the teaching profession and remembering that our democracy was founded on providing a free public education to all citizens.”