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MCLA Continues Strong Legacy of Preparing Innovative Educators


Marianne YoungAccording to Marianne Young, who recently joined MCLA as an instructor and the education program review coordinator, there is a perpetual, consistent need for teachers across the nation; particularly when it comes to those who teach science and math, and for those who aim to teach elementary school-age children. The College, she said, is a great place to prepare for a career in education.

“There’s always a need for great teachers, a need for innovative teachers, a need for strong, independent thinkers for teachers. We need that now more than ever. That’s where MCLA comes in,” Young said.

She continued, “While we need to prepare students according to the Commonwealth’s expectations for licensure – and we do – what I’m seeing is that the Education Department and the faculty as a whole here at MCLA value that independent, autonomous, searching thinker who changes and enriches a conversation. Whether that happens in a classroom, in a science lab or an art studio, or in journalism and writing: that’s where MCLA continues to be really strong.”

Since its 1894 inception as the Normal School in North Adams, Mass., MCLA has provided educational access and exceptional learning opportunities to generations of students and alumni. In 1932, the Normal School became the State Teachers College of North Adams, which reflected the increased importance the College placed on education as an academic discipline.

“Education at MCLA is both a tradition and a service,” Young said. “As a Normal School and a teacher’s college, this campus has been dedicated to providing a strong teaching curriculum, and continues to push for creative, innovative thinking for all students.”

No stranger to campus, Young has taught courses for MCLA’s Leadership Academy – which prepares educators to serve as leaders of educational institutions – for a number of years. In addition, she teaches an online Leadership Academy entitled “Curriculum and Instruction.” Her future plans include teaching additional courses in teacher and administrator preparation.

According to Young, MCLA is a leader with its approach in “design thinking,” a new process for problem-solving that uses methods from traditional science and the humanities. “It’s showing up in professional development programs, as well as in the courses that the students take here.”

Previous to coming to MCLA in anticipation of the education department’s preparation for the seven-year review with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Young served as principal of Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, Mass., from 1999 to 2007, and again from 2009 to 2017, until her retirement this past August. She also served as superintendent of the Lenox Public Schools, from 2007 to 2009.

In addition to pursuing doctoral studies at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Young completed the “Accomplished Principal Field and Pilot Test,” sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She previously taught English for grades 8 – 12 at Leland and Gray Union High School and Middle School in Townshend, Vt., prior to becoming that school’s middle school principal.