Congratulations to RCOE Spring 2024 Retiring Faculty and Staff

Congratulations to Reich College of Education (RCOE) faculty and staff members who retired at the end of the 2024 spring semester:

  • Jeff Goodman
  • Dr. William Gummerson
  • Kaaren Hayes
  • Dr. Glenda Johnson
  • Dr. Larry Kortering
  • Dr. Patti Levine-Brown
  • Dr. Diane Waryold

When taken together, the seven retirees this spring represent a total of over 150 years of service to Appalachian State University and the Reich College of Education. Read more about each of them:

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman began teaching as a lecturer at App State in the fall of 1993 — connecting the arts and science for many, many students!

Well known for his classes going to “11”, Goodman has received many awards and accolades for his teaching, service, and research.

In retirement, he is looking forward to continuing to give back:

  • to his family and the community in which he lives;
  • spending time making things by hand with his wife and grandsons; 
  • strengthening the school garden program he and his wife began; 
  • learning more about birds, wildflowers, astronomy, geology, neurobiology, psychology, evolutionary biology, math, and philosophy -- and sharing what he learns; 
  • continuing to present science shows to school groups; 
  • playing more music with friends; and 
  • building giant puppets.

When asked if there is anything he would like to share, he said, “To me, education is about connection: connections between people, connections to the physical world, and connections to our own curiosity and what's in our hearts. These connections evolved over millions of years of intimately sharing time and space, and I'm worried we'll lose something essential if we don't attend to our shared physical reality.  Have you ever noticed that it is impossible to have infectious laughter on Zoom?”

Dr. William Gummerson

Dr. William “Bill” Gummerson, a professor in the Department of Media, Career Studies, and Leadership Development, is retiring after 15 years. He has taught courses in principalship, developing and managing school resources, school law, critical issues in education, and the principal internship. 

When asked how App State has changed during his tenure, Gummerson noted, “ The RCOE has vastly improved its integration with and support of our partnership school districts.”

Over the past two years, he had the opportunity to be part of that support with one of those partnerships by serving on the Advisory Board for the Academy at Elkin.

His advice to new faculty: “While striving to balance teaching, research, and service is important, we should always remember that teaching and our students come first.”

Kaaren Hayes

Kaaren Hayes has been with Parent to Parent Family Support Network of the High Country since its inception in 1988. She became program director in 1998.

Over her 36 years with the program, Hayes has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 Ann Royal Special Recognition Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Leo M. Croghan Foundation for distinguished contributions in the field of developmental disabilities, and from 2009 to present, Kaaren has written over 150 funded proposals for the university, which total nearly $900,000.

She notes the success of the Parent to Parent program is due to the support from many including:

  • The dedicated staff,
  • The advisory board,
  • The faculty and staff in the college,
  • The hundreds of App State student volunteers and interns; and 
  • The families in the network.

For the Fall 2020 commencement, Hayes was selected as the macebearer for the college.

Dr. Glenda Johnson

Dr. Glenda Johnson, an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Family Therapy, and Higher Education, is retiring after ten years.

As one of the faculty in the professional school counseling program, Johnson has appreciated preparing students to become school counselors and witnessing the personal growth that takes place in their lives.

Her work and dedication to students many times over, but especially last year when she was nominated by ten students for the college’s Inclusive Excellence Award, which she received. 

For the Spring 2024 commencement ceremony, Glenda will have the honor of being the macebarer for the college.

When asked what she is most looking forward to in retirement, she said, “I am looking forward to my third act of life with such excitement! I plan to spend more quality time with my family and friends. I also plan to give back to the community through my local church and community agencies and by providing mental health counseling.”

Dr. Larry Kortering

Dr. Larry Kortering began teaching in the special education program at App State in 1992.

Reflecting on his time here, Larry said, “I enjoyed the fond memories of some of the folks I got to work with and all those students who made sure for me work was never a four-letter word.”

His advice to new faculty: “Never lose sight of what it is like to be a classroom teacher.”

When asked if there was anything else he would like to share, he said, “Like my retirement fund?!”

Dr. Patti Levine-Brown

Dr. Patti Levine-Brown, an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Family Therapy, and Higher Education, is retiring after eight years.

In addition to teaching, she also serves as the associate director of professional development for the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges.

In retirement, she is looking forward to having time to finish several short stories she has outlined, as well as a book she has been trying to complete for over a year. Time permitting, she would not mind having some travel sandwiched in between.

When asked if there is anything she would like to share, she said, “I am an App State Alum. My full-time status may be changing, but my heart will remain with an institution that provided a way for me to pursue my career aspirations.”

Dr. Diane Waryold

Dr. Diane “Daisy” Waryold began teaching in the Student Affairs Administration program - or what used to be called Student Development - 20 years ago.

Prior to becoming faculty, she had an accomplished career in student affairs for 25 years. 

Her advice to those beginning their careers: “Think about your relationship with technology. Unplug often and explore the great outdoors that surrounds you. The mountains are calling, and the spring wildflowers are abundant.  It will promote greater well being so that you will be happier and healthier. And you will be modeling positive behaviors for students.” 

Recently, she led a group of students on a study abroad to the U.K. to examine six universities from a comparative lens. This was her 15th year leading this experiential learning opportunity. And when asked what she will miss most about App State, she said, “Our incredibly talented graduate students and trusted colleagues and friends.”