Skip to main content

Tenth Annual Pinning Ceremony Honors Next Class of Educators

The tenth annual Sheila P. Kearney '54, '67G Educators Pinning Ceremony honored 129 students who completed their 2024 educator license program at Salem State University.

The annual tradition is hosted by Salem State University’s Friends of the McKeown School of Education, the McKeown School of Education, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Salem State University Alumni Association and Foundation.

Dean Joseph Cambone EdD offered congratulatory remarks, saying, “You join a group of dedicated professionals that number in the millions, tasked daily with teaching and mentoring America’s youth. As Salem State’s founder Horace Mann once said, ‘Education is the great equalizer,’ and today, truer words have never been spoken.”

The evening’s keynote welcomed Jabari Tovar ’16, music educator and percussion specialist in the Salem Public Schools, Salem State alumni award recipient, Yamaha Music Corporation’s “40 Under 40”, among other honors.

“Think of that impactful teacher, how they made you feel empowered,” said Tovar as he offered advice to the 2024 graduates. “Think about how passionate they were, how charismatic they were. That’s what you have to try to emulate as you enter schools and classrooms. You have the power to change the lives of young people. You have to use it wisely.”

Joanne Wheeler ’85, ’93G, ’12G received the inaugural McKeown School of Education Excellence Award for Supervising Practitioners, an award that honors educators who go above and beyond the normal scope of their role while having significant impact on the preparation of their student teachers. Wheeler is a kindergarten teacher in an inclusive special education classroom at the Clarke Elementary School in Swampscott and was nominated by former student teacher Cailyn Fitzgerald ’24, Visiting Assistant Professor and Practicum Supervisor at the McKeown School of Education, Salvatore Cammarata EdD ’74, ’79G, ’88G and Clarke Elementary School Principal Chris Norkun ’19G.

“Joanne has a wide range of neurodiverse students and gracefully structures and designs her classroom to ensure all students learn, grow and fall in love with school,” said Norkun.

Before the ceremony concluded, each of the 2024 graduates received a commemorative pin, presented by Assistant Dean of Student Services Johannah Morgen, and Director of Field Engagement, Supervision and Licensure Ashley Cree, EdD.

The McKeown School of Education has over 24,000 alumni and is dedicated to providing the highest-quality, progressive education for the widest cross section of society, and to graduate top-flight educators who work for the good of their communities. This May, more than 260 educators will be graduating from the McKeown School of Education and enter the workforce as teachers and academic leaders committed to lifelong learning. 

Alumni Relations
Back to top