Spotlight on Nancy Corbett
Adventure is Out There!
That is what Nancy Corbett heard soon after finishing college to be a teacher (it means hello). After graduation, Nancy’s lifelong sense of adventure drew her to the mysterious and wonderful Thailand, where she spent her first four years of teaching in an international elementary school in Bangkok. Adventure and consistency have marked Nancy’s life. She has been on a continual quest to positively affect the ways in which students learn, and she has accepted challenges in order to deliver new and exciting outcomes. Unlike scores of current college students who spend five years trying to “find themselves,” Nancy was expected to choose a career path while she was in college. She knew she loved working with kids and did not want to sit behind a desk all day, so teaching elementary school was a natural fit for her. Upon graduation, she craved adventure, so she moved to Thailand to teach third grade in an international school. While she was there, she met Ruthellen Crews, a professor at the University of Florida (UF), at a professional development workshop in Bangkok. Nancy knew that many students in her classes struggled with reading, and she wanted to change that. Ruthellen invited her to pursue a master’s degree in reading at UF.
After four years in Thailand, Nancy followed her spirit and moved to Gainesville—a city she had never before seen. Toward the end of her master’s program, the principal of PK Yonge Developmental Research School (a K-12 school affiliated with UF’s College of Education) offered Nancy a position teaching elementary school. In stark contrast with the previous stage of her life, Nancy stayed at PK Yonge for 14 years. During her time there—aside from the life-changing event of meeting her husband, Wes—she availed herself to numerous opportunities to take special education courses at UF. Cecil Mercer, one of her professors, persuaded her to pursue a doctorate program with a focus on learning disabilities. Nancy’s background in the classroom has brought an important pragmatic approach to her work with the CEEDAR Center. She is heavily involved in producing our Course Enhancement Modules (CEMs) and can often be heard saying, “How can we make this easier to implement for our teachers?”
Nancy’s time in Florida has been anything but boring. She and her husband are very active in the outdoors scene. They have biked all over Florida and have even taken biking trips in Europe. At the CEEDAR Center, we are always ready to hear Nancy’s next story of adventure, and because she is not afraid to embark on new journeys, we are eager to see where she will take educator preparation.