If there were three words to describe the dean of the School of Education at Stevenson University, those words would be “caring, fair, and respectful,” according to the dean herself.
Dr. Deborah Kraft has been a member of the Stevenson community since 1988, first as a faculty member and now as a dean of the School of Education.
Kraft said, “I believe my job as dean of the School of Education is to highlight the work and efforts of the faculty and student and be the support system for them and others in their interest.”
Kraft explained that her innate desire to help others and her love for children drove her to choose a career as a teacher.
Before coming to Stevenson, Kraft was an elementary school teacher in Boston, Mass. She then moved to St. Louis, MO to teach at St. Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, and Maryville University. She later accepted a position at Villa Julie College, which in time was renamed to Stevenson University, as a faculty member in the school’s department of education, which later became the School of Education.
Kraft spends many of her days helping students to live out their dreams. One of the students she helped was Christina Endy, a junior middle school education major.
“Sometime in my sophomore year, I learned I was not going to graduate on time with the education track I chose. Dr. Kraft helped me realize that I have strong math and science skills and told me that if I did the math and science track, I would be able to graduate on time and teach classes that suit me better than my previous track,” said Endy.
“What I love here at Stevenson is that I get to help students live out their dreams of becoming a teacher,” said Kraft.
One valuable insight she has learned over her years in teaching is how hard the job can be. “At the end of the day, you don’t leave behind the job; it’s with you all the time,” said Kraft. Despite the challenges, her proudest moment is watching the growth and success of her students, sharing in their accomplishments and successes.
One of Kraft’s goals for the School of Education is to expand Stevenson’s programs in order to help meet the needs of Maryland and other states’ educators. She also hopes to help her students’ education keep up with “new and ever-changing trends” in teaching.