Department of Secondary/Middle Education
Elizabeth Luckraft has spent much of her adult professional life in public schools as a teacher, mentor, and supervisor. She has taught students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 8 and has been a team leader at the middle school level. As a mentor teacher for UMF student teachers early on in her teaching career, Elizabeth identified being a student teaching supervisor at UMF as an ideal position for her and is in her 16th year. In this role she is able to support beginning teachers in applying their skills, buiding their confidence, and balancing priorities to learn how to manage the stresses and demands of the education profession and become a healthy, effective teacher. Elizabeth has also involved in mind-body health as a therapist for numerous years specializing in body-centered mindfulness techniques to alleviate anxiety and depression. She currently supports UMF students on a part-time basis as a clinical counselor at the UMF Health Clinic.
Dr. Overall came to University of Maine at Farmington in January 2007 as a visiting professor and was fortunate enough to be able to stay. Prior to earning degrees in the field of educational technology, Dr. Overall was teaching with computers in her mathematics classroom at The Lamplighter School in Dallas, the first elementary school in the world to have a computer in every classroom. She also served as technology coordinator, helping other teachers successfully utilize technology in their classroom. Dr. Overall has designed workshops and customized courses in technology integration and math education for schools in Maine and across the country. In the Secondary/Middle Education program, she currently teaches the 200-level technology integration and classroom management courses and co-designed the 300-level mathematics methods course. She is also a part of UMF’s Master’s program in Educational Leadership.
Clarissa Thompson teaches courses for prospective secondary and middle teachers. For all students in the Secondary Education program, she teaches a Content Literacy course. For students preparing to be English teachers, she teaches English Methods and Young Adult Literature. Her interests, both teaching and research, center on new teachers, and the process of learning to teach, as well as the transition students go through, as they travel from their college and teacher preparation experience into their first few years of teaching. She loves reading Young Adult Literature, both for work and for fun, as well as trying to make poetry a more daily and fun part of her classroom. In what little free time she has, she loves baking cakes, looking at birds, and skiing and hanging out with her children.
Grace J. Ward is an associate professor in the Secondary/Middle Education Department and the Educational Leadership Master’s Program. She worked in public education in Maine for 25 years as a mathematics teacher and administrator. Her research interests include technology integration, mathematics education, and team teaching for pre-service teachers. Dr. Ward has co-authored four papers published in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference Proceedings. The paper “Technology Integration for Pre-Service Teachers in a Team-Taught Cohort Experience” was published in Research Highlights in Information Technology and Teacher Education 2009. By invitation, the paper was published in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. Her teaching areas include curriculum, instruction, and assessment; middle level education; philosophy and history of education; and methods for teaching mathematics.
Before joining the Secondary/Middle Education faculty at UMF, Maja Wilson taught for ten years in Michigan's public schools, and she was a lecturer in the Literacy Program at University of Maine, Orono. Her scholarly interests include writing assessment, automated essay scoring, teacher agency, the accountability movement, and the history and consequences of behaviorism in American education. She is the author of Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment (Heinemann, 2006), which won the Conference on English Education's James Britton Award in 2007. In addition, her work has been published in several edited collections and in Educational Leadership, Rethinking Schools, English Journal, Kappan, Education Week, Journal of Teaching Writing, and the Washington Post Answer Sheet. She currently teaches History and Philosophy of Education and Introduction to Secondary/Middle Education.