Department of Education
As early as third grade, Dr. Maddas knew that she had in interest in teaching; albeit, the drawings of her “future classroom” with its students sitting in rows with their attention directed at the board didn't represent her current practices of student-centeredness, application, collaboration, and higher-order thinking.
Dr. Maddas proudly worked as a teacher and principal in the Uniontown Area School District at both the elementary and middle levels. She taught and led programs in her schools for both general and special education and prides herself in cultivating a school environment in which everyone shared a vision of focusing on learners.
Student success was Dr. Maddas' top priority. Her schools received the Keystone Achievement Award for accomplishing AYP goals under the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as meeting or exceeding proficiency and growth indicators during the transition to the rigorous Common Core State Standards and Educator Effectiveness model; in fact, one of her elementary schools achieved the second highest School Performance Profile score in the county.
During her principalship, Dr. Maddas also strived to impact children's lives in a positive way and to build strong relationships with members of the school community. She combined an approachable disposition with a visible presence in the buildings and community, and instituted several programs including a school-wide positive behavior support program and a “Raising Readers Parent Club” for grades PreK-2 as well as took part in a collaborative administrative effort in developing a differentiated supervision model for teachers in the district that allowed one-on-one professional development sessions between her and the teachers.
Furthermore, Dr. Maddas also facilitated a strong relationship between her schools and PennWest California through a Professional Development School partnership to support the preparation of prospective teachers, faculty development, and student achievement. One of her favorite PDS projects, Kids Talk Democracy, included a video and panel of several sixth-graders from her school who shared their views about political topics in observance of Constitution Day. She worked to interconnect district and institutional work, which she believes is critical to strengthening teacher preparation and the professionalization of teaching altogether.
Dr. Maddas is a PennWest California alumnus, having attended eight of formative higher education years here. In fact, she attributes much of her professional success to her education and practical experiences gained at PennWest California. She's a true example of how PennWest California can afford its students with opportunities beyond their imagination; she cannot imagine being able to “pay it forward” as a role model for her students on any other platform.
Since her days of mentoring teacher candidates as a cooperating teacher and hosting them at her schools during her principalship, she has aspired to serve university students. She is now fulfilling that aspiration, teaching and supervising student teachers and sharing her expertise through methods courses. Additionally, she is enjoying her work in research, writing and presenting on topics related to her research interests: pre-service and in-service teacher development, best practices in teaching and learning (e.g., differentiated instruction, co-teaching), instructional coaching and supervision, literacy, and assessment and data literacy.
Maddas, R. R. (2014). Co-teaching as a teacher preparation model: A qualitative study of cooperating teachers' perceptions (Order No. 3665897). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (1640771028).
Maddas, R. R., & Diehl, H. L., (2013). Perceptions and benefits of co-teaching in the student teaching experience. PA Education Leadership Journal, 33(1), 47-74.
- B.S., Elementary Education K-6: PennWest California
- M.Ed., School Counseling K-12: PennWest California
- Post-Grad, Certification in Educational Administration and Supervision K-12: PennWest California
- D.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction: Indiana University of Pennsylvania