Debbie Galusha Joins Bellevue University Family
By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager
Debbie Galusha has joined Bellevue University as the Director of the new Teacher Education Program. Galusha brings a wealth of experience to the position as a longtime science teacher for Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and as an adjunct for a consortium of community colleges in Iowa. With brothers Rick, an Associate Professor at the University, and Wes, an adjunct in Art, serving at the University, she’ll be amongst not just friends, but family.
Galusha shared her thoughts on the potential offered by the Teacher Education Program and the opportunities available at Bellevue University.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities with the program?
The Teacher Education program, once it receives approval from the State, will meet community needs in schools by providing additional qualified educators, particularly in areas in which there are shortages in Nebraska as identified by a feasibility study done a year ago by the University. The program will also meet needs of Bellevue University students who have an interest in becoming teachers in their major areas of study. To provide certification in those identified needed areas, the University will be expanding curricular elective choices in areas such as business and biology, and will be expanding the majors offered by adding public health education, mathematics and history majors. These changes will enrich the educational opportunities for our students. This program will also encourage the University in finding effective ways to work with our transfer and residential students.
What first attracted you to the position?
About a year ago I met Rick McFayden (former longtime professor at the University, now an Academic Dean at Iowa Western Community College) at an art show who shared with me his excitement about the possibility of the Teacher Education program coming to Bellevue University. I find the challenge of starting a new program to train new teachers a means by which to positively engage young children educationally and also to find an avenue to support new teachers in an educational setting so that they develop skills and confidence to remain in their chosen field of teaching.
What was your previous assignment before accepting this position? Other previous assignments you want to include?
My career was primarily as a science teacher for OPS. I’ve been an online science adjunct for about 14 years for a consortium of community colleges in Iowa. After retiring, I took a position as director of a wonderful preK-12 bilingual school for local youth on a mountain in Costa Rica. Pura vida (Pure life).
What is your educational background? (bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D., if applicable).
I have a BA in English after which I got certification to teach secondary English; an MS in agronomy after which I did soil research and statistics until, missing teaching teenagers, I got my certification to teach science; substantial work on an unfinished PhD in prairie ecology; an MA in educational administration and supervision, and an EdD in that same area.
Rick is older/younger brother? What all did he have to tell you about Bellevue University?
Rick is the youngest. Wes, the middle sibling, is an adjunct here in art. Anyone who knows Rick knows that he holds his opinions close to himself – this is a family characteristic.
My offhand dream is to have my dad hired for a day so there are four Dr. Galushas all working together.
Who have been some of your biggest supporters throughout your career?
Family and friends, and wonderful dedicated colleagues