Joan Purkey has made education a lifelong career

May 08, 2014

Associate Professor of Education and Teacher Education Program Coordinator Joan Purkey will retire at the end of this semester after being with Newman University since 1999 – a total of 15 years.

JoanPurkey-72WebPurkey, a Wichita native, said she is retiring to spend more quality time with her new husband, Larry Pippitt. She said she also wants to do some workshops.

“I have teaching connections with children and teachers as they have surrounded my life,” she said.

Purkey has taught a wide range of classes at Newman including Math Methods, Geometry and Statistics, Methods of Teaching Art and Social Studies Methods, and Primary Methods. She also spent time as coordinator of professional development schools, teacher intern coordinator and university supervisor of interns. Purkey also conducted graduate workshops on various topics.

Before coming to Newman, Purkey taught for 48 years. She spent 10 years with Title 1 as a math teaching specialist, Eugene Field Elementary School, teaching second and third grade, and at Earhart Elementary School teaching first, third and fourth grade.

“I choose teaching because I was an only child and I loved kids,” she said. “I wanted a job where I could make the most impact of children.”

Purkey received her Bachelor of Science degree from Friends University and then went on to receive her Master of Education with a Focus in Elementary Education at Wichita State University.

During her time teaching, Purkey led a number of inservices and presented at many events. She was nominated and accepted for Who’s Who Among America’s Educators five years in a row. She published Math Perks for Teachers in 2006. She is a member of the Wichita Council of Teachers of Reading and served as president of the organization for two years.

“I’ll always remember the feeling of community,” Purkey said of her time at Newman. “Newman is a wonderful place to work. I have really enjoyed and feel that I have grown in my spiritual nature by being here at Newman and by being a part of the Associates of the Blood of Christ.”