Timothy Dohrer, the current principal of New Trier Township High School’s Winnetka campus and a part-time instructor for the School of Education and Social Policy, will become the director of teacher education for SESP starting in the 2013-14 academic year. He will succeed Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon, who is retiring after leading the teacher education program for 22 years.
In a career spanning more than 20 years, Dohrer has taught middle school, high school and college students in rural, urban and suburban settings and served as a long-term New Trier administrator and teacher. As New Trier principal, Dohrer leads one of the largest and most successful schools in the country, supervising a staff of 450 employees and a student population of 3,100 sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Over the past eight years, he has also taught classes in the SESP Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program. He will assume directorship of the teacher education program effective July 1.
After teaching at New Trier for several years, Dohrer, who has a master’s degree in English from Northwestern, completed his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University in 1999. During his doctoral experience, which he describes as “life-changing,” he supervised pre-service teachers throughout central Pennsylvania and participated in an Upward Bound Math and Science academy for inner-city students.
Afterward, he returned to teaching at New Trier to apply what he had learned “in the ‘real world’ of the classroom.” For the last 12 years, he has focused on teacher leadership and school administration, first as English department coordinator at New Trier’s freshman campus and then as principal at the Winnetka campus for upperclassmen.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Northwestern family and am eager to focus on the development of teachers and research in several areas. As a Northwestern alumnus and instructor in SESP for the last eight years, I am well aware of the history and tradition of excellence here, and I look forward to being a part of that,” says Dohrer. “I have been lucky to be part of New Trier High School as a teacher and administrator for 23 years. It shares many of the same values and beliefs as Northwestern University.”
In the role of director of teacher education, Dohrer will oversee all teacher certification programs at Northwestern and lead the graduate program in teacher preparation. The MSEd program offers concentrations in elementary teaching, secondary teaching and teacher leadership.
Haroutunian-Gordon, who is retiring as of the 2013-14 academic year, has been director of the Master of Science in Education program since 1991, when she came to Northwestern from the department of education at the University of Chicago. She has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago and is a past president of the Philosophy of Education Society.
Haroutunian-Gordon has published in the fields of psychology, philosophy of education and teacher education. Her second book, Turning the Soul: Teaching Through Conversation in the High School, received an American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award in 1994. Her latest book, published in 2009, is Learning to Teach Through Discussion: The Art of Turning the Soul. She began her teaching career in Glencoe, Illinois, where she taught sixth grade for five years.
“Under Sophie's leadership our MSED program has thrived, developing teachers committed to supporting the learning of diverse students and to reflecting deeply on their own teaching practices,” says professor Miriam Sherin, a member of the faculty search committee and the MSEd faculty. “Tim brings a wealth of expertise to his role as MSEd director. I'm looking forward to working with him as he leads our program forward.”