Kristie Cerling '96, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and a Professor of Education at Houston Baptist University, where her primary teaching focus is executive educational leadership and secondary literacy and teaching strategies. She has studied Holocaust Education through the National Writing Project and The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights. She has had a tremendous impact over her career in Education – spanning more than 25 years. She has consulted and presented on a range of topics in the United States and abroad, including effective teaching strategies, leadership development, women in leadership, and Holocaust education. Dr. Cerling has published in The Journal of Liberal Arts and Sciences and presented at numerous conferences on Teaching Generation Z, authentic assessment, student engagement, and the use of rubrics in college classrooms.
She began as an English and Theatre teacher in Elkhart Community Schools, eventually advancing to administration as an Assistant Principal in the Concord District. She then spent eight years with the Crossing Educational Center as principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and eventually the Superintendent. From there, she came to Bethel to serve as the Department Chair of the Education Department. During her time here, she was instrumental in bringing the Kindergarten Lab to campus – a collaboration with School City of Mishawaka that allows a Kindergarten class to meet on our campus, giving Bethel education majors the opportunity for hands-on interaction with students. Cerling left Bethel to move closer to family in Texas, where she now serves at Houston Baptist University.
Her upcoming book Authentic Assessment in Action: An Everyday Guide for Bringing Learning to Life through Meaningful Assessment co-authored with Dr. Katie Alaniz and published by Rowman & Littlefield will be out early next year. In addition to her professional successes, Cerling has invested heavily in her colleagues, students, and friends. Her servant, others-centered attitude does not go unnoticed.