Kedrick Nettleton, Staff Writer

This year, we’re shining a spotlight on the amazing OKWU professors who dedicate their lives to helping students achieve their callings.

Today, we’re talking with Kelley Sells, Professor of Elementary Education in the School of Education and Exercise Science. Sells came to OKWU last semester, but she’s spent her entire life preparing to impact future educators. She received her B.S. in Education from Northeastern State University, eventually going on to achieve her M.S. and Ed.S. from Pittsburg State University. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas.

How did you end up here as a professor at OKWU?

“My initial experience with OKWU began when my daughter became a student here. She was a student in Professor Charissa Dunn‘s class, who was one of my high school teachers. This led me to be a guest speaker in Professor Dunn’s course, and I fell in love with the place. The experience, education, and care that my daughter received and my experience guest speaking made me realize that I wanted to be a part of providing that type of faith-based experience, education, and care to future educators.”


What’s your favorite thing about the job?

“My favorite thing about my job is ‘teacher prep’ in its entirety. The relationship-building with students, the collaborative efforts, and being able to experience the students reaching their goals are all very fulfilling.”


Favorite class to teach?

“Methods courses are my favorite courses to teach, because they’re based on creativity, application, and plenty of hands-on activities.”


Favorite thing to do in your free time?

“Whether it’s on my boat or lying in my hammock, I love to spend time at the lake in my free time.”


Do you have any favorite sports teams?

“I love baseball, and I love my Razorbacks. Woo Pig!”

What’s the biggest thing you hope your students take away from one of your classes?

“The biggest thing I pray my students take away from one of my classes is a strong sense of preparedness.”


What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

“I am neck-deep in writing my dissertation, so I have not read a book for fun in quite some time. I will say, though, that my textbook, Teaching Reading Sourcebook, is an excellent book!”


What would you say to a student thinking about committing to an OKWU education?

“The decision to come to OKWU should be easy. The positivity, care, and education here are so extraordinary that I can’t imagine they would receive such an experience anywhere else.”


If you could only bring three items to a deserted island for a month, what would you bring?

“If I were on a deserted island for a month, I’m not sure I would mind! I love quiet. I would already have the water, so all I need is my hammock, boat, and coffee.”


Which would you choose – a quiet night in watching a movie, or dinner in a fancy restaurant? 

“Quiet nights at home watching a movie are something I already do [during COVID], so I would choose the dinner at a fancy restaurant.”


What motivates you in your work?

“Experiencing growth in myself and my students’ growth motivates me in my work. I love success, no matter how big or how small. And growing is a success!”

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