Dr. Joan Cargnel honored as a groundbreaking educator
May 29, 2013 | Paul K. Logsdon
Dr. Joan Cargnel is highly regarded as an innovative educator, administrator and community leader.
She is also a historic figure at Evangel University, having served as its first female vice president, leading the student development division from 1992-1998.
Earlier this month, Cargnel was honored to receive Evangel’s highest academic recognition, the E.M. and Estella Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service.
“This award makes me feel humble and deeply appreciative,” she says.
“Joan Cargnel has distinguished herself as an outstanding classroom leader and mentor for future teachers,” says Evangel President Robert H. Spence.
Her focus has been on special education. “There are children who need special, loving care. I have focused on helping develop teachers who will teach these exceptional children,” she says.
Cargnel graduated from Evangel (then College) in 1966 and taught in public schools in Springfield, Missouri; Joplin, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and Lakeland, Florida, before joining the Evangel faculty in 1985.
“I’ve always been so pleased with the quality of students that we are able to attract at Evangel,” Cargnel says. “People in the community often comment on the quality of our graduates as teachers — I respond that we draw exceptional students with high levels of compassion and a deeply-held sense of service.”
In 1998, Cargnel returned to the Springfield Public Schools (SPS) and served as principal of Doling and Weaver Elementary Schools for two years. She then joined the SPS administration and served as director of human resources for two years.
Cargnel returned to Evangel in 2002, splitting her last 11 years teaching special education to undergrads and administration to masters students. She retired from full-time teaching earlier this month.
Active in the community, Cargnel has served the Council for Exceptional Children, the United Way, Southeast Rotary, and NOVA, an organization for children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities.
“As a student, I was influenced by great Evangel teachers, like Dr. Nonna Dalan, who recruited me for forensics. She taught me the power of words, and as a teacher, I’ve used those skills all these years.”