SPRINGFIELD, MO — Dara Brannan traveled to Bolivia in July to speak to a group of Latin American educators. As soon as she got home to Springfield, she turned around and flew to Korea with a team of students and faculty members from Evangel University.
A career educator, Brannan is passionate about teaching teachers how to teach.
“Helping a student understand a concept, and then how to teach that concept, is invigorating to me,” said Brannan, assistant professor of English.
Brannan grew up in a missionary family, serving in Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay.
She returned to the U.S. to attend Evangel, where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and English education in 1982. She also earned an M.S. in education administration from Missouri State University in 1995.
Before joining the Evangel faculty five years ago, Brannan spent 18 years teaching in Springfield Public Schools and another 10 years conducting continuing education seminars throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bolivia is an educated country, one of the few in South America to be declared free of illiteracy, according to UNESCO standards.
“It was an honor to share with my colleagues in Bolivia this summer,” she said. “The teachers and administrators came ready to learn, share and challenge each other.”
On this trip, Brannon taught at the Assemblies of God National Christian School Conference — Servicio de Educacion Secular Cristiano (SESEC) — in Tarija, Bolivia. The SESEC represents 5,000 students in 16 schools, in five cities. At this year’s conference, 200 teachers and administrators attended from those 16 schools.
“I’m challenged by the passion of the teachers to reach the children of Bolivia,” she said.
Never one to miss an opportunity, the Korea trip that followed included four Evangel students, one recent graduate and two other faculty members. All are a part of Evangel’s TESOL program —Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
“We had a great opportunity there to teach English at a 10-day English Bible Camp,” she said.
At Evangel, Brannan also serves as the director of The Write Place, where — appropriately enough — she trains tutors to assist Evangel students with their writing assignments.