Dr. Kelly Sutherland: Associate professor of Education
February 20, 2014
From stuffed animals to elementary school kids to college students, Dr. Kelly Sutherland has been pursuing her love of teaching her entire life. In 2010, after 27 years serving as a teacher and principal in the Missouri public school system, that love of teaching brought Sutherland to Evangel University’s Education Department.
Sutherland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Central Methodist University in 1987. She then taught for 17 years in the Willard R-II school district while completing two master’s degrees: one in Elementary Education and another in Elementary and Secondary Administration. More recently, she earned her specialist and doctorate degrees in Educational Administration and served for 10 years as a principal in the Pleasant Hope and Fair Grove school districts before coming to Evangel in 2010 as an adjunct professor. In 2013 she began teaching at Evangel full-time.
Sutherland and her husband, Brian, have two daughters named Lexie and Lindy. Along with her titles of “professor,” “wife” and “mother,” Sutherland says she also is a “laundress,” “chauffeur,” and “basketball enthusiast” as she and her family enjoy their love for sports.
What first sparked your interest in pursuing a career in education?
Growing up as an only child insured many opportunities for playing “school” and “house” with a collection of stuffed animals and dolls. My captivated audience never seemed to mind my extensive homework assignments or stern motherly advice. I was fortunate to grow up with opportunities for intellectual and spiritual growth. Even as a very small child, I knew there were three things I wanted to be when I grew up: a wife, a mother and a teacher. I feel very blessed to be all three of these.
What is your favorite part about teaching here at Evangel?
Teaching at the college level has been a dream of mine for a long time. I’m so proud to be a part of the Evangel family. Evangel is a wonderful school that emphasizes strong academics and the development of spiritually mature individuals. It’s so exciting to be a part of a program that is helping to produce some of the best teachers in the world.
What is the most important thing you hope your students take away from their time here?
Our department consists of faculty and staff that are God-centered, hard-working, committed, caring and fun people. I hope that students leave Evangel University and the Education Department knowing that someone truly cared about their journey while they were here, and their future as an educator.
How have your faith and your family influenced your educational career?
My God and family are the most important things in my life. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful husband, Brian, and two precious little girls, Lexie and Lindy. Besides being the light of my life, my family has always played an important role in the decisions that I made as an educator and administrator. As I made decisions about teaching, policies, curriculum and school issues, I found myself thinking about my own children and trying to always do what was best for other children and families.
What advice would you give someone who is considering attending Evangel, especially someone interested in the Education program?
The Education Department is a group of outstanding, qualified faculties who genuinely care about their students and have the desire to see that students are successful. If God has placed a desire in your heart to be a teacher and you want to learn in a Christian environment and be successfully prepared for the teaching profession, then Evangel is where you need to be. Teaching is an ever-surprising mix of grueling hard work and ecstatic successes; however, I believe that it is definitely worth it! I want to be an encourager of college students who feel like teaching is their calling.