Focusing on K-12 and higher education, as well as consulting, Marti Watson Garlett, PhD, EdS, has directed the Department of Elementary Teacher Education at Azusa Pacific University since 1992. She began her professional career as an elementary teacher in St. Louis in 1968, remaining in this post for two years before teaching reading in Hillsboro, Kansas, from 1973 to 1975 and elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1975 to 1977. She then served as an associate professor in education at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, from 1977 to 1989, also teaching in Korea in 1986, and became a teaching specialist within Wichita Public Schools for one year. Following this, Dr. Garlett was a national curriculum consultant for Econo-Clad Books in Topeka, Kansas, from 1990 to 1992, and taught in many countries around the world including Ghana, Kenya, Austria, Switzerland and Chile.
In conjunction with this tenure, Dr. Garlett was founding dean of the Teachers College at Western Governors University. That was never done before, and it is a competency-based online program about getting others to accept getting teaching certificates in this way. She had to fight through a lot of negativity, as this was never done before. She started in 2001, but started enrolling students in 2006. Additionally, Dr. Garlett was vice president of academic programs and regulatory affairs at Laureate Global Universities, a romper room teacher with KAKE-TV from 1978 to 1985 and an associate fellow of the Milton Center from 1983 to 1990. She also found success as an educational consultant for KAKE-TV News and Information from 1985 to 1987 and an exchange professor at Pusan Women’s College in 1986.
Prior to pursuing a professional career, Dr. Garlett sought out formal education at Emporia State University, earning a Bachelor of Education in 1967. She then attended Vanderbilt University, where she received a Master of Library Science in 1977. From there, she went on to obtain a Specialist in Education degree from Wichita University in 1982 and PhD from Claremont Graduate University in 1997. Furthermore, Dr. Garlett is a certified teacher, reading specialist, educational administrator, dean and vice president.
Outside of her primary trade, Dr. Garlett is active with Soroptomist International and served as president of the Newcomers and Friends of San Gabriel Valley. She has co-authored one book, “Habits of a Child’s Heart,” in 1992 as well as authored two more, “Who Will Be My Teacher?” in 1985 and “Kids with Character” in 1989. To keep up with trends in the field, Dr. Garlett maintains involvement with the International Reading Association, the National Council on Teachers of English, Phi Delta Kappa and Chi Omega.
A Fletcher Jones Scholar, Dr. Garlett was listed in the fourth edition of Who’s Who in American Education, the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest and the 24th edition of Who’s Who in the West. She attributes her success to two of her good friends. The first was a very wonderful teacher in seventh and eighth grade, Katie Kallini. Ms. Kallini sent her a $10,000 check and told her to do something she had never done before, so Dr. Garlett took both of her sons, Marc and Kyle, with her on a Mediterranean cruise. She stayed in touch with Ms. Kallini until she passed away. The second was Nancy Bo Flood, a children’s author who won many awards for her books. Ms. Flood had inspired, motivated and guided her throughout her life.