An expert in reading and teacher education, Vicki A. Edwards, EdD, was influenced to into her field by her upbringing. She originally thought she would be a nurse, but realized very quickly that she could not follow that path when she fainted at the sight of blood. Thus, she became a language arts teacher within Arlington Public Schools in 1972, remaining in this position for four years before transferring to the Glendale Elementary School District from 1977 to 1980. She then served the Deer Valley School District in Phoenix as a reading specialist from 1980 to 2004, principal from 1980 to 2004 and director of assessment from 2004 to 2010. Currently, she serves Arizona State University as student-teacher supervisor.
Prior to the start of her professional career, Dr. Edwards pursued a formal education at Midland University, earning a Bachelor of Education in 1972. She then matriculated at Arizona State University, where she received a Master of Education in 1979. She went on to attain an additional Master of Education in 1986 and an EdD in curriculum and instruction in 1988 from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Since graduating, Dr. Edwards was president of the alumni board for Midland University from 2006 to 2014. Additionally, she is treasurer of the Lutheran Church of the Master.
Dr. Edwards authored one book, “The Search for the Ideal Teacher: Research on Teacher Characteristics, 1890-1950,” in 1988. Likewise, she authored three articles in professional journals, “Extracurricular Reading and Reading Achievement: The Rich Stay Rich and the Poor Don’t Read” in Reading Improvement in 1992; “One Year Stability of the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey” in the Mid-Western Educational Researcher in 1995; and “Assessing Early Reading Skills with the Mountain Shadows Phonemic Awareness Scale” in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment in 2004.
Outside of her primary trade, Dr. Edwards maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field. A life member of the Arizona State University Alumni Association, she is affiliated with the International Reading Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Council of Teachers of English and the Arizona School Administrators. In light of her many achievements, Dr. Edwards received the Award of Achievement from U.S. West Communications in Tucson, Arizona, in 1992. Years later, she was given the Mountain Shadows PTSA Outstanding Educator Award in 2001 and the Mentor Award by Midland University in 2004. Furthermore, she is a recipient of the coveted Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also selected for inclusion in the 26th edition of Who’s Who in the West and several editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education.
Dr. Edwards has a passion for teaching and that is what makes the difference. A lot of people retire when they put in their 30 of 40 years, but she is not comfortable doing that. She enjoys teaching, whether it is working with children, student teachers or adults in adult classes. In her current role, Dr. Edwards is continuing to supervise the student teachers, and also works with interns who are preparing for student teaching.