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In memoriam: John A. Stoops Sr.

John A. Stoops Sr.

John A. Stoops Sr., the first dean of Lehigh’s College of Education and founder of the Centennial School, died on June 16. He was 80.

Stoops began his career in education in 1948 as a teacher of industrial arts, physics, English and mathematics in the Delaware public school system. Later, while earning a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, he served as principal of Neshaminy Junior High School and later in the same capacity at Neshaminy Senior High School.

In 1962, he was invited to head the department of education at Lehigh. When the department became the College of Education in early 1966, Stoops was asked to be its first dean.

During his 14-year tenure at Lehigh, he established the Centennial School, a private laboratory school for children and youth with educational disabilities, which also serves as a training ground for special education teachers enrolled in the College of Education. The school drew its name from the fact that it opened in 1965, Lehigh’s 100th anniversary. He also played a key role in the formation of Channel 39 WLVT-TV Public Television Lehigh Valley.

In 1969, Stoops received the R.R. and E.C. Hillman Award for outstanding service to Lehigh and in 1970, he earned the Phi Delta Kappa Award for outstanding service to education.

In 1978, Stoops began an association with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that resulted in the formation of the Commission on Elementary Education. He devoted decades leading and organizing accreditation activities on a national and international level, traveling extensively through Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to his retirement in 2000, he focused on the importance of early-age learning. During his distinguished career, he authored several books, including Religious Values in Education, Education of the Inner Man and Philosophy and Education in Western Civilization.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a fine educator, administrator, and scholar,” says Sally A. White, dean and professor, College of Education. “We are indebted to Dr. Stoops for his dedication to the college and for his vision and foresight in creating the Centennial School. Today’s College of Education is renowned, vital and strong, thanks to its first dean, Dr. Stoops.”

--Joanne C. Anderson

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2005

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