I graduated with honors from Ashland in 2008 with a degree in Middle Grades Education. Since that achievement I have made great strides and been awarded with many recognitions that testify to the great education I received from my years at Ashland. Because of my test anxiety I struggled to pass the licensure exam for some time after graduation. Dr. Kommer encouraged me to keep trying andnot give up on my dream to be the greatest teacher I can be. With his words of encouragement I continued working at the test, passed it and acquired full time employment Fall of 2010.
I worked for Horizon Science Academy, an inner-city charter school in Toledo, Oh. I was hired as the 9th grade physical science teacher at HSAT, advised the Freshman Student Counsel Group, and served as a Science Fair advisor. My advisee earned a "Best in Category" Award. At the conclusion of that year I was awarded "Most Positive Teacher-2011" voted by the students and staff. It was a great number of successes for a first year teacher! I returned for the 2011-2012 school year with much energy and high expectations for my classroom and students! Again I taught physical science and served as a Science Fair advisor. My 2012 advisee earned "Best in Category" and was invited to attend an international science fair in Huston, TX. I served as the 9th Grade Chair Committee Head to help support the needs of the entire freshman class. This responsibility called greatly on my skills learned at Ashland about developmentally appropriate education and the importance of embracing the student to encourage success. With the leadership skills also acquired at Ashland I utilized the efforts of the freshman teachers to help provide the best educational experience for our students. Because of my outstanding performance in the classroom and in the school the administration asked me to act as a Mentor for the Ohio Department of Education's requirements of the resident educators training. I agreed and began working with the resident educators as their mentor. Through this opportunity I was able to draw on my experiences I had with my advisors and supervisors at Ashland to provide cooperative and autonomous support for new educators. During teacher appreciation week 2012 I was again awarded the "Most Positive Teacher-2012" and "HSAT Teacher of the Year". Words could not describe the warmth I felt knowing how my work affected those around me.
During the 2012-2013 school year I was asked to serve as the Science Department Head which resulted in a plethora of new responsibilities and leadership skills. I helped coordinate and organize the efforts of teachers grades 6-12 while teaching and serving as a science fair advisor for three students. I helped guide new teachers through the science fair process to establish a strong foundation of learning and experience for all ages. HSAT earned the 1st overall award at the CONSEF science fair where over 40 schools participated. This most definitely was the greatest achievement during my time at HSAT. I was able to witness the excitement for science in the hearts of students of all ages and give back the feeling of gratification to my fellow science teachers for their tireless efforts and time spent planning and preparing for their science fair advisee's. I continued to serve as a mentor teacher and helped with several extracurricular activities lead by educators throughout the school.
I wanted to share my story to make sure that Ashland University received the recognition they deserve for the outstanding education, countless experiences and opportunities they provided me during my time at Ashland and may not even knowing it. They might not remember me but Mr. Kowalka (my advisor), Dr. Adams and Mr. Adams, Dr. Broda & especially Dr. Kommer will forever be names I will not forget. I hope that I can make them proud throughout my career as an educator.