Every year the Union College Education Club hosts a banquet to honor our graduates. Superintendents, principals, cooperating teachers, and special guests come from all over the Midwest to help our seniors celebrate their success.
Courtney Gutknecht is an Elementary Education major who loves volleyball, traveling, and board games. She is currently serving as a Task Force worker at Upper Columbia Academy in Washington. Courtney is also involved at the local elementary school near UCA.
Charlotte Messer is a Vocal Music Education major. Along with music, family, friends, and spending time with her Savior bring her great joy. Charlotte enjoyed her time student teaching at Sunnydale Academy in Missouri and would love to teach at the secondary level.
Luis LaPorte’s passion for people is evident to all who meet him. He is one of our Elementary Education majors and loves his students. Luis’s other passions include music and traveling. His talents have taken him all over the country ministering to others.
Chase Shireman is another Math Education major. He developed his love for kids after working at one of his favorite places on earth, Camp Heritage. He enjoys being near or in the water and most of all he loves his fiancee, Bekah.
Mollie Cummings has a love for Jesus that is infectious. As a Religious Education major that is key. She enjoys participating in Literature evangelism each summer. Mollie also finds joy in camping, running, swimming, and biking.
Matt Daarud is a Social Science Education major. Family and friends are important to him and so is the game of golf. Matt enjoys listening to sports talk radio and reading up on the latest JFK conspiracy theories.
Jared Henry is a Physical Education major. He loves working with young people, playing games, and going on adventures. During the fall semester, Jared went on his student teaching adventure to Rio Lindo Academy in California. Jared is working at Rio Lindo again this semester as a Task Force worker.
Megan Cowin loves playing her Uke, but not quite as much as she loves her elementary students. She enjoys traveling adventures and exploring new places. Last year Megan was a student missionary in Ebeye where she had many exciting adventures to share.
Russell Palmer is a Natural Science and Religious Education major. Along with teaching, Russell loves playing with his nephews and spending time with his wife, Sarah. In Russell’s own words, he’s “never met a Chipotle burrito he didn’t like.” Russell’s sense of humor and love for Jesus will serve him well in his new classroom at Mile High Academy where he is teaching Math to the 5-8th graders and Bible to 7-8th.
Education majors prepare to take their Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) this week. Passing the three tests in Reading, Math and Writing is required of all sophomore education majors at Union College before becoming a candidate for full acceptance into the education program and enrolling in upper division professional education courses.
The PPST will be given again in April at Union College for those who need to pass it before Fall 2013 registration. Another option for students who haven’t taken it or need to re-take a portion of it, is to contact the Sylvan Learning Center in any major city and arrange to take it at their facility. If scores do not meet the Nebraska State Department of Education requirements, students must re-take the test until scores meet the standards or drop education as their major.
For 36 years, Union’s campus has been home to a unique teaching lab–George Stone School, where elementary students train future educators. And until recently, their playground looked like it may have been created 36 years ago as well. Thanks to a generous donation, Union was able to build a new playground for the youngest students on our campus. The grand opening was last Thursday, and it looks like the kids are enjoying the new equipment.
In April 2013, Elementary Education seniors took their Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment exam. This two hour exam covers material that teachers across the nation are required to know in order to be considered Highly Qualified Teachers under the “No Child Left Behind” program.
The Professional Education courses at Union College prepare students in the areas covered by this exam in the methods courses, practicum experiences and evaluations, lesson plans, teacher work samples, portfolios and student teaching placements.
Good scores on the Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment exam and graduating from a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved program assures prospective employers that graduates from the Union College Education Program will be highly qualified. This gives our students the best chance for successful placement.
The Student Teachers will soon begin gearing up for their placements this fall! They began with pre-school week responsibilities, will shadow their Cooperating Teacher for two weeks and then gradually assume responsibility to teach four or five classes on their own. The Cooperating Teachers supervise their teaching experience and make suggestions to help them “learn the ropes.” They will continue to teach through mid-December.
For the fall 2013 semester there are ten student teachers:
Mollie Cummings, Religious Education major 7-12
Matthew Daarud, Religious Education / History Education
Jared Henry, Physical Education
Carolea Kennedy, Social Science Education
Charlotte Messer, Choral Music Education
Russell Palmer, Natural Science Education / Religious Education
Chase Shireman, Mathematics Education
Andrew Stevens, Mathematics Education
Desiree Watterson, Language Arts Education
Courtney Gutknecht, Elementary Education
Upon graduation from the Education Program at Union College, new teachers qualify for a Nebraska Department of Education Teacher’s Certificate, which allows them to teach in their endorsement area in the State of Nebraska and an SDA Certificate for the North American Division of the SDA church.
If a graduate takes a position in the public school system in another state, they must apply to the department of education in that state for a certificate since each state has their own Rules & Regulations. Most states expect that a graduate will obtain a certificate from the state in which they graduated. Therefore, each teacher who graduate with an Education degree from Union College is encouraged to apply during the last semester of teacher training.
For further information, visit the website of The Nebraska Department of Education and The Mid-America Union Conference Education Department
Chad Chaffee (Math Ed) is considering teaching in Indonesia, but for now is working at the Leffler YMCA CLC for the summer. Chad will have more information on teaching in Indonesia later in the summer.
Tash Copening has been enjoying teaching at Lakeview Elementary as their Math Specialist with the 4th graders.
Michelle Riley enjoys teaching English & Bible in her classroom at Sunnydale Adventist Academy.
We are excited to be one of the first blogs authorized by Union College on their new blog list. This blog is designed to keep you, the graduates of Union College Education Program, teachers in the field and students who are in the education program up-to-date on what is happening in the program.
We invite you to email us with stories and pictures of “where you are now” that we can include in the blog. We hope to make this a somewhat interactive site that will be interesting and current.
To teach the Bible is one of the most sacred duties of a teacher. In a Seventh-day Adventist classroom, teachers have the privilege to open the truths and stories without hindrance or any type of prohibition. It is an opportunity to lead young lives to the feet of Jesus each and every day. We run the longest evangelistic series which starts every fall and ends 180 days later – an entire school year. Before a teacher can help students recognize and deal with tht truths and lessons of the Bible, they themselves must be consecrated and committed to those concepts and have a relationship with the Truth Giver. The work of a Seventh-day Adventist educator is one with eternal rewards.
The Bible Methods course is designed for elementary or secondary teachers to strengthen their walk with Christ, gain insigts on the importance of Bible lessons, develop Bible lessons that inform and inspire, search the Web for resources to enhance Bible lessons, develop a Unit of Study, and challenge them to lead their students to Christ.
This course can be ordered by requesting an application form from the Education Department at Union College.