Tell us about your academics and affiliations.
I graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in December of 2017. I graduated Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.85. I am currently enrolled in Phase 2 of my distance internship in UF’s Unified Elementary ProTeach (UEP) Program. I am on track to graduate this December with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.
What does this award mean to you?
I was excited to be considered for this award, and I am so grateful to have won it. I never expected recognition for the work I do as an educator, but I am so humbled and honored to be a David Watts Scholar. I would like to thank Ms. Elizabeth Currin for believing in me and for taking time to nominate me for this award. Her support and coaching has been invaluable to my success in the UF College of Education Distant Internship Program. I am so thankful for the training and education I received from the University of Florida UEP Program. I believe this acknowledgment is proof that the UF UEP Program produces exceptional student teachers and has fully prepared me to be an outstanding educator.
How do you hope to impact society? As a student and in the field?
To put it simply, I want all of my students to know that I love them, believe in them and am rooting for them. Every child deserves a champion, someone who is rooting for them to succeed in all aspects of life. My focus will always be on the student, their needs, their desires and their education. The rapport and relationship I build with each student will help me plan meaningful instructional practices that will best suit each child’s learning needs. My hope is that I foster a classroom community that is a safe place where students feel comfortable to take risks and push themselves to reach their individual goals. My ultimate goal is to prepare each student for higher education and their future careers.
What advice would you give to someone interested in coming to the UF College of Education?
If you have any desire to impact and educate the next generation, then you should consider joining UF’s College of Education UEP program. The UEP Program isn’t easy, it requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication, but it is so worth it. I know that all of my hard work in the UF UEP program over the past couple of years has given me the confidence I need to succeed as an educator. The best piece of advice I can give to a future EduGator would be to take full advantage of the knowledge and experience of all your professors. Take note of their advice and wisdom and apply it to your teaching practices. I wish I could go back and record everything they told me. They are wonderful mentors and coaches whose only goal is to help their student teachers become outstanding educators.