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Alumni Highlights

SEE ALSO: Alumni Accomplishments and Awards

cristinritchie.jpgCristin Ritchie '14
Teacher Education Major

"Catawba's education program has provided me with so many incredible opportunities to travel, meet new people, and network within my community. This place is filled with professors, challenges, and opportunities that have guided me on my journey to become an amazing educator. My time and experiences here are irreplaceable and continually help me today ."

lindsayking.jpgLindsay King '14
Teacher Education Major

"From the first day of Introduction to Teacher Education to the last day of my student teaching experiences, Catawba’s teacher education faculty had done nothing but strengthen my passion for teaching. Also, the science and math classes that I took for my concentrations greatly prepared me for the questions that I answer from my students every day. I am greatly appreciative for the training and family atmosphere offered within the teacher education department."

bostian2.jpgCaroline Bostian '14
Elementary Education Major; on the Swimming Team

"I chose Catawba because I am a swimmer, and I loved the swim program at Catawba. I also had heard great things about the Education Program at Catawba, my aunt graduated from here with Elementary Education as a major and talked so well about the program. I also liked the fact when I came and visited I saw that all the classes were small which I loved, I did not want to be a number, I wanted a relationship with my professors and that is exactly what I got. I choose Elementary Education because I love younger kids, I coach a swim team during the summers and I always worked with kids that were five and six years old and I fell in love with that age group and knew that I wanted to teach Elementary school. I want to be either a first or kindergarten teacher and I can't wait!"

garzon.jpgDanielle Garzon '13
Middle School Education Major; Vice President of SNCAE 10-11; Secretary of Sophomore Class Council 10-11; Spanish Tutor; Delphi Sister

"I chose Catawba over other institutions because it allowed me to meet so many more people than I would have had I chosen a larger school. You truly feel like you are a part of a great family here. The Teacher Education program is one of the best in North Carolina, and the teachers here truly prepare you for life and teaching after college. Catawba is unmatched in its variety of available classes, which give you all the necessary tools to succeed. The course work is challenging, but the experience is once-in-a-lifetime and fully trains you for your future.

I was a mentor and tutor in classrooms all over Salisbury, thanks to the opportunities offered by Catawba. These experiences will help me become a better teacher. I chose middle school education because this is the time in a child’s life when they decide whether school is going to be a good or bad experience, and I hope to guide them during this time. I want them to love learning, but most of all enjoy it. I was involved in Catawba’s SNCAE club, which allowed me to work with students in and outside the classroom and helped my leadership skills.

After graduation, I hope to be a middle school history teacher, and later pursue a Master's degree in guidance counseling."

starr.jpgChelsea Starr '13
Elementary Education Major

"I fell in love with Catawba when I came to visit the campus for the first time. The small, personal class sizes, beautiful campus, and friendly faces all contributed in making my decision to choosing my alma mater. I chose Elementary Education because everything would fall short of being a part of molding and shaping children's minds to be aspired and successful intellectuals as they grow into young adults. My inspiration for wanting to be an elementary school teacher was on a mission trip to Ecuador a few years ago. I became particularly attached to three young girls who wanted to learn English. Their fervent desire to learn English inspired me to be a part of something this impacting, and once I made my decision to choose education as my major, I couldn’t wait to graduate and get started! My career goal was to graduate as an Elementary Education major with a minor in English and Spanish and become a great teacher that students will remember throughout their lives. This has come true. Each morning I wake up and I am able to say I am living my dream. I am a third grade teacher of the best super “Starrs” the world will challenge and I am eager to see where they will go, who they will impact, and what their accomplishments will be in the face of their challenge. I am incredibly thankful for my experience at Catawba; I know I wouldn’t be the person, mentor, or teacher I am today without my professors’ and friendships’ hands in my life.”

baucom2.jpgCasey Baucom '13
Elementary Education Major; Sociology Minor; On the Softball Team

"I chose Catawba for several reasons. For one, I liked the small size, and family-like atmosphere. I was also blessed with opportunities and scholarships at Catawba that I would not have received elsewhere. The Teacher Education program is great, and I had professors that took the time to understand my strengths and weaknesses in order to improve my skills. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and have a passion for children. I want to provide them with the tools and knowledge that they need to be successful. As a member of the Martha West Teaching Scholars Program, I had the chance to explore different types of learning environments and to listen to guest speakers that have had a huge impact on the education scene. These experiences provided me with the preparation and confidence that I need to be successful in the future. Along with my interest in education, I also pursued a minor in sociology. Outside of the classroom, I played softball for the Lady Indians. After graduation, I hope to get a teaching job and work towards a Master’s degree in Elementary Education, and possibly special education as well."

corriher2.jpgWhitney Corriher '13
Elementary Education Major

"Catawba College is a small school that has a beautiful campus and they have a great Teacher Education program. In high school, wondering what I wanted to do when I grew up, I explored my possibilities. I helped at a school in near my house and found that the Education Major fit me best and I can see myself doing this in my future. Catawba gave me a wonderful scholarship and the Education program gave me opportunities to see different types of schools to understand the situations teachers have to deal with, which prepared me for the workforce. The department has great professors that are mentors who keep their students on track with the program. After graduation, I hope to get a teaching job and pursue a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Special Education."

doss2.jpgTaylor Doss '12
Elementary Education Graduate; Volleyball

"I looked at a variety of schools, but chose Catawba because it is a small school that is close to home. Here, you are more than a number. The Teacher Education Program is full of professors that truly care for their students. Everyday they push students to meet their potential. This program provided me with the support and information to go into the classroom and teach. The faculty goes beyond just providing us with the ability to produce lessons from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) and have prepared students for situations involving parents, classroom management, as well as many other "real world" situatons. Catawba also provided me with opportunities outside of the classroom through the Martha West Teaching Scholars Program. I was fortunate to participate in many experiences in which we traveled to and observed a variety of schools and educational settings. My future goals are to teach Kindergarten and later go on to receive a Master's Degree in Library Science."

baird.jpgAlexa Baird '11
Elementary Education Graduate; Women's Soccer

"I was drawn to Catawba because of the small school atmosphere. I have always attended a smaller school, which really helped me thrive off of the student to teacher ratio. I left the cold weather of New Jersey, ready for a change in scenery. North Carolina had always been appealing to me and I fell in love with the campus immediately. Once I found out Catawba had an amazing teaching program, and that I could continue playing soccer in Division II, I was hooked. My original plans to go back to New Jersey to receive a masters in education changed after I realized that getting hired in a teaching position there would be difficult. My professors informed me of the opportunities in North Carolina and after my first few years, it had grown on me and I decided I could see myself staying.

My plans for the future include being accepted in the Teach for America program, where I will teach in a rural school district for two years. This particular area is known to have low test scores and high poverty risks. I have been placed in Eastern North Carolina, where I plan on getting my Master’s degree in Education while teaching. After my two year commitment there ends, I would love to stay in North Carolina; however, I would not mind traveling to other states to teach. While teaching, I plan to continue my love for soccer by coaching youth children."

sloop2.jpgElizabeth Sloop '11
Elementary Education Graduate

"I chose Catawba College because of the small student-teacher ratio, the commitment of professors to help students succeed, and, of course, a strong teacher education program. Along with professors who push students to excel, Catawba's education program provides students with classroom exposure early on. I remember some of my first observations in the elementary schools, and those observations helped me realize the influence a teacher has to empower his or her students. In addition to early field experience, the coursework challenges students to utilize the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) while developing lesson plans in a variety of subjects. Education classes at Catawba also go far beyond the NCSCOS and address topics such as how to contact parents, professional behavior, and how to address "real world" student situations.

Outside of the classroom, I was fortunate to participate in a wide variety of activities through the Martha West Teaching Scholars program. In addition to wonderful travel experiences, this program allowed me to observe the differences in schools in major cities as well as rural areas. I was also involved with Catawba's SNCAE, which allowed me to work on my leadership and teamwork skills, which will be invaluable when I begin my teaching career."


fields2.jpgLizzie Fields '10

"I wanted to go a small school and Catawba was close to my home. I was unsure what to pick as a major at first but took some introductory education classes and soon liked the idea of being a teacher. I liked how the department implemented a one-year internship called COPE at Overton elementary school where I got hands-on experience for the responsibilities of being a teacher. I plan to get a teaching job in one of the surrounding counties of Rowan County. In the next five years, I plan to get a master's in Education in Elementary School teacher."


jlayton.jpgJenn Layton '09
Elementary Education Graduate

"I chose Catawba College because it had everything I was looking for; the small family atmosphere, a personalized classroom setting, and a strong teacher education program. Catawba has it all!One of the biggest reasons I chose to come to Catawba was for the elementary education program and I have never been disappointed with that decision. Our professors truly strived to get us into the classroom early in our program, observing and working with children from the beginning, making sure teaching was something we truly wanted to do.

Whether it was observing elementary, middle, and high schools in Introduction to Teaching or working with those who are handicapped in Health and P.E., we received a wide range of experiences with diverse groups and different classroom settings. The opportunity for field experiences was valuable and also good preparation for our future classrooms. Methods courses in Social studies, Language Arts, mathematics, and science gave us a chance to learn how to teach different subjects as we examined the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, developed lesson plans, and learned the content for ourselves.

In addition to the strong academic preparation for teaching provided by classes and field experiences we were also given the opportunity to expand our ideas, visions, and knowledge through other academic courses. I am appreciative of the classroom preparation and the opportunities presented by SNCAE and the Academy for Teaching to expand my knowledge and skills and prepare me to be a teacher."

Leigh Marcischak '07

"The Department of Teacher Education has gone above and beyond to prepare me to be an effective instructor in today's public schools. I feel confident that I can compete with other college graduates for rewarding teaching positions."


alum_jordan.jpgJosh Jordan '03

"The Catawba College’s Teacher Education Department set me up for success. The challenges they presented to me as a student along with the support I received while taking on those challenges are immeasurable. Although I am a long way from the campus of Catawba College, I brag about the school whenever I can because it truly was the place where I grew up. I can never thank the professors and staff enough."

Josh majored in History and minored in Secondary Education. In 2005, Josh earned a Master of Science at Fort Hays State University, in Hays, Kansas. His specialized area of study was Exercise Science. Josh is employed at Fort Hays State University as the First Assistant Baseball Coach and as an instructor in Personal Wellness.

Kathy Haynes '03

"My educational experience at Catawba College gave me a solid foundation for my teaching career. While I strive for perfection, I received the opportunities to learn from my mistakes without feeling like a failure. I learned from my professors in the Teacher Education Department how to be a better teacher through their examples. I learned the importance of modeling for my students. Reflecting on teaching methods and experiences gives me an opportunity to improve upon and refine my skills. I learned the importance of being a support for students while still offering challenges. Most important, I learned by example, what it means to be a dedicated professional teacher who strives to be the best through a comittment of being a life-long learner."

Allison Dupree '01

Allison majored in Physical Education with a minor in Special Subjects K-12. She earned her master of science degree in health promotion from Mississippi State University. She is now employed as a National Board Certified physical education/health teacher at C.C. Erwin Middle School in Salisbury, N.C., where she also serves as that school's athletic director and head girls basketball coach.


Patrick Winters '97

Patrick graduated from Catawba in May 1997 with a B. A. degree in English and returned as a post-baccalaureate student to obtain teacher certification. Patrick has since earn ed a masters of arts in English education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is currently in a master's program for school administration. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Patrick has also served as chair of the English Department at East Rowan High School, co-advised the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society, taught Sunday school, worked with youth mission group and serves on committees at First Baptist Church in Salisbury where he is a member. In 2004, Patrick was chosen as Teacher of the Year for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.


Tyler Kulp '06

"Catawba College’s Teacher Education Department set me up for success. The challenges they presented to me as a student and the support I received while taking on those challenges are immeasurable. Although I am a long way from the campus of Catawba College, I brag about the school whenever I can because it truly was the place where I grew up. I can never thank the professors and staff enough."