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School of Education honors graduates for achievements

May 4, 2017
KOKOMO, Ind. — Twenty-two students were honored by Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Education during a recognition ceremony on Wednesday (May 3).

For Christian Staton, this is a great achievement as he never expected to even attend college until a special teacher encouraged him. Now he looks forward to inspiring high school students in his own social studies classroom — especially the ones like himself.

“I can see the gold in them, like my teacher saw in me,” he said. “She pulled out the strengths I had that I didn’t see in myself. “

He earned a $5,000 college scholarship at Marion High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) public speaking state competition, which gave him the boost of confidence and tuition money he needed to pursue higher education.

“At that moment, I was like ‘Wow, I could be something,’” he said. “I had been hanging out with the wrong group of kids, and she pushed me and pushed me. It was my senior year, and I don’t know who else would have reached out to me.”

Interim Dean Shirley Aamidor congratulated the graduates on their achievements, including passing three tests to be admitted to the School of Education. In addition, students took state-mandated tests to earn a teaching license, completed at least 159 hours of field experience in local schools and nearly 500 hours of student teaching.

“Now it is your chance, and your charge, and your responsibility, to be the teacher who says to all children, ‘Yes, you can,’ and then say ‘I will help you,’” Aamidor said. “You must become the teacher you remember who made you think you could be somebody.”

Aamidor read each person’s name as he or she crossed the Kresge Auditorium stage to receive a teacher pin.

December graduates Darion Daughterty, Peru, and Siarra Singer, Tipton, appreciated the chance to celebrate with their classmates. Both were proud to have completed their programs in three and a half years, and to already have teaching jobs.

Daugherty teaches fifth grade at Howard Elementary School, while Singer teaches seventh and eighth grade special education in the Clinton Central School Corp.

Daugherty said she was well-prepared to succeed as a teacher because of real-world experience in elementary schools throughout the program.

“We were in classrooms freshman year, hands on, learning right away,” she said. “I couldn’t have picked a better school.”

Singer is happy to go to school every day, and do the work she wants to do.

“We get to walk into our classrooms and love our students each day,” she said. “We’re living the dream.”

Students honored include:
• Shane Arnold, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education English
• Nicole Blas, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in history
• Ann Bradshaw, Change 2 Education mathematics
• Spencer Conner, Change 2 Education social studies
• Darion Daugherty, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in psychology
• Christi Dewitt, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in special education
• Jordan Douglas, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in special education
• Kimberly Ennis, Change 2 Education mathematics
• Courtney Gilman, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in English literature
• Morgan Harrison, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in psychology
• Matthew Helton, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Social Studies
• Abrianna Howdeshell, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Science
• Abigael McCord, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in history
• Amy Moser, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in psychology
• Jessica Rush, Change 2 Education mathematics
• Lindsay Sanchez, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in creative arts
• Cody Shanks, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in English-writing
• Siarra Singer, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in special education
• Michael Sommers, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Social Studies
• Christian Staton, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Social Studies
• Maizie Wickersham, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in history
• Nathan Wilson, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Mathematics

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 05/04/2017