By: Peyton Zamarelli '22
The University of Mount Union’s Department of Education was ranked #2 in the state and #6 in the Great Lake region. Not only this, but education ranked among various institutions the most popular and concentrated programs.
Students at the University are able to inhabit special skills as underclassmen and continue building on them throughout their entire college career.
Brianna Potts ’20, of Apple Creek, OH, is a recent graduate of the university who is currently fulfilling her student teaching experience. Potts was an intervention specialist major with three minors in music, psychology, and middle childhood education.
On campus, she was an involved member of band, concert choir, Kappa Kappa Si, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta, and athlete on the women’s golf team. Off campus, Potts is a tutor and associate at Kohls just down the street from campus.
Currently, Potts is an intervention specialist for Boardman Local Schools. In this position, she specializes in working with students from kindergarten to second grade.
“I have learned collaboration skills, creativity, perseverance, patience, and how to love each student exactly how they are.”
Potts believes that her education has set her apart from the rest and given her the tools she needs to be a super teacher!
“The Department of Education prepared me to be a teacher who is able to differentiate, problem solve, collaborate, and understand student needs,” Potts said. “They provided me with real-world applications and how to have a greater understanding of inclusivity and community. My minors in early childhood education, music, and psychology as gave me skills that I can apply to my current position as well!”
After graduation, Potts will be getting married, relocating to Heath, OH, and plans to secure an intervention position in the Columbus area with also getting a master’s degree in school counseling at Capital University in Columbus, OH.
Tessa Wells ’23 of Beloit, OH, is a sophomore primary education major with a minor in intervention specialist. Wells is involved in Cantus Femina on campus. Off campus, Wells is the majorette advisor at West Branch High School and employee at Jimmy Johns just down the street from campus.
In Wells’ primary education major, she has been able to procure hands-on experience at Louisville City Schools in Louisville, OH as a teacher and tutor.
In this role, Wells collaborates with other Mount Union students to tutor kindergarteners over zoom call three times a week. She is responsible for creating her own lesson plans and teaching them. Currently, her students are learning about letter sound identification and the dictation of words.
“While I have appreciated this experience, I have realized the power teachers have- even during a pandemic,” Wells said. “It has been so rewarding to watch our group of students grow over the past few weeks of working with them.”
Wells believes without her major and minor, she would not be an effective teacher that is given a realistic and focused education.
“My major and minor have helped me tremendously,” Wells said. “None of my professors sugarcoat anything, which I am very thankful for. We are always told that there are going to be good and bad days with our students, and they are preparing us for every step of the way.”
After graduation, Wells plans to secure a position teaching kindergarten- second grade.
Francesca Bowman ’21, of Garrettsville, OH, is a middle childhood education major with minors in psychology and mathematics.
On campus, Bowman is heavily involved. She is a supervisor at the Raider Call Center, member of Black Students Union (BSU), and part of the student leadership team for residence life as an assistant resident manager.
As a middle childhood education major, Bowman is able to excel in her field experience as a virtual long-term substitute teacher at Berea- Midpark Middle School in Middleberg Heights, OH.
In this advanced teaching position, Bowman teaches fifth grade math and social studies. She is able to fulfill all aspects of this fulltime position while enjoying her senior year at the same time.
“Professionally I have learned a multitude of skills in this position,” Bowman said. “I have been able to plan and implement my own lessons, as well as new ways in which to instruct and engage my students. Additionally, I have learned how to balance multiple tasks outside of the classroom and have discovered ways to better organize and prepare my materials.”
Without the focused education Bowman received, she does not believe she would be able to fill this position to her highest potential.
“The Department of Education has always done an excellent job in preparing me to be an unstoppable teacher in countless ways,” Bowman shared. “From the unique and diverse classes I have taken, the outstanding professors, and rewarding field placements I have been in, I can honestly say Mount Union thoroughly prepared me for this opportunity and for future success.”
After graduation, Bowman plans to secure a full-time teaching position in a middle school teaching math or science.
Jackie Sullivan ’23 is a primary childhood education major with a minor in intervention specialist from North Canton, OH.
On campus, Sullivan is a sister of Alpha Delta Pi, member of GAMMA, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta, FLOCK, ASL Club, Cantus Femina, Student Ambassador, Raider Guide, and Preview Guide.
Although Sullivan is very involved on campus, she still makes the time to accrue professional teaching experience as a student teacher and tutor at Louisville City Schools.
In this position, Sullivan virtually works with third graders on their phonics skills.
“I have learned to think on my feet when my lessons don’t completely go as planned.”
Sullivan believes the education professors at Mount Union have excelled in teaching the students how to be educators but also how to create an inclusive environment for their students to thrive.
“I have learned so many different ways to implement diversity into my future classroom. I have also learned different ways to assist students with disabilities and how to help them achieve a successful education.”
After graduation, Sullivan would like to teach kindergarten or first grade at her alma mater.