WINONA LAKE – Three seniors at Grace College were recently honored for excellence in student teaching.
Alexa Hill, Karyssa Davis, and Rebekah Landfair were named Outstanding Prospective Teachers for elementary education, special education, and secondary education, respectively, according to a news release from the college.
Each year, Grace College School of Education selects one or more students who demonstrate excellence in their role as student teachers. Recipients are awarded a plaque and recognition for their achievements in the classroom for elementary, secondary, or special education.
Alexa Hill, from Huntington, taught first grade at Eisenhower Elementary School. Karyssa Davis, from LaGrange, taught special education at West Noble Elementary School. Rebekah Landfair, from Troy, Ohio, taught English at Lakeview Middle School and Warsaw Community High School.
“These ladies exemplify the excellence, both in and out of the classroom, of Grace College graduates,” said Dr. Laurie Owen, dean of the School of Education at Grace College. “We are very proud of the effort that they put into their student teaching and education,” she said.
Landfair and Hill grew up with mothers in the teaching profession. They both knew at a young age that they wanted to be teachers. And their dreams were solidified thanks to their own teachers who gave them a chance to lead in the classroom. For Landfair, it was her choir director. “In high school, my choir director Mrs. Marcum selected me as her teaching assistant for the junior high choir. That experience confirmed my calling to serve and love students as a teacher,” said Landfair.
Hill was profoundly impacted by her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Gehrke, at Northwest Elementary in Huntington, for whom Hill became a cadet teacher this past year. Hill explained that it was these classroom experiences at Grace that were the most beneficial as a teacher-in-training. “In Grace’s School of Education, you do not merely sit back in a chair and listen to lectures about theoretical situations that may occur in the classroom. You are actively engaged in class, and you get the opportunity to practice what you’re learning in the schools right away,” said Hill.
Davis agreed. When asked about her student teaching experience, she explained, “The relationships I formed with the kids and the trust I established with them was definitely the highlight of my student teaching experience. I miss those kids so much!” she exclaimed. Davis hopes to continue developing her skills through graduate school. “I want to continue learning how to best serve my students,” she said.
Landfair and Hill will both return to Warsaw to teach this fall. “I am excited to give back to the community that has given so much to me throughout my four years at Grace College,” said Hill.
Landfair, who will return to Lakeview Middle School where she student taught said, “I am so excited to teach at a school I love and with a staff that I cherish. I look forward to learning, loving, and laughing lots this fall.”