Truett-McConnell College’s 2009 education graduates are an unusual group. Nine students received the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a concentration in early childhood education in the college’s sixty-first annual commencement program on May 9, 2009. Of the nine, only Christina Wingo of Dahlonega comes from a family in which both parents hold college degrees. This means that a number of first- generation college graduates are entering the teaching profession in the public school systems of northeast Georgia. Wingo plans to enter a seminary and continue her studies in Christian education next year.
Tabitha Pritchett of Dawsonville wants to teach in an elementary school in her home county or the surrounding area, preferably in the second or third grade. She states: “TMC allowed me to learn a tremendous amount about myself. From the second I stepped on to the campus until the moment I received my degree, my years at Truett have been the learning experience of a lifetime.”
Two Habersham County students have aspirations to teach in the school system of their home county. Dannielle Barnes of Demorest comments: “Truett’s education program has been a breath of fresh air in my life.” Sheena Barron of Clarkesville adds: “The teacher education program at Truett has been an eye-opening experience.”
Rabun County is not only the home county of Justin Coalley of Tiger but also the place where he aspires to be a fourth or fifth grade teacher and to coach an athletic team at the middle school or high school level. He plans to be married in the summer of 2010 and will be happy teaching in the northeast Georgia mountains. He believes he has grown as a whole person because of his experience in TMC’s teacher education program.
Dr. Susan Gannaway, chairperson of the education department, and the other faculty members in the department are justly proud of the fact that the valedictorian of the 2009 graduating class is an education major, Stephanie Cole of Dacula. Cole plans to teach in Fulton County or perhaps in Forsyth County…or maybe in a private school. She says the teacher education program has provided her with a network of people whom she now calls her friends.
Martinez in middle Georgia is the hometown of Ashley Moffatt, but she wants to continue to live in the vicinity of Cleveland and teach in northeast Georgia. She comments: “Being at TMC has been a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
One of the nine graduates is a local student—Rebecca Freeman of Cleveland. She plans to teach second grade and work on her master’s degree. Eventually she would like to be certified to teach mathematics in middle school or high school. According to her, “My years at Truett-McConnell have been a joyful experience.”
Nancy Sakala of Manchester has firm plans for the next two years of her life. She will be married this summer and in July will move to Southeast Asia to teach third grade on a two-year commitment. She is excited about her opportunity to go abroad to teach but has strong feelings about leaving TMC: “Truett is not only a college; it’s a home. Being part of the education program here has enabled me to bring my Christian world view into the public education sector.”