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Top Mississippi teacher candidates honored
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:28

From the Clarion-Ledger

Fourteen standout interns from teacher preparation programs across the state were recognized recently by the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Those teacher candidates are:

• Kassandra Duncan, Alcorn State University: Duncan completed her internship at Jefferson County Elementary/Jefferson County High School. She plans to be a physical education teacher because of her love of sports and the benefits of healthy living. Faculty described her as "a careful and creative thinker with an eye for details," according to a news release.

"I adamantly believe that education will provide my students with bright futures, and I will strive to ensure that every single student is pushed to their fullest potential every single day," Duncan said.

• Allison Kalehoff, Belhaven University: Kalehoff completed her internship at Stonebridge Elementary in Rankin County. Faculty members said Kalehoff has demonstrated "high goals for excellence" throughout her years at Belhaven. She has won many honors and is double majoring in elementary education and English.

"I was home schooled so my first experience being in a school classroom was when as a fourth-grader I helped my cousin set up her first grade classroom. I decided right then that teaching would be the best job in the world, and now my dream to teach has come true," Kalehoff said.

• Brandon Lee Bates, Blue Mountain College: Bates completed his internship at Ripley High School. Faculty members describe Bates as "a leader among his classmates in the field of education, displaying a strong knowledge of content in the sciences, as well as pedagogical content knowledge and skills."

Bates said his passion is to help students succeed in life. "Some students will never understand that they can become whatever they want to be. I really want my presence to serve as a bridge for students to cross over from low expectations to fulfilling their dreams of succeeding in life."

• Chelsea R. Sherrill, Delta State University: Sherrill completed her internship at South Delta Elementary School. A faculty member said Sherrill was an "outstanding teacher intern" and a capable and responsible student who "displayed outstanding leadership skills in the classroom."

"The joy I feel when seeing a child’s face light up when learning something for the first time is overwhelming," Sherrill said. "I want to be able to instill that love for learning in every child that I am involved with throughout my teaching/learning career."

• Leontyne Snell, Jackson State University: Snell completed her internship at Pecan Park Elementary. Snell has been described as self-motivated, ambitious and impressive with her professionalism and teaching abilities.

According to a news release, she "has embraced all aspects of teaching and learning like a true scholar."

• Leann Williams, Millsaps College: Williams completed her internship at St. Richards Elementary School. Faculty members described Williams as bright, conscientious and said she has a natural rapport with students and colleagues. Williams, who aspires to be an upper elementary teacher, said she chose to teach "because having the chance to take part in molding a child into a better student and person, hile having the time of my life ingraining knowledge into their minds, brings me more joy than in any other profession."

• Virginia Edwards Stanford: Stanford completed her internship at Highland Bluff Elementary in Flowood. Faculty members described Stanford as a competent, caring, Christian educator who understand how to motivate students and communicate with parents.

Stanford said, "I have a heart for helping people, especially children. I am confident that I am called to love and support, encourage and teach the children of the upcoming generation. I look forward to the season of refinement and growth that is ahead as a career classroom teacher."

• Sarah Michelle Williams, Mississippi State University: Williams completed her internship at Ackerman Elementary School in Choctaw County. Her cooperating teacher described Williams as one of the most talent interns she has ever met and predicted Williams will exceed expectations and have a bright future.

Williams said she wants to become a teacher who sparks an interest to learn, who listens and who encourages all students so learning is not only enjoyable but also fostered.

• Alisa Toy, Mississippi University for Women: Toy completed her internship at Annunciation Catholic School and at Mississippi School for Math and Science, both in Columbus. Toy, who is majoring in music education, is described as a great ambassador for the MUW Music Department. She won the MTS regional competition, which makes her one of the best singers in the South. She also has led choirs and helped the department in other areas.

Toy plans to continue go on to graduate school in hopes of attaining a doctorate.

• Wanda Parker, Mississippi Valley State University: Parker completed her internship at Carrie Stern Elementary School in Greenville. Faculty members described Parker as one who gives her best effort when helping young children to grow holistically and relishes her role as an orchestrator of a cohesive community of young learners.

Parker has three children and 11 years of experience running a childcare business. "I always found enjoyment in working with and watching children learn. I have always had a passion for teaching as well as learning from children," Parker said. "I selected elementary education as a career goal to afford me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of young children."

There was no candidate from Rust College.

• Denise Johnson, Tougaloo College: Johnson completed her internship at Clausell Elementary in Jackson. Faculty members described her as a thorough professional, and a talented and capable student seriously involved and dedicated to meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Johnson said she wants to make a difference in children’s lives and to help them to become successful individuals and productive members in our democratic society.

• Angela Lynn Ellen Tracy, University of Mississippi: Tracy completed her internship at Bramlett Elementary School. Faculty members described her as a model student who went to class everyday prepared, outperformed her peers academically and set the standard for others. She also helped her school obtain a $3,000 grant for new reading materials.

"A good teacher alone can make your year and your career in education successful," Tracy said. "I want to be that person who motivates and inspires my students to become lifelong learners. "

• Kyle Ethridge, University of Southern Mississippi: Ethridge completed his internship at Newton County Middle School and Union High School. Faculty members described Ethridge as an exceptional student, student-teacher and scholar.

Ethridge said he chose to become a teacher because it is the most immediate and worthwhile way to make a difference. Seeing students grasp a concept or accomplish even the smallest of goals during his internship was encouraging to him.

• Hanna Marie Moore, William Carey College: Moore completed her internship at Runnelstown Elementary. Faculty members describe Moore as responsible, conscientious and reflective in her assignments. She is a Carey Scholar who has maintained a 4.0 GPA.

Said Moore: "My goal as a teacher is to inspire children to love learning the way my teachers once inspired me. I hope to make my classroom into a community where the students can grow as individuals. I want to dedicate my life to help each students their full potential and for them to realize that they can reach for dreams they never thought possible."


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