MHS pathway students follow passion for teaching
Posted on 07/08/2015
Education pathway students

Summer school at Patton is more than a learning experience for middle school students.  Recent McMinnville High School (MHS) graduates who earned an endorsement in the Education Pathway have a chance to learn, too.

(Pictured, from left) Erin Allison, Mariah DeMarco, Sam Hensley and Daniel Robertson were hired to help teach students during summer school.  The four plan to continue their pathway into college and earn teaching certificates.

“I didn’t know how it was going to be, teaching middle schoolers,” said Allison.  “It was a lot different than I expected, and I like more than I thought I would.”

Allison said she’s wanted to be a teacher ever since she was in Rob Whitaker’s second grade class at Wascher Elementary.  “It’s really the only thing I’ve ever been interested in,” she said, noting that she plans to attend Oregon State in the fall and double major in Education and Psychology.

DeMarco found her calling in second grade as well – when she was in Kim Price’s class at Grandhaven.  She said she imagined herself teaching second grade until she interned in a fourth grade classroom last year, which “opened my mind” to teaching other grades.

DeMarco and Hensley both plan to attend Western Oregon. Hensley came to her teaching ambitions by way of babysitting and coaching youth sports.  “I like being in charge,” she says, so she thinks teaching is a natural fit.

She interned with Jodi Vicknair’s kindergarten class at Buel and said she’s looking forward to the difference full day kindergarten will make in the youngsters’ academic readiness.

Robertson also interned with elementary students, including second grade classrooms at Columbus with teachers Kristy Kraemer and Leah Spencer.  He said he likes working with the middle school students because they’re more independent than younger learners.  He plans to attend Chemeketa Community College in the fall as part of the Chemeketa Scholars program.

Ben Patterson, MHS dean of students, oversees the summer school.  “This has been a great experience for them,” he said. “It gets them into the field, and they’re working with small groups of students.  The classroom teachers say they’ve stepped in seamlessly and are very self-motivated and organized.”