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Morning Sun
  • The students become the teachers

  • Around 75 Pittsburg State University students have received distinctive medallions to wear during winter commencement on Friday.



    Featuring an apple and Gorilla split-face, the medallions presented during a ceremony Monday morning recognize these graduates as new teachers.

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  • Around 75 Pittsburg State University students have received distinctive medallions to wear during winter commencement on Friday.
    Featuring an apple and Gorilla split-face, the medallions presented during a ceremony Monday morning recognize these graduates as new teachers.
    At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates also repeated “The Teacher’s Oath,” swearing to be competent, caring professionals throughout their careers.
    “This is the fourth year for this ceremony,” said Dr. Howard Smith, dean of the PSU College of Education. “We do it to honor the profession, recognize students and welcome new colleagues into the profession.”
    Many other teachers helped the graduates along their journey, and Dr. Jean Dockers, director of teacher education, recognized teacher education faculty and supervisors and cooperating teachers, those who host student teachers in their classrooms.
    Kaylee Baldetti, an art major  from Hutchinson, was in the unique situation of having two cooperating teachers, longtime Pittsburg elementary art teacher, and Nicole Meyer-Foresman, who teaches art at Girard High School.
    “I could not have asked for better cooperating teachers,” Baldetti said. “The kids respond very well to them.”
    Hurt said she had Baldetti for the first nine weeks and the student teacher went to GHS for the second nine weeks, an arrangement that worked out well.
    “I love doing this, and Kylee was fantastic,” Hurt said. “As a professional, I think I owe it to the profession to mentor and work with students.”
    John Franklin is supervising professor for the English education program. He noted after the ceremony that tradition and community are the two most notable characteristics of PSU.
    “It’s a privilege to assist these students who will, as teachers, carry this tradition into the learning community,” he said.
    To do that, they’ll need to find jobs. At least one of the graduates has already done that.
    Solomon Moore, elementary education major from Neosho, Mo., has already been hired and will start teaching fourth grade in January at the Mueller Aerospace and Engineering Discovery Magnet Elementary School in Wichita.
    “I think I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher,” he said. “When I was young, my siblings and I would play school and I was always the teacher. In school I was a tutor, and I loved it.”
    Keynote speaker was Dr. Scott Myers, director of teacher licensure and accreditation at the Kansas State Department of Education. He stressed how vital a teacher’s job is.
    “The very future  of our democracy depends on the educational opportunities we offer our students,” Myers said.  “You are at the jumping-off spot to really make a difference in the world.”

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