USC Aiken Alum Sends Newest Educators on their Way
Aiken, SC (01/09/2019) — The University of South Carolina Aiken School of Education celebrated its December graduates by inviting an accomplished alumna to address them during the annual pre-graduation celebration banquet.
Emily Meek, Class of '13, who majored in special education came back to campus to be part of the special event honoring the most recent education grads.
"I have a passion for teaching and helping students reach their highest potential," she says on the Gloverville Elementary School website.
Meek was recognized earlier this year as the Aiken County Public School District Teacher of the Year.
"We are honored to have Emily be such a key part in this special celebration, and we are so proud of these students who have just completed their internships and who will be leading their own classrooms very soon," said. Dr. Judy Beck, dean of the school of education.
The event, held just before graduation, recognizes the accomplishments of those completing their academic requirements. At the end of the fall semester, 29 education majors were honored, along with those who helped them get this far -- their families, friends, mentors and teaching triad teams.
During their internships, education majors work and teach in local classrooms during their final semester at USC Aiken. At that time, they are part of a teaching triad team, which includes their cooperating teacher, the lead teacher in the classroom; their university supervisor, a faculty member who evaluates the student teacher; and the future educator themselves.
As part of the culminating ceremony, each graduate received their educator pins, worn on their robes during graduation. In addition, one student received the Outstanding Intern Award. This year, that honor went to Samantha Jonas for her "exemplary performance during her internship."
"Watching her teach is observing someone who was born to work with children. She understands her students, and knows how to push them to be their very best, but at the same time, give them experiences that make them love school and the content they are learning," said Laurie Reese, Jonas' university supervisor.
"If I was still an elementary school principal, I would hire her on the spot."