High school athletes are usually the ones signing letters of intent this time of year but on Wednesday it was the academic students’ turn for a special signing ceremony of their own.
The first annual Georgia Future Educators Signing Day in the state recognizes students who will pursue careers in education.
Ten students from the Liberty County School System signed commitment letters to become future Georgia educators.
There were two singing ceremonies, one held at Bradwell Institute and another in the Liberty County High School media center.
Seniors completed either the early childhood education pathway at their high school or the Liberty College and Career Academy’s Teaching as a Profession pathway.
BI seniors Aubrey Buentipo, Erianna DuPrey and Zahnay Smoak completed the early childhood education pathway, and signed their intent in a small ceremony at their school.
Buentipo will be enlisting in the military and will pursue a degree in secondary education and major in English, while serving.
DuPrey will be attending Armstrong State University and then Valdosta State University, majoring in secondary math education.
Smoak has been accepted to East Georgia University and will then attend Spelman College. She will major in middle grades education.
At the Liberty High ceremony, seniors who signed were LCHS students Joy Brown, Brianna Battle and Jeremiah Johnson-Glenn, and BI students Easteria Brown, Kaysa Hawkins, Ashley Lawson and Natalia Ocasio.
Karisa Young, CEO of LCCA, said, “Only 5 percent of students indicated on the ACT that they plan to pursue a career in education. Teaching does have its challenges and it may not be the most popular career amongst high school students but you will not find any other profession with a greater reward and sense of personal gratification. Very often we recognize our athletes and our future superstars entering on the playing field, but today we will be honoring our future superstars who are entering in the classroom.”
LCCS Student Services Support Specialist Torri Jackson said teaching is a calling and education is one “of the most honorable career fields known to mankind.”
“Truly the field of education is a noble occupation because it is the only career encompassing occupations that directly impact all occupations in the world,” she said. “You couldn’t get anywhere without a teacher. Therefore it takes a unique individual to answer the calling to teaching.”
Jackson gave each student the Dr. Seuss book “Oh The Place You’ll Go.” Each book was signed by their teachers with personalized sentiments.
LCHS counselor Debra Reed introduced the students and shared why they wanted to become educators.
Joy Brown completed the early childhood education pathway at LCHS has been accepted to Georgia Southern University. She wants to “mold and shape the young and thriving minds of the future.” As a little girl she dressed up like a teacher and set up a mini classroom for her teddy bears.
Battle completed the early childhood education pathway and has also been accepted to Georgia Southern. She wanted to teach and help educate others since she was a child. Battle admires many teachers who she hopes to one day emulate.
The following students completed the Teaching as a Profession pathway at LCCA.
Johnson-Glenn will attend Fort Valley State University. He wants to be a teacher so he can be a positive role model, especially for African American males, and “will like to provide a father figure and prove that males of his race can do something in his community.”
Johnson-Glenn was inspired to go into education by his science teacher Brian Nixon, who he said keeps his class positive and exciting.
Easteria Brown will attend South Georgia Technical College. She loves children and wants to make a difference.
Hawkins is going to Albany State University in the fall. She wants to better the school system and has been inspired her mother, grandmother and TAP teacher Connie Bragg. Hawkins said they have shown her the “ins and outs of education, as well as the benefits.”
Lawson will attend Savannah Technical College. The TAP classes inspired her to become a teacher, as well as her grandmother who taught pre-kindergarten for 45 years and her mother who works at a college doing financial aid.
Ocasio will head to either Georgia Southern University or Armstrong State University in the fall. Ocasio wants to make a difference in children’s lives and has been inspired by her mother and first grade teacher.
The students then signed their letters of commitment to “improving the quality of education for students in the state of Georgia.”
Michele Dasher, LCSS director of human resources said the students are guaranteed a job interview with the district after they complete college and meet certification requirements.