WINONA LAKE, IND. – Grace College elementary and special education major Hannah Rose completed her last day of student teaching on Nov. 20, knowing that only ten days later on Nov. 30, she would begin her full-time teaching career in Indianapolis at Bridgeport Elementary. Rose claims that her ability to take this transition in stride has a lot to do with her alma mater which gave her every tool she needed to succeed.
“I felt very prepared...maybe even over-prepared for that first week of teaching. I knew what I needed to get done to be as successful as possible,” expressed Rose. “During training, my mentor teacher was shocked at how much I already knew. I told her it was all because of Grace.”
During her time at Grace, Rose was the president of the school’s Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) chapter. She was named the 2020 Indiana CEC Student Member of the Year at the “Focus on Inclusion Conference” in Jan. 2020. At the conference, she was sought out by Wayne Township Superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts who told her that when she graduated he would employ her. At the time, graduation was nearly a year away. But when Rose reached out letting Butts know that she would be available at the start of December, he offered Rose her current position.
It is educational training and networking opportunities both on and off the college campus like this one, that Rose is forever thankful for.
Rose pointed back to the licensure exams she passed with ease this summer. “The pedagogy and special education exams were quite easy for me,” she explained. “It was everything that Grace had instilled in us over and over again,” she said.
For the third year in a row, Grace students earned the highest Indiana CORE Elementary Reading Exam scores of those that reported their results. Grace students also had the highest average score in the state for Special Education with the Mild Intervention licensure exam with a 100% first attempt pass rate. Three other “top five” exam scores were reported for Grace School of Education: third for Elementary Education Pedagogy, third for Elementary Social Studies, and fourth for Elementary Science.
Dr. Cheryl Bremer, dean of the School of Education suggested that strong exam scores are a good indicator of classroom and career aptitude.
“Our students do well on these exams because they are prepared for the classroom. We recently heard from the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education in Warsaw after interviewing several Grace students. He remarked that Grace College graduates are always so well prepared and their interviews reflect an innate sense of purpose in teaching,” Bremer relayed. “Hannah isn’t the only December graduate with a job, we already have many other students with jobs lined up for January,” she said.
Rose is now a few weeks into hybrid teaching third, fourth and fifth-grade special education. She will begin to work towards her intense intervention graduate licensure at Grace in January to learn new ways to meet the needs of her students.
“Hannah exemplifies the distinctions of a Grace education -- our high placement rate and rave employer reviews. These are the ways of Grace,” explained Bremer.