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UHV pinning ceremony recognizes 18 future educators

UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development students and their families listen as Amy Barnhill, a UHV associate professor of literacy, speaks Tuesday during the Spring 2016 Student Teacher Induction Ceremony. The group of 18 students were given pins to celebrate their completion of student teaching and the beginning of their careers as educators.

Family and friends gathered at the University of Houston-Victoria Tuesday to show their support for 18 students setting out to start careers in education.

Fred Litton

The future educators were recognized at the Spring 2016 Student Teacher Induction Ceremony by the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. As part of the ceremony, students were given certificates and pins.

“It’s gratifying to see these students progress as they prepare to become professionals,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “They started out as students, then they became student teachers, and now they are on their way to becoming teachers. They’ve chosen a great profession, and it’s not easy, but things of worth and value rarely are easy.”

The ceremony was the culmination of the capstone course for students. Each of the 18 students finished their student teaching this semester and have passed the Texas Examination of Educator Standards teacher certification tests.

Sheri Kinnison

For Sheri Kinnison, a Victoria student who will earn her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Early Childhood-Grade 6 Generalist and English as a Second Language certifications, the ceremony is a fulfillment of a lifelong goal.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” Kinnison said. “I joined the Navy to help pay for college, and now I feel like I’m ready. Student teaching gave me some great experience, and this ceremony is my initiation into teaching.”

The school started the ceremony in the fall of 2014 as a way to celebrate the hard work the student teachers have done as well as thank family and friends for all their support, said Mary Lasater, a UHV assistant professor of curriculum and instruction.

Mary Lasater

Lasater teaches the capstone professional seminar course. As part of the class, students give presentations to underclassmen on the process of becoming a teacher including studying techniques, the importance of taking the TExES certification exams before student teaching, and how they navigated the paperwork and experience necessary to teach.

In addition, students prepared online portfolios that showcased their skills in lesson planning and were given presentations by UHV Career Services to help them in their job searches.

“Becoming a teacher can be a tricky process,” Lasater said. “We want to be sure these students are provided with the tools they need to go out into the world and make a difference in their own students’ lives. Even as they advance in their own careers, we want them to know that their professors and instructors are here if they need advice or want to return for a master’s degree.”

Shelley Mason

The ceremony was an exciting experience for Shelley Mason, a Bay City student who will earn her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Early Childhood-Grade 6 Generalist and English as a Second Language certifications. She plans to put her pin in a shadow box with other items from her time at UHV including her cap and cords from commencement and her degree.

“This ceremony is a sign that my hard work has paid off,” Mason said. “I’ve seen my siblings graduate and start their careers. Now it’s my turn to get out there and work to change kids’ lives, and I feel confident because of all the things I learned here.”

A similar teacher induction ceremony was held for 26 UHV students on April 29 in Katy.

UHV will hold two spring graduation ceremonies on May 14 at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane. The 9 a.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the schools of Arts & Sciences and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. The 1 p.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the School of Business Administration.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.