Some local future teachers soon will vie for national recognition.
Students from Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools' Teaching Professions Academy Satellite Program, located at Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools' Clark Hall, are advancing to the Educators Rising National Conference on June 21-25 in Orlando, Florida, after placing in the top five in a state contest.
Thirty-five students from the teaching professions program competed at the Educators Rising State Conference on March 15 and 16 at Ohio Dominican University to advance to nationals.
Teaching professions instructor Robyn Hilderbrand said it's exciting to see so many students at such a young age have a passion for teaching and working with children.
"I am extremely proud of their accomplishments and humbled to be a part of the next generation of teachers," she said.
Junior Zoie Amey of Gahanna Lincoln High School placed first in the Educators Rising Moment competition.
"I had to prepare a two- to four-minute speech about why I want to become a teacher," she said. "I wrote about how my early childhood, my mom and grandma, and the teachers at my new middle school contributed to me wanting to become a teacher."
During her early childhood, Amey said, she had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and an individual education program.
"My teachers didn't really know how to handle me and my behavior, so I was constantly in trouble for something I could not control," she said. "Around this same time, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I helped her with her recovery, which made me discover my passion for helping people.
"Then, once I moved to Gahanna, my middle school teachers finally understood me and believed in me and it made me realize I was more than just my ADHD and IEP."
Junior Chloe Callihan of Gahanna Lincoln took first place in Lesson Planning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
"I chose mathematics because math has always been my strong subject, and I knew that I could come up with a fun lesson on my own regarding a lot of hands-on activities," Callihan said.
Once she came up with her lesson, she presented it to a second-grade classroom while recording herself.
"I then edited my video and submitted the best 10 minutes of it to Educators Rising, for a pre-judged component of the category," Callihan said. "I then made top 10 in the state and qualified to compete at the state competition, where I made a seven-minute PowerPoint reflecting on myself and what I learned while teaching."
She said she had an edge to place by being able to be in her classroom before presenting her lesson, she said.
"I got the opportunity to know my students very well and their learning styles, so I knew what I was going to be faced with during my lesson," Callihan said.
She said she can't wait to compete with other future teachers from around the nation and be with other classmates.
"Nationals will really show me how many people have a desire to be teachers in the future, and have such a passion to work with kids as I do," she said.
"My goal is to bring back top 10 in the nation. And with being a hardworking student, I think that goal will be easy to accomplish," she said.
She hopes to major in early childhood education when she goes to college.
Brandon Karl of Gahanna Lincoln placed second in Lesson Planning Arts.
"For lesson planning in the arts, you have to present a lesson somewhere in the arts category," he said. "I chose theater. I basically typed out my lesson, tweaked it and taught the lesson in a fourth-grade classroom."
Before the competition, Karl had to submit the lesson document and a video he took of the lesson, summarizing the main parts.
"For the competition itself, I had to present an interactive reflection, explaining what I thought went well and what could've been better with my lesson," he said.
Karl, a junior, plans to attend either Ohio University or Capital University to major in early childhood education.
Other students advancing to nationals by placing in the top five include:
* Abigail Alatsis (Gahanna Lincoln), second place, Exploring Support Services Careers.
* Alyson Adam (Gahanna Lincoln), third place, Impromptu Speaking.
* Sophia Easton (Gahanna Lincoln), fourth place, Lesson Planning STEM.
* Makencie Wilson (Whitehall-Yearling), fourth place, Exploring Administrative Careers.
* Abby Shupe (Gahanna Lincoln), fourth place, Impromptu Teaching.
* Brandon Karl (Gahanna Lincoln), Dakota Seebauer (Gahanna Lincoln), Nana Yun (Gahanna Lincoln), fifth place, Ethical Dilemma.
Students who also presented at the state conference and will present in Orlando include:
* State and National Breakout Session -- "Be the One" presented by Chloe Callihan (Gahanna Lincoln), Jayden Solomon (Gahanna Lincoln), Erin Moloney (Gahanna Lincoln) and Dylan Kankiewicz (Gahanna Lincoln).
* State and National Breakout Session -- "Emoting Empathy" presented by Sabrina Hall (Gahanna Lincoln), Alyson Adam (Gahanna Lincoln), Gabby Testa (Teays Valley) and Haley Cheadle (Hamilton Township).
Taylor Burns (Gahanna Lincoln), Abbie Gilzow (Gahanna Lincoln), Maia Talarico (Gahanna Lincoln) and Gabby Testa (Teays Valley) earned a fifth-place finish in a state-only chapter display competition.
The Eastland-Fairfield Gahanna Lincoln chapter of Educators Rising also had two students elected to state-officer positions. They are Erin Moloney, vice president of programs and regional representative, and Jayden Solomon, vice president of membership and recruitment.
Educators Rising, a division of PDK International, is a career-technical student organization transforming how America develops aspiring teachers.
Starting with high school students, the organization provides young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustaining their interest in the profession, and helps them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators.
Visit eastlandfairfield.com for details about the Teaching Professions Academy Satellite or call 614-836-4530.