Our chapter held its annual Scholarship Dinner on May 4 at Gilbert & Blake’s in Okemos. This year we awarded our Prospective Educator scholarship to Taylor A. Huggins. Taylor is a 2017 graduate of South Haven High School, with a 4.145 GPA. Taylor’s father, Darrin Huggins, accompanied her to the dinner.
Taylor participated in the Cadet Teacher Academy through the Van Buren Technology Center during her junior and senior years. Through this program, she had the opportunity to work in first-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade classrooms. In her letter of recommendation, her Cadet Instructor/Coordinator Sheri Johnsen commented that “she possesses great internal motivation and has an innate ability to connect with her students and the staff like she has been teaching for years. Taylor is what I would call a ‘natural’ and the mentor teachers she works with are amazed at her integrity, responsibility, and most importantly her desire to change lives and help all children learn.”
Taylor served as the secretary and vice president of the student council at her high school and was a member of the tennis and cross-country teams. She also participated in Family, Careers, and Community Leaders of America and provided instruction on self-worth and anti-bullying to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students. She was a member of the National Technical Honor Society and the National Honor Society, a Girl Scouts Daisy and Brownie Troop Leader, and a coach for Girls on the Run.
In her essay, Taylor emphasized that “successful and effective teachers are able to work beyond curriculum standards. They express enthusiasm and overcome stereotypes to create a nurturing environment.” She also expressed a goal of connecting with each student and working to create strong relationships based on mutual trust with both students and parents. Taylor will be attending Albion College in the fall to study elementary education.
Be sure to check our website pdkmi.org for the 2018 Scholarship Application, which will be available in January, and encourage any qualified high-school or college students to apply. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.