School of Education faculty members with new teacher inductees.
Tonight, 34 future teachers were formally inducted into Bellarmine University's Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education
"Reaching this moment in my life means the absolute world to me," said Molly Barger, an elementary and special education major from Franklin, Ind. "I’ve worked on myself so much mentally and academically since I started here, but no matter what, everyone -- especially in the School of Education -- has believed in me 100 percent. I’ve been so lucky to have found my home here and I’m immensely proud and grateful to call myself a Knight."
The ceremony marked their transition from new college students to future educators preparing for student teaching and eventual certification in their profession. They were welcomed by Bellarmine's president, Dr. Susan M. Donovan, and Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins, interim dean of the education school.
The inductees are either undergraduate education majors starting their junior year or newly-enrolled students in Bellarmine's master of arts in teaching program. To be inducted, they must meet certain academic standards, demonstrate competency in a variety of skills, complete a required set of courses and receive positive recommendations from the instructors of those courses.
"Being inducted into the MAT program means a lot to me," said Ashley Bottomley, who is pursuing a master's degree that will allow her to move into teaching. She said she recognized that her previous work training employees could be put to good use in a classroom.
"Teaching has been a passion of mine and this program will give me the ability and credentials I need to be able to influence future generations," she said.
"The teacher induction ceremony celebrates the students as they formally enter into the School of Education," said Dr. Mary Ann Cahill, an associate professor of literacy and chair of the master of arts in teaching program. "Because the standards for acceptance are quite rigorous, this ceremony signifies moving forward in their chosen career and beginning to take on the responsibilities of the profession. Teacher induction generally involves orientation, mentoring and overall social support for the beginning teacher. Teaching is challenging, and providing these supports has proven to be beneficial in addressing attrition in the first few years of teaching."
The ceremony, in Bellarmine's Nolen C. Allen Hall, featured keynote remarks by Ursuline Sister
Paula Kleine-Kracht, a longtime educator and former Sacred Heart Academy principal who also co-founded Nativity Academy at St. Boniface. Bellarmine and the Ursuline Sisters are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary
of the merger of Ursuline College and Bellarmine College.
Kleine-Kracht spoke about three individuals whom she hoped would be an inspiration to the inductees: Saint Robert Bellarmine, Thomas Merton and Saint Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursuline Sisters. She focused her remarks on Merici, since she may be the least well-known to Bellarmine students.
"Over my years in education, I have come to believe that Saint Angela’s approach is central to being an educator -- no matter what role you have, how you are involved, where you serve or who you serve," she said. "We are always called to focus our service on the other and especially the other ‘in need.’”
Learn more about Merici on the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville's website
Master of Art in Teaching inductees
Ashley Rae Bottomley
Ayanna R. Logsdon
Bachelor of Arts in Teaching inductees
Molly K. Barger
Diana R. Bell
Cassidy M. Daugherty
Shelby R. Foley
Meredith C. Ingle
Emily M. Johnson
Madison L. Keown
Erica R. Lunsford
Tiffany L. Meyers
Morgan E. Miller
Talia G. Reid
Kaylin N. Roby
Mitchell D. Siefker
Benton J. Stone
Kristi M. Velasquez
Ursuline Sister Paula Kleine-Kracht delivers the induction ceremony's keynote address.