BLUEFIELD COLLEGE STUDENT TEACHERS (FRONT LEFT TO RIGHT) AMANDA OVERBY, KEISHA LYNCH, TAYLOR RICHARDSON, (BACK LEFT TO RIGHT) ESTHER MABE, ABIGAYLE PECK AND GARRETT SCHILLING.
Teacher licensure training through Bluefield College’s teacher education program is known for being an extremely rewarding experience that leaves senior education majors well prepared as they enter teaching careers. It is through this experience that veteran teachers at various schools help the BC students grow in their skills and knowledge of how to work in the classroom setting.
This fall, six BC students completed their student teaching, including Keisha Lynch of Richlands, Virginia; Esther Mabe of Raven, Virginia; Amanda Overby of Stuart, Virginia; Abigayle Peck of Jacksonville, North Carolina; Taylor Richardson of Pounding Mill, Virginia; and Garrett Schilling of Santee, California.
“My experience with the Teacher Education Program was nothing short of memorable, including the tears,” said Lynch, who completed her student teaching at North Tazewell Elementary and Springville Elementary schools. “I feel like each person in the program has had some imprint on me becoming the teacher I am.”
Lynch, the daughter of Marcus and Laura Lynch, attended Richlands High School before coming to Bluefield College. In addition to her studies at BC, she was president of Alpha Delta sorority and a member of the Student Union Board.
The daughter of Jeff and Diana Switter, Mabe was homeschooled and attended Southwest Virginia Community College before coming to BC, where she has been a frequent academic scholar on the school’s Dean’s List. Mabe completed her student teaching in vocal and choral music for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
“After completing the Teacher Education Program here I feel I am ready to take on the world,” said Mabe.
Overby, the daughter of Stephen Overby and Amy Curry, completed her student teaching at Tazewell Middle and Graham Middle schools. Before BC, she attended Patrick County High School and Patrick Henry Community College. Outside of her classroom work, Overby is a member of the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA).
“I loved my time in the Teacher Education Program at Bluefield College,” said Overby. “I feel that they have thoroughly prepared me for the teaching world.”
Peck, the daughter of David and Suzie Peck, completed her student teaching at Dudley Primary and Springville Elementary schools. She was homeschooled before attending BC, and was a member of BC’s Alpha Delta sorority.
“I came to Bluefield College with a dream,” said Peck. “Now I am leaving with my dream that is now a reality.”
Richardson, the daughter of David and Connie Richardson, completed her student teaching at Richlands Middle and Richlands High schools. Before BC, she attended Honaker High School and Southwest Virginia Community College. She is a member of SVEA and has been on a frequent academic scholar on BC’s President’s List.
“No other program could both prepare one for teaching while caring as much for the well being of the students,” said Richardson. “The Bluefield College Teacher Education Program is a family.”
Schilling, the son of Pamela Nunez, David Schilling and Teresa Hansen-Schilling, completed his student teaching at North Tazewell Elementary, Graham Intermediate and Dudley Primary schools. Before BC, he attended West Hills High School and San Diego Mesa Community College. He is a member of SVEA.
“Teaching is one of the hardest professions around,” said Schilling, “but I would not trade it for anything else because I love to inspire and motivate.”
Bluefield College has graduated well-trained teacher education majors since 1977 – students who have become outstanding educators and administrators in public and private schools in Virginia and across the nation. Endorsed by the Virginia Department of Education and nationally accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), BC’s Teacher Education Program offers undergraduate programs for teacher licensure in Elementary Education PreK-6, Secondary Education Grades 6-12 (biology, business, chemistry, English, history, information technology, mathematics, and history/social sciences), PreK-12 (art, health and physical education, instrumental music and vocal/choral music), and Special Education: General Curriculum, K-12. The college also offers a degree without teacher licensure in early childhood education and just recently added an online master’s degree in education.