Each spring, KDP staff members organize a photo contest for members to submit their graduation photos on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram) with the hashtag #KDPgrad and be entered into a drawing for one of five $20 gift certificates to the KDP Store.
This year, because the judges received so many great selfies, candids, and professional portraits as well as stories that accompanied, it was too difficult a decision to choose only 5. So, they chose 6. (See the full album on Facebook here) Below are the winners—in no particular order.
Taylor Manceaux, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Ever since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to do was become a teacher. So, deciding on a college major was extremely easy! College was hard at times, but I enjoyed every minute of it! I made some of the best of friends and cherished every minute we spent together. We were all education majors so we took the journey together. Kappa Delta Pi Delta Iota chapter of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette helped me to become an even better leader by allowing me to serve as an officer for 2 years. I served as Treasurer my first year and was elected as President my senior year. Being able to participate in convocation and represent my chapter was an amazing experience and gave me many pointers for my future teaching career! I’m extremely grateful to my professors and Kappa Delta Pi for helping shape me into the leader that I am and I look forward to stepping foot into my own classroom in August!”
Krystle Yarbrough, University of Richmond
“After many years in the classroom I knew I wanted to do more to help students and other teachers. I decided to go back to school and earn my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. I wasn’t sure I could do it as I now had two sons both under the age of five and worked full time teaching third grade. With my husband’s support I began the long two year journey to earn my leadership degree. Two years later I was able to share my graduation with my son’s preschool graduation.”
Kimberly McGuire, Lynchburg College
“After being out of high school for 25 years, I was working for a summer camp for kids with learning disabilities. I had so many parents tell me that I needed to be doing it full time. I also worked as a teacher’s aide in a small private school, and the teacher encouraged me to go back and get my degree. It wasn’t easy….but so worth it!”
Melissa Lampiasi, Kean University
“I am pleased to say that as of May 19, 2016 I am officially a graduate from Kean University. First in my family to graduate college, and all thanks to my parents who sacrificed their goals and aspirations to see me achieve more than they ever could. But, you may be wondering how did I get to where I am today? One word sums it all up: Tadpole. My dream to be a teacher began in the second grade when I got to take home a tadpole. Our class frog laid eggs just when we were learning about the frog life cycle. Taking home that tadpole and watching it grow was spectacular. I had the most amazing teacher who truly empowered students to grow and learn through real life experiences. Now through my studies and field experiences I have come to strongly agree with the Chinese proverb that says, “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.” An effective teacher can involve their students by relating the curriculum to relevant information outside of the classroom. This is exactly what my second grade teacher did and so will I. My classroom will be an educational haven, where everyone, including the teacher is actively involved in the learning and growing process intellectually, socially and emotionally.
Additionally, this past year I have had to honorable opportunity to be inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Rho chapter at Kean. As a Kean-Ocean student, I made it a top priority to be involved with the Union Campus as much as possible in order to truly be a part of the KDP family. This honor society has provided me the opportunity to receive multiple resources to assist in my future career as an educator by participating in a school based organization in addition to, gaining friendships that will last a life time. I believe my dedication to a high level of academic achievement in the study of Elementary Education at Kean University will be an asset to my future career in education.
For the 2016-2017 Academic school year I will be returning to Kean as an alumni on the executive board for KDP as the Kean-Ocean campus representative. My goal is to unite education majors from both campuses to achieve a strong education community by offering support and sharing knowledge to future educators.
So, just like the little tadpole who grows and transforms, so will my journey to becoming a teacher.”
Madeleine Lewis, USF St. Petersburg
“I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in preschool. I have worked for 23 years to accomplish my goal of a masters degree in education and I have finally done so. Thanks to my family, friends, teachers, professors, schools, and now KDP, I am prepared to provide each and every student I meet with love and boundless opportunities for success!”
Mayra Salazar, The University of Texas at Arlington
“For as long as I can remember, as a young girl, my dream profession was to become a teacher. In spite of the fact that neither of my parents hold a degree or spoke English; they always made sure to instill in me the importance of obtaining an education. I had the BEST SUPPORT SYSTEM growing up: my parents and teachers; their daily words of encouragement made no obstacle too big to overcome. As a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington; I can finally say I have accomplished my dream! I can’t wait to start inspiring and shaping minds the minds of my future students! #KDP #UTA #2016GRAD”
Thank you to all who submitted a photo and story. Stay tuned for additional photo contests in the future!