Celebrating Our 2017 Graduates Through Photos

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 SO difficult a decision to choose only 5. But, rules are rules, so we are recognizing honorable mentions as well. (See the full album on Facebook here).

Below are the winners—in alphabetical order.

Saundra Armstrong

Saundra Armstrong, University of the District of Columbia

“After a career in the federal government and in non-for-profits for 20+ years in administrative positions, I was asked to substitute for two weeks. Needless to say 16 years later I’m still working with young children and have earned a BA with honors.”

Alexis Finch-Priester

Alexis Finch-Priester, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

“I started college heading in the nursing track. Throughout my high school years I’ve always had a job where I was working with children, and I continued while in college. During my first year of college a found a job in the local school system and LOVED what I was doing. I just knew that this was the job for me. Being a first generation college student I was a bit hesitant to explain to my family that I was going to be changing my major. I knew I was making the right decision. Without even noticing I had become an advocate for education. I realized my true passion for leading children, making every little moment teachable. I never thought that I would be graduating with an education degree but I am so excited that I get to call myself an educator. I’m so glad that I get to make a positive impact in the lives of children the way so many of my teachers did. I know this job will be rewarding in so many ways and I can’t wait to have my own classroom.”

Malia Rivera

Malia Rivera, James Madison University

“When I was in 8th grade, I had a teacher tell me I wasn’t good at math and I’d never be good. Later in High School I came to the realization that my teacher was very wrong, I was good at math! All I needed was a teacher who believed in my success. Since then, I have been determined to become a secondary math teacher. My journey to becoming a teacher has lead me on a mission to get rid of the mindset of “I can’t do that, I’m not good at math” that many students have. All it takes is one great teacher that believes in them, and I plan on being that teacher.”

Michael Williams

Michael Williams, Georgia State University

“I grew up in poverty and lost my mother at a young age. Growing up, teachers were there for me when I needed them the most. I experienced first-hand how much impact an educator can have on a child’s life. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade for no good reason. If it weren’t for some of my close family and my teachers, I am not sure I would have returned to school and completed my high school diploma. My teachers pushed me to apply for colleges and did everything they could to help me out. After spending two years at a smaller college, I transferred to Georgia State University where I just graduated summa cum laude with my Bachelors of Science in Middle-Level Education with concentrations in language arts, social science, and special education general curriculum. I also completed a minor in special education: high incidence disabilities. I’ll be working through the summer as a 7th-grade social science teacher in Atlanta, GA and will officially begin my teaching career as an 8th-grade Georgia History teacher in Gwinnett County Public Schools for the 2017-2018 school year.”

Kathy Zhao

Kathy Zhao, Stevenson University

“I have always loved working with children since I was 12 years old. I started with babysitting, then in the summer I was a camp counselor, and later worked at a daycare. From there I feel in love and I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I believe that teachers are the foundation. My senior year of college, I loved every moment of student teaching and I knew right away that teaching will be my passion. I loved seeing my student’s eyes light up when they understand something they learned. I want to be apart and touch many children’s lives.”


And these are our honorable mentions (in alphabetical order)…

Sierra Becker

Sierra Becker, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (for Best Mortar Board)

“I have always had a caring, passionate personality. Throughout my college career I have dabbled in various career paths; however, I always wandered back to teaching. Once I transferred to UW-Whitewater I dove head first into everything I needed to do in order to excel as a secondary educator. Even with an accident last fall that has postponed my student teaching, I have stayed resilient with my career path. From that, and through the resources that KDP has offered me, I have found a multitude of opportunities to continue my career in the teaching field and continue my service educating our youth!”

Ursula Bryant

Ursula Bryant, University of Saint Thomas-Houston (for Most Inspirational Story)

“I was a teen mom, didn’t get a high school diploma. At 21 I received my GED. I was a single stay at home mother with two children who were disabled. After my son died in 1997, I started school, receiving my degree in teaching at the age of 40. After teaching ten years, I returned for my master’s in school counseling, which I’ve graduated with May 20, 2017.”

Audre Cantrell

Audre Cantrell, Northeastern State University (for Best Action Shot)

“I started my journey by volunteering with Community Action Project in Tulsa, OK (CAP Tulsa). It is an early childhood program for low income families. The program provides early childhood education to the child as well as before and after care. The program also helps the family find work, extra food, and clothing. The mission of CAP Tulsa is to pull the whole family out of poverty. I have been working with the program for the past three summers (first as a volunteer and twice as a part time teacher assistant). Because of this experience, I was motivated to go back to school to receive my Early Childhood Education degree. I have been offered and accepted a lead teacher position in a three year old classroom with CAP Tulsa. I am so excited to share my love for learning and play with my students. Education is a powerful tool to have in life. I want to inspire my students to continue to learn and to become a lifelong learner.”

2017 #KDPgrad with Pride Photo Contest – Now Open!

KDPgrad

Are you a senior or grad student who is graduating this spring or graduated in December?

First of all, congratulations! We are proud of you and wish you the very best as you job search and start your teaching career.

We know you must be proud of yourself and your achievements, too—and took (or will take) photos of yourself in your cap and gown with your KDP cords, stole, and/or medallion.

Share one or two of your favorite pictures of yourself on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #KDPGrad as a first step to entering our annual KDP Graduate with Pride photo contest.

To complete your entry, go to http://www.kdp.org/gradwithpridecontest.php to answer a quick survey so we know who you are and a couple of sentences about your journey to become a teacher.

All completed entries will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 5 $20 gift certificates to the KDP Store.

Pictures will be placed in an album on KDP’s Facebook page. One way to win is to share the photo(s) from our page and/or ask your friends and family members to “like” your photo for a chance to win the most “likes.”

Eligible participants are members who graduated in December 2016 or are graduating this spring semester. The contest deadline is June 16, after which winners will be selected.

Good luck! We’ll be looking for your picture soon!

2016 Winners of the #KDPGrad Photo Contest

Celebrating Our Graduates Through Photos

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

Taylor Manceaux

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

Krystle Yarbrough

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

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

Melissa Lampiasi

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

Madeleine Lewis

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

Mayra Salazar

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!

2016 #KDPgrad with Pride Photo Contest – Now Open!

KDPgradAre you a senior or grad student who is graduating this spring or graduated in December?

First of all, congratulations! We are proud of you and wish you the very best as you job search and start your teaching career.

Secondly, we have a unique opportunity for you to share your story and be entered into a drawing!

Share pictures of yourself in your cap and gown with your KDP cords, stole, and/or medallion on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram using the hashtag #KDPgrad as a first step to entering our sixth annual KDP Graduate with Pride photo contest*. Pictures will be placed in an album on KDP’s Facebook page; at least one winner will be chosen from the overall number of likes/comments/shares it receives, so be sure to share your photo from our page!

To complete your entry, click here to answer a quick survey.

Winners receive one of five $20 gift certificates to the KDP Store.

Good luck! We will be looking for your picture soon!

*Eligible participants are members who graduated any time during the 2015-2016 school year. The contest deadline is June 16, after which winners will be selected.

Graduate with Pride!

Grad CollageAre you graduating? First of all, congratulations! We are so proud of you and wish you the very best in your future endeavors. We hope you are proud of yourself, too—so proud that you want take plenty of photos to capture all the excitement.

Why are we interested in your photos? Because it’s time for our fifth annual KDP “Grad with Pride” photo contest! Eligible participants are current members who graduated in December 2014 or are graduating this spring semester.

The contest deadline is June 15, after which winners (and prizes) will be selected by KDP staff and announced via social media.

So share your photo via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #KDPGrad. After you post, send an email to marketing@kdp.org with your photo, and tell us a little about yourself and your journey for a chance to win a KDP Store gift certificate.

Good luck!

By submitting a photo, you grant Kappa Delta Pi permission to use your likeness in a photograph in any and all of its publications, including website entries, without payment or any other consideration.

Got a Minute? Week of March 30, 2015

Got a Minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week:

  • Decision Letters for proposals submitted for Convo are sent out this week
  • Save the Date! Convocation Oct. 22-24 2015 in Orlando, FL
  • Graduation regalia is available online at the KDP Store
  • KDP Headquarters office closed April 3, 2015