The first-ever teacher signing ceremony took place in the Burnsville High School Career Center on May 23 with 14 seniors who plan to become teachers.
BHS language arts teacher Allison Millea heard about a similar event that took place in Iowa last year and wanted to create an official ceremony at Burnsville High School to honor students who have committed to pursuing a teaching career.
It’s like the ceremonies with high school seniors signing letters of intent with the colleges and universities where they’ll play sports.
“To all of you amazing students here today, congratulations on making such a powerful decision,” said Millea, who is completing her 5th year of teaching. “You are committing to a brighter future for everyone. You are dedicated to improving lives.”
She told students: “Just remember: no matter the age, the content, the year, you are shaping the future of humanity. Not to sound dramatic, but you are literal superheroes for making the choice to teach. If you want to make the world a better place, start with education. Future teachers, please know that everyone in this building is so impossibly proud of you. As you sign your letters of intent today, you are already making tomorrow brighter. Congratulations!”
Future teachers include:
- Olivia Brammer, Augsburg University
- Samantha Brenes, Normandale Community College
- Kristine Brinkman, Bethel University
- Megan Fuerstenberg. Minnesota State University - Mankato
- Jayde Grass, Winona State University
- Joy Grittner, Winona State University
- Zachary Holmes, Winona State University
- Mitchell Huerd, Normandale Community College/Minnesota State University - Mankato
- Alexandra Kielas, Winona State University
- Shealyn McMahon, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
- Jackson Morris, Normandale Community College
- Natalie Root-Hepner, Dakota County Technical College
- Abby Tucci, Lake Forest College
- Elija Worley, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.
Teachers Dave McDevitt and Hayley Ohama, advisors of the Future Teachers of America (FTA) club, assisted with the event along with Marcia Sexton, college and career specialist. Students wore t-shirts or sweatshirts from the colleges/universities they’ll attend. Parents were invited.
On a related note, next year through a new partnership with Normandale Community College, a teaching pathway will begin at Burnsville High School. Seniors will be able to take two education courses and earn seven college credits -- right at the high school.
The courses, “Introduction to Education” and “Multicultural Education and Human Relations in School,” are being made possible thanks in part to a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Learn more about Burnsville High School's new education classes.
"These classes will give students a jump start, both in terms of earning college credit and in having a better idea of what's involved in education and whether it's a good fit for them," said Jeff Pope of the district’s Systems Improvement and Student Achievement Department.
The approach aligns with Burnsville’s Pathways model, which helps students think about and prepare for their futures by providing real-world opportunities right in the school, many of which lead to professional certifications or college credit.