After graduating from Wittenberg in 2009 with a degree in education and later finishing her master's degree in 2013, Kathryn Chadeayne, now a seventh-grade social studies and science teacher at Hayward Middle School, has inspired her own students in Springfield, so much that she earned the Excellence in Teaching Award earlier this year.
The Excellence in Teaching Award celebrates outstanding teachers from Springfield City Schools. Individuals are nominated by students, colleagues, administrators, or other members of the local community. Recipients of the award receive a $1,000 prize, a marble apple, and recognition from both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. The program is sponsored by the Springfield Rotary Club, Ohio Edison, the Springfield Foundation, and the Chamber of Greater Springfield.
Chadeayne, who originally started as a graphic design major at Wittenberg, decided to follow in her family’s footsteps and become a teacher. She credits professors Bob Welker, Brian Yontz, and thesis partner Hannah Scherger Chamberlain ’09 for influencing and mentoring her in her education career.
Welker, for example, prepared her for her career in education by encouraging her to work directly with the students she wanted to impact the most in the Springfield community, she explains. Listening to the problems and issues the Springfield community faces made her even more invested and determined to one day become an educator in the area to impact and help change the community for the better. As for those education majors about to graduate, she wants them to understand that everything happens for a reason.
“Cherish your first years of teaching,” she said. “Listen and seek to grow as an educator. Have passion for what you do.”
She also encourages future teachers to try all levels of education and to seek experiences in all types of socio-economic settings.
After a decade of teaching, Chadeayne still says the best part of her day is working with her students. She enjoys encouraging them in their daily work, as well as fostering caring relationships with them. In her next 10 years, she hopes to still be teaching at Hayward Middle School, where she can continue to grow as an educator and further impact the Springfield community.
-By Mallory Moss ’20, Office of University Communications