• Alyssa Collins

D230 Pipeline Project in Action during Future Educator Night

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Published in the Orland Park Prairie

High school students interested in pursuing a career in education, attended the Future Educator Night at the District 230 Administration Center on Tuesday evening.

The administration center, located at 15100 S. 94th Ave., was packed with more than 100 parents and students looking to learn more about the education industry and the resources available within the school district. Attendees heard from a panel of District 230 administrators, teachers and students as well as representatives from local colleges and universities such as Moraine Valley Community College and Loyola University Chicago. The event was hosted as part of the district’s initiative to address the teacher shortage and promote careers in education.

“We feel very passionate about our field and the careers that we have. We want to share that passion with you and share that knowledge and education so that you can walk away here learning more about what path you might be able to lead and then have that path lead back to District 230,” said Meredith Sheriff, guidance director at Carl Sandburg High School.

The teacher shortage has produced more than 250,000 vacant teaching jobs nationwide, according to Dr. Julia Wheaton, assistant superintendent of human resources, and the shortage is on track to double by 2025. Because of this dilemma, District 230 has rolled out a comprehensive plan to support students interested in education that includes dual-credit opportunities, internship positions and the Future Teachers of America Club.

Maddie Frale, a senior at Andrew High School and president of the Future Teachers of America Club, pointed to her current coursework as a stepping stone to the next path of her career. Frale is completing an independent study this year that allows her to co-teach a classroom and fine-tune the skills she has learned along the way.

“It has given me the confidence to say ‘yes I really want to be a teacher and this is really something I could see myself doing,’” Frale said. “I’m really lucky that I was able to have this opportunity at such a young age.”

Throughout the event, the panel provided insights into the admissions process, tips for transfer students, how and why to take advantage of the dual credit programs and how to overcome challenges in the classroom.

“A teacher cannot do it on their own,” said Dr. Vensa Cejovic, director of school and community partnerships at Loyola University. “What happens when you try to do it on your own? You’re not going to be a teacher for very long.”

Students who attended the event were able to gain a clearer understanding of how to start planning for a career in education within their current school district. Mia Riccelli, a junior at Andrew High School, used this event as an opportunity to talk with the administrators from Illinois State University.

"All the questions that they answered really helped me figure out my path and what I want to take,” said Riccelli.

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