On Friday, November 19, 2021, Reich College of Education’s (RCOE) Appalachian Community of Educators Scholars (ACES) celebrated 36 students who are graduating with their bachelor’s degree in either December 2021 or May 2022. Housed in the RCOE's James Center for Student Success and Advising, ACES is a four-year scholars program for future teachers focusing on mentoring, leadership, service, and professional development.
Each of the senior ACES was recognized for their accomplishments in the program and at Appalachian State University.
RCOE Associate Dean Dr. Terry McClannon welcomed the seniors and their families and friends. Former Assistant Director of the James Center Megan Kasper shared congratulatory remarks.
Audrey Jones ’20, a seventh grade social studies and science teacher at Parkway School and the 2020-2021 Watauga County School Rookie Teacher of the Year, was the ACES alumni speaker. She reminisced on her time in ACES and offered encouragement to the seniors as they begin student teaching or their first year as educators.
Nominated by her peers to speak, English secondary education major Lauren Rowe, from Huntersville, North Carolina, shared how she had found a home here at App State and in the ACES program.
Senior ACES Hudson Miller cords fellow senior ACES, Lauren Rowe. Photo submitted.
Each senior chose someone - a family member, friend, or professional mentor - who had impacted their time in the ACES program and at App State to place their graduation cord on them.
In addition to the graduation cord, students also received a certificate and a “sunshine” memory box. The memory box included a letter they wrote to themselves during their first week in the ACES program as well as other mementos.
“ACES has meant friendship,” said Clare Daggs, a special education major from Winston Salem, North Carolina. “From move-in and our first-year retreat to senior year and student teaching, I have experienced all of college with the friends I met through ACES.”
“This program has shaped my college experience through intentional relationships, professional developments, and community outreach,” she added.
The seniors recognized during the 2021 Senior Awards Ceremony:
- Morgan Anderson, Elementary Education
- Brett Baker, Health and Physical Education
- Alexis Barber, Elementary Education
- Berenice Blanco-Rodriguez, Elementary Education
- Ryan Carter, Mathematics Secondary Education
- Katherine (Kate) Clifford, Elementary Education
- Ashley Connor, Elementary Education
- Clare Daggs, Special Education
- Kate Duran-Rivera, Middle Grades Education
- Rachel Estes, Special Education
- Emma Everson, Special Education
- Jasmine Garcia, Spanish Education
- Michael Gautier, English Secondary Education
- Katie Hayes, English Secondary Education
- Maggie Beth Heavner, Special Education
- Nicole Hernandez, History
- Erin Holtzapple, Elementary Education
- Kylie Howell, Special Education
- Elizabeth (Liz)Jenkins, Child Development Birth-Kindergarten Education
- Michael Joseph, Sociology
- Gracie Key, Middle Grades Education
- Alexis Lail, English Secondary Education
- Karlee Lambert, Elementary Education
- Kira Laws, Mathematics Secondary Education
- Max Libera, History Social Studies Education
- Thomas McNeill, History Social Studies Education
- Mitchell (Mitch) Michaels, History Social Studies Education
- Hudson Miller, Elementary Education
- Candace Myers, English Secondary Education
- Alex Olinger, Elementary Education
- Lauren Rowe, English Secondary Education
- Carrie Semke, Elementary Education
- Kailey Seward, Mathematics Secondary Education
- Sarah Turner, Theatre Arts Education
- Simeon Wallace, Music Education
- Kathryn Watson, Mathematics Secondary Education