California high school filled with GCU connections

November 15, 2019 / by / 0 Comment
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By Aubrey Grasz
GCU News Bureau

Sarah Wade has developed a passion for Grand Canyon University while earning her master’s degree, working on her doctorate and being employed as a university development manager.

And even though she’s in Southern California, GCU connections are all around her.

Matthew Jackson, chair of the science department at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, Calif., and university development manager Sarah Wade both received their master’s degrees from GCU.

Her daughter Kaylin received her degree in Biology with an Emphasis in Secondary Education from GCU last year and teaches Honors Biology and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) courses at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, Calif.

The GCU connections don’t stop there. The chair of Rio Mesa’s science department, Matthew Jackson, earned his master’s degree from GCU. And who enrolled him in the program? Sarah Wade, of course.

The school’s principal, Mark Contreras, has a nephew attending GCU, and three Rio Mesa students recently chose GCU.

“I feel like I can’t go anywhere without somebody knowing somebody who is on campus at GCU,” Sarah Wade said.

Kaylin thrived in the GCU environment.

“It felt like a family, no matter what class you were in,” she said. “Even in large classes, the professors at GCU were amazing and knew the names of their students.”

Kaylin said her education classes and practicum hours prepared her well for her career. As a student, Kaylin was able to gain valuable experience working with English language learners.

“Kaylin really wants to make an impact on kids that may not realize that college is an option,” Sarah said.

While many of the students Kaylin teaches come from challenging circumstances, she inspires them to believe that a college education can be in their future.

“I tell all my students that GCU gave me the most memorable experience,” Kaylin said. “If you want to achieve something, this is how you get there.”

Thanks to the Discover GCU program, interested high school students can go on an official visit to GCU at no cost.


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