Grand Canyon University’s College of Education celebrated more than 100 seniors who were student teachers and are expected to graduate at the end of the semester in the COE Pinning Ceremony on Monday night.
The 75 who attended the dinner and pinning ceremony (with another 30 online) heard inspiration from special guests, who included COE alumna LaQuera Davis; Tim Thomas, Assistant Superintendent of Laveen Elementary Schools; and Dr. George Barnes, Superintendent of Balsz School District.
“I tell my teachers, I need three things from you,” Thomas said. “Number one: build relationships with kids. Number two: build relationships with kids. Number three? You guessed it! Build relationships with kids.”
Thomas told the group that his school hires educators from universities all over Arizona. “But what separates GCU from other universities is how professional, prepared and dedicated you all are as teachers.”
GCU students were pinned in a ceremony to mark their time at GCU.
“When you wear this pin, you represent yourself as a graduate of GCU's College of Education, and you make a pledge for learning, leading and serving,” said COE Faculty Chair Dr. Alicia Kozimor.
Barnes added his thoughts on just how vital educators are. “It’s the spirit in this room that saved me 20 years ago ... Without the spirit in this room, I would not be where I am today.”
Davis, a first-year teacher and COE alum, also talked about the spirit in a room that is central to being an educator.
“It's no coincidence that when staff and students enter my room they can feel the peace and calmness of my classroom. That comes from me opening my classroom to the presence of God,” she said. “Are you going to be a thermometer or a thermostat? A thermometer tells the temperature of a classroom, but a thermostat has the ability to change the temperature.”