By Linda Waggener, assistant director of university communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University was host to the 2007 Kentucky Future Educators of America (FEA) Summer Camp this season.
“We were excited to have the opportunity,” said Dr. Brenda Priddy, associate professor and dean of the School of Education, “to offer enriching experiences that encourage high school junior and seniors to pursue teaching as a career.”
Dr. Donna Irwin, who received her undergraduate degree from CU in 1992 and her master’s in 1999, and who is now assistant professor of education at CU, said there was no cost whatsoever to students, thanks to a Kentucky Department of Education FEA Camp grant.
A highlight for the campers was a message from a principal to give them an idea of what they might expect when applying for their first teaching position.
CU alumnus Charles Higdon Jr. (’97), the newly appointed principal of Taylor County High School, was the featured speaker on Friday morning before presentation assignments.
“You’ll be part of the world’s biggest construction company,” Higdon said.
He said to the group of potential teacher candidates, “do you have the passion to be a teacher? If you can’t find the fire, the joy of going to work, you’re not doing anyone any good, especially in teaching. I tell people to make sure before you choose to become a teacher that you’re in it for the love of kids, or get another job.”
Higdon said that when he was in grade school in Grayson County, Ky., a football buddy of his brought Campbellsville University to his attention. He said, “I began a dream that I would go to Campbellsville, become a teacher and football coach and then someday become a principal at Grayson County.”
He followed that dream and after graduation from CU he was a health teacher for 6 years before becoming principal in Jefferson County. He left there only to move closer to home and the positive influence he said this area and CU had on him.
“As principal at TCHS, I’m going to make sure I’m working with teachers who enjoy their jobs because the surest way to improve attendance, the way to improve CT scores, the way to make sure kid’s do well in school is to enable to make kids feel good about coming to school.”
“If helping kids is your passion, you’re headed into the right career. And your first best decision,” Higdon said, “was in coming here to this camp to explore teaching. Getting your education at CU would be an excellent choice as well.”
For more information on the education department at CU, call 270-789-5241.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.