Albert Lea Education Association signs in 3 seniors going into teaching

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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By Ayanna Eckblad

The Albert Lea Education Association on Wednesday held a ceremony in which three graduating seniors signed their names in the ALEA ledger, confirming their plans to pursue degrees in education. 

Family, friends and past teachers were invited to the event to support the students — Noah Anderson, Rachel Doppelhammer and Olivia Wegner — and cheer them on.

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The ceremony began with Jacqui Richter, an Albert Lea High School math teacher; and Mary Schoppers, a Spanish teacher, sharing some words of wisdom about the importance of the teaching profession as well as some of its challenges and triumphs. They also shared brief essays the students had written about what drew them to teaching and what they are hoping to accomplish in the future. 

“I was told that I’d be a good teacher, and I enjoy explaining things to people,” Anderson said in his essay. 

Anderson, Doppelhammer and Wegner all thanked past teachers who encouraged them and made learning a passion that they want to continue on in their careers. They all expressed excitement at the prospects of shaping young minds and being a positive influence to the younger generation. 

“I hope that someday I can be an inspiration and be remembered just how I remember my teachers,” Wegner said. “Ultimately, I am excited for my future of making a difference through education.”

After the students signed their names in the ALEA ledger, Richter and Schoppers presented them each with a T-shirt and water bottle as a reminder that the ALEA is there to help them if they need it. Many family members and teachers echoed the sentiment after the ceremony ended. 

Anderson plans to attend Riverland Community College in the fall and pursue a degree in secondary English education. Doppelhammer plans to attend Riverland as well. She would like to go into elementary education. Wegner plans to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato in the fall to pursue a degree in elementary education.

“I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference in the lives of children. Nothing is more fulfilling than that,” Doppelhammer said.