Featured Grad: Shayla Wichmann ’17
Major: Elementary Education and K-12/Special Education
Hometown: Palmer, NE
Activities Involved in at Doane: Volleyball, Relay For Life, Student Education Association, Newman Club, Gamma Phi Iota
Plans after graduation: 4th grade teacher at Engleman Elementary in Grand Island
What was your most memorable experience at Doane?
Senior night against Dordt on our home court, that was the first time we had won on Senior Night and it was our first time beating Dordt in my four years. The atmosphere was amazing. They were a ranked team and their entire football team was in the crowd cheering. It was a five-setter that ended 17-15 so it was pretty thrilling.
What was the most beneficial class you took during your time at Doane and why?
Student teaching was the most beneficial experience I had but the most beneficial class I took was my Language Arts class with Julie Kozisek. That class really prepared me for student teaching and when I got to student teach I was able to apply everything that she had taught us and experience what it felt to be a teacher.
Who was your favorite professor on campus?
Julie Kozisek. She set high expectations, which I really liked. I was always trying to learn and grow and become a better teacher.
Doane is well known for having a very successful education program. As someone who is fresh out of the program, what makes it so special?
The relationships the professors take time to create with you and invest in you. They make sure that you are prepared to be the best teacher you can be and that’s what has really stuck out to me. They make sure you’re prepared for whatever job you accept when you’re done here in four years.
What excites you the most about beginning your career as a teacher this fall?
I would say having my own classroom because the past three years I’ve seen a lot of different classrooms and I’m excited to make it my own and incorporate different ideas. I’m excited to watch my students grow over a whole year and see how I can challenge them but also support them in the year with me.
What are you going to miss most about Doane?
The small atmosphere where everyone knows each other. It’s a very supportive atmosphere. I’ll be keeping in touch with other education majors as they go through the student teaching process but also will support the student-athletes we have here. The support on the academic side and athletic side at Doane is so significant because we are a small school; we support everybody and everything they do so I’ll miss that.
How did your time at Doane shape you into the person you are today?
The volleyball program had a big role in helping shape who I am today. We not only took the time to become better volleyball players but my coach really took the time to help us become better people outside of volleyball. During my four years here we read all kinds of books on how to develop as a leader and skills like time management and working with different personalities. I tell people I would come to Doane and do it all over again if I had the choice. There are people here that want to see you be successful, not only athletically but also in life. The volleyball program helped me become a better person and a better teacher. I was able to apply the skills I learned there to all aspects in my life.
What would your advice be to incoming freshmen?
My advice would be to be involved and really find out where you fit in. At Doane there are a lot of opportunities for you to excel. Find those places and the people who are going to help you excel and get to where you want to go. Coming into college it can be scary and intimidating but identify what type of person you want to be and find those people that are going to invest time into you and help you get where you eventually want to be.