Graduate Ambassadors

Meet PLU’s MAE Graduate Ambassadors and learn more about what they’ve learned from both their PLU and Student-Teaching experiences.

Students from 2019 Cohort

Emily Fryberger, Elementary Education

Hi I’m Emily Fryberger, one of PLU’s Elementary Education MAE students. I’ve learned so many things that I’m excited to use with my students about providing choices, giving positive feedback, and spending time to get to personally know each of my students.

Life in my kindergarten class is exciting as we begin to talk about weather and snow. We have been taking time to explore outside and do projects that are snow related. The students are so much more engaged when they have time to get their curiosity quenched by catching snowflakes on their tongues or making snowballs before we go inside and make them out of paper.

I can’t wait to learn more when it’s my turn to teach about combining instruction and more constructivist approaches and get the hands-on experience of getting to help my students learn.

Eunissa Satterwhite, Secondary Mathematics

Hi! My name is Eunissa Satterwhite. I’m currently in the MAE program, studying to be a secondary math teacher. One thing I learned this summer that I hope take into my own teaching practice is utilizing students’ prior knowledge and students’ funds of knowledge to help them learn the content knowledge and skills that I need to teach.

Lately I have been reading about how to facilitate math discussions. Did you know that teachers actually anticipate and plan for how our discussions go? It’s not improvised; it’s all apart of the plan to help students learn! I’m excited to learn more about specific strategies and methods for teaching math in my courses this fall. It’s going to be a great year!

Wan-Ching Chen, Secundary ELL

Hi, my name is Wan-Ching Chen and I am a student teacher of World Language, Chinese, at Auburn High School. I am grateful to have a university supervisor to support me as a liaison between myself, a student teacher, and the lead teacher. Learning to teach at a high school is challenging but rewarding.

During the first week, students get the opportunities to talk about respect, community, teamwork, and responsibilities. Teachers also describe what expectations are for this school year. I am excited and looking forward to what this student teaching year brings me to grow as a better world language teacher.

Jimmy Dean Candella, Secondary History & Social Studies

Greetings! I am Jimmy Dean and I’m doing the Alternative Route to Certification. I am completing my student teaching at Fife High School, teaching history/social studies.

Often described as something akin to running out of steam during a marathon, it is very easy to suffer mental fatigue due to periods of increased academic-based work.  Therefore, scheduling your required undergraduate endorsement courses for earlier semesters, prior to your first summer semester of PLU’s ARC program, will relieve a great deal of academic stress during your introduction into education.

There are countless other tips & tricks but managing your time so you don’t fall prey to academic fatigue will prove crucial to not only succeeding in the ARC program at PLU but in your career within education.

Austin Filkins, Secondary Mathematics

Hey there, Austin here! I am a mathematics teacher at Curtis High School. It is incredibly energizing to be in a high school classroom with all of my students. I have learned a lot about myself and the way I want to teach. Being with my students just reinforces the idea that becoming a teacher is the right path for me.

Some of the things I am focusing on as I make plans for my eight weeks of full-time teaching: eliciting student voice, getting past procedural fluency and closer to conceptual understanding, raising confidence in math skills, and most of all, continuing to develop the relationships I have with my students.

Students from Previous Cohorts

Larry Kennedy
Larry Kennedy, Elementary Education

Hello, I’m Larry Kennedy!  I live in Puyallup with my wife Crystal and my dog Libby.

I graduated from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) with a degree in History. I am a huge sports fan and an avid reader. I am pursuing a career as an educator because my life has been greatly influenced by amazing teachers and being among their ranks is my goal.

I hope to teach 4th grade with my elementary endorsement in a low-income high-needs school.

Rachel Diane
Rachel Diane, Elementary Education

Hafa Adai!  Hello!  My name is Rachel Diane and I am a teacher candidate through PLU’s Master of Arts in Education program. I am Chamorro and Spanish—my family is from the indigenous community of Guam: a small island located in the Pacific Ocean.  I was born and raised in San Diego, and my family later relocated to Port Orchard, WA.

I have spent the past six years in our beautiful Tacoma community where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington Tacoma and later served three years as a full-time tutor and mentor for students in Tacoma schools.  I have a heart for service and a passion for education and I am inspired to work with students from diverse backgrounds every single day.

I am committed to providing a strong educational foundation for my students, and it all starts in elementary school.  I am excited to embark on this teaching journey at Fern Hill Elementary, and I look forward to all the learning that this experience has to offer!

Mariner moose and Casey Church
Casey Church, Mid-level Mathematics

Hey all, my name is Casey Church, I grew up in Everett, WA, and I received my Bachelors of Science in Mathematics Education from PLU with a minor in History.

I feel uneasy if I don’t have mountains looming over me, and I love food. My father is an educator, and younger me saw how much he enjoyed his work. During my undergraduate years I spent time working with kids at a summer camp in Oregon, which solidified my desire to work with young people.

In the PLU MAE program I have found a cohort of people who share a passion for serving their communities by educating young minds. When I have completed this program, I plan on teaching middle level mathematics somewhere here in the Pacific Northwest, preferably near towering mountains and mouth-watering food.

Keiri Prieto
Keiri Prieto, Secondary Spanish and ELL

My name is Keiri Prieto, I live in Tacoma, WA but I am originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. My parents immigrated to the United States when I was very young and we have lived in Washington for many years now. I am the oldest of four children and the first generation in my family to attend a university.

I graduated from PLU in 2010 with a BA in Spanish and a studio art minor.  I first became interested in teaching when I was in high school, and my plan is to teach high school level Spanish and English Language Learners.

I am very passionate about teaching because I love being a part of students’ intellectual and social growth. As a teacher of color, it is imperative for me to be a role model for all students, and to be a culturally diverse ally in school. I want to help students understand that everyone can succeed, regardless of their cultural background.

Blair Bjorkman
Blair Bjorkman, Secondary English

I am Blair Bjorkman and I am from Puyallup, Washington. I went to PLU for my undergrad and majored in English Literature. During my four years as a Lute I was a member of the volleyball team. I decided that I loved PLU so much that I needed to stay around for one more year and complete my master’s degree!

I decided to become a teacher initially because all of my teachers, coaches and my parents told me that it would be a fitting career, and after coaching club volleyball during my four years of undergrad I knew that I wanted to work with teenagers the rest of my life.

I am planning to teach English at either the middle school or high school level. I chose English because I love to read and write and I want to nurture a passion for English in my students. Go Lutes!

Lena Saed
Lena Saed, Secondary Math

Hello! My name is Lena Saed and I’m a PLU alumnus with a Bachelor of Science degree in Math Education.

I’m currently obtaining my teaching certification and Master of Arts in Education at PLU so that I may teach high school mathematics. I want to become a teacher because I want to help kids learn to love math! My mission for teaching is to create a safe, diverse and friendly environment where students are free to make mistakes and are encouraged to learn from each other.

When I’m not going to school or squeezing in a trip during the weekend back up to Vancouver, Canada where I grew up, I’m either outside doing my early morning runs, trying a new Fitness Program or trying to throw as many strikes as I can bowling. I’m also a P90X grad and currently attempting the Insanity DVD workouts!