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Another First Day of School: Celebrating Educators’ Years of Service

By The Room 241 Team September 11, 2018

While it’s fun to see photos of kids on their first day of school, let’s not forget that it’s also another first day for our dedicated teachers and staff members. Your years of service should be celebrated!

Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education set out to do that through a social media campaign, and we’re happy to report that it was a success. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the photos contributed from across the country.

A bunch of Cavaliers (students and alums of Concordia’s College of Education) also participated, from brand new teachers to veterans. Here are some inspiring highlights to give you that extra boost as you begin what we hope will be a very rewarding school year.

heidi cote first day“It’s my 1st #firstdayofschool, I just finished my master’s degree, and I’m starting off as a 4th-grade teacher. I’m super excited and super nervous.” – Heidi Cote, MEd




mischelle strauser first day“The reason I love to teach is that I get the opportunity to shape children’s lives, to make a difference, and to help them build the beginning of a solid foundation and love for learning! My 3rd #FirstDayOfSchool #CavalierPride!” – Mischelle Strauser, MEd



Amanda Rupe first day“My 4th #FirstDayOfSchool, #CavalierPride I love teaching the little ones, watching them grow, learn, and explore their world in a safe, loving environment!” – Amanda Rupe, MEd




John Hoskins first day“My 5th #FirstDayOfSchool as a higher ed chemistry teacher, though every semester feels like the first day! I love guiding students through the difficult task of learning chemistry, language, math, word problems, and critical thinking.” – John Hoskins, EdD student



Sherry Spencer first day“#FirstDayOfSchool I love teaching because I want to help students succeed in life. Knowledge is power and they need power to change their world.” – Sherry Spencer, EdD student




Shane Zazula first day“My fifth #firstdayofschool, and my first, first day at Valley Charter Middle School!! Let’s build some history skills, good character, and world citizens!! #concordiauniversity” – Shane Zazula, MEd student




Martha Daza first day“My 13th first day of school! Wouldn’t have it any other way, running up and down in heels, but with a heart filled with joy and gratitude to God for every child who attends our school and every teacher ready to do what they do best: prepare the leaders of tomorrow, today!
Mi primer día de escuela #13!! Y no lo cambiaría por nada, corriendo en tacones de arriba para abajo, pero con un corazón lleno de gozo y gratitud a Dios por cada niño que asiste a mi escuela, y por cada maestro listo para hacer lo que mejor saben hacer: preparar a los lideres del mañana el día de hoy! #FirstDayofSchool #ConcordiaUniversityPortland” – Martha Daza Rivera, MEd student

Leo Contreras first day“This is my 15th #FirstDayOfSchool at Mission Academy, in San Antonio. I love hearing teachers getting excited about prepping their classrooms for their first days.” – Leo Contreras, EdD student




Emily Paris MacNiven first day“Today marks my 16th #firstdayofschool and I’m as excited to kick off the year as I was on my 1st day of school! I love being an educator because I believe in the vision of a public education system that can be the great equalizer of our time. I believe education should be a beacon of hope for the hopeless and should create equitable opportunities for ALL people to live the life they choose. I believe in a public school system that can be reformed so this vision becomes a reality in our society and for our great democracy. I will advocate for this vision every day of my career. #CavalierPride” – Emily Paris MacNiven, EdD student


Andrew Holtz first day“I’m teaching 6th-12th grade instrumental and vocal music in a small school district in Michigan…my 10th with the district and 16th overall. This is the first one, however, in which I get to start with a master’s degree under my belt (finished Oct. ’18). Thanks, Concordia!” – Andrew Holtz, MEd



Camille Lewis first day“The number one reason that I get EXCITED about returning to my scholars is the fact that they are TEACHING ME, instead of me teaching them! I guide a very special population which is a Life Skills group. I had no idea when I earned that beautiful MEd in Special Education (Inclusive Practices from Concordia), that I would use it daily in the classroom. I am not a master of inclusive practices but a master of learning from a wonderfully, phenomenal and brilliant group of little scholars. The graduate degree just gave me the power to service the best and the brightest!” – Camille Lewis, MEd


lauren bowman first day“I have been teaching music this long because I love bringing out the hidden talents in every student that enters my classroom! #FirstDayofSchool #CavalierPride” – Lauren Bowman, EdD student




Cerlito Salarda first day“I like to find what sparks a light in my students so that I can guide them to illuminate the world. (Adapted from Oprah Winfrey)” – Cerlito Salarda, MEd



Want to celebrate your years of service?

It’s not too late! Download your free, customizable poster and share it on social media with the hashtag #FirstDayOfSchool.

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Request FREE Info About Our 100% Online MEd and EdD Programs


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