Over 200 high school and middle school students attended the conference. Six USD faculty and staff members joined education leaders from across the state to encourage students to pursue a career in education.

“There is a national teacher shortage, and our mission at USD is to help educate and prepare a workforce to fill those vacant teaching positions,” said Theresa Skinner, Ed.S., School of Education residency instructor and program coordinator. “Presenting at a conference like this was a way to help recruit students not only to USD, but also to the teaching profession as a whole.”

Students had the option to attend over 27 different sessions, covering topics such as managing classroom disruptions, maximizing college education, creating engaging classrooms and harnessing artificial intelligence.

Four faculty members from the Division of Teacher Residency & Education – Skinner, Nicki Carr, Kristen DeMuth and Rebecca Phillips – shared a presentation titled “It’s Time to Play.” In this session, attendees participated in several fun activities to explore qualities of an engaging classroom.

Jacqueline Wilber, Ed.D., director of the Center for Student & Professional Services, led a session titled “Calm Classrooms,” offering stress management techniques for attendees and their future students.

Dajshon Keel, a School of Education recruiter, was also in attendance. Keel answered students’ questions and shared information about the USD School of Education.

“We have the best teacher preparation program in the state, and I would even say in the entire Midwest,” said Skinner. “Our teacher candidates get a full year of hands-on teaching experience to prepare themselves for their first year of teaching. When they leave USD, they are confident and prepared. Presenting at conferences like Educators Rising is a way for faculty and recruiters to show attendees what our program is all about.”

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