Aspiring educator Carley Hubbard was exactly the trailblazer her professors at Palm Beach Atlantic University were looking for — a senior with a passion for teaching and a desire to serve outside the United States.
This spring, the early education major from Chuluota, Fla., became the first PBA student to complete a new international teaching fellowship at Santiago Christian School in the Dominican Republic.
“I felt like it was God’s open door, the door He wanted me to go through,” Hubbard said.
|Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Carley Hubbard (back row, far right) joins students at Santiago Christian School in a celebration of Dominican Republic Pride Day.|
In fact, administrators at Santiago Christian School loved her work so much that they offered her a full-time job as a kindergarten teacher. Hubbard, who graduated from PBA on May 10, accepted the offer and plans to return to the Dominican Republic in late July.
Growing up in family of educators, Hubbard said she has wanted to be a teacher ever since she was around the same age as her students. She said she often would spend time in her mother’s kindergarten classroom.
“I always wanted to be that teacher who helps children to change their minds about themselves,” she said.
She also said she has felt called to teach internationally since her high school years. She arrived at PBA, where her older brother was already a student, with dreams of teaching someday in Africa, she said.
In the spring of her junior year, she joined a group of students and faculty from PBA’s School of Education and Behavioral Studies on a week-long mission trip in the city of Santiago. The school was one of the places they visited.
The visit made a lasting impression on Hubbard, who said she looked forward to returning to the school when her fellowship began in January.
One of the highlights of her experience, she said, was working with the school’s faculty, which gathered for devotions four times a week. She said she also enjoyed the challenge of teaching in a classroom where many of the kindergarteners were still learning English. She was encouraged to see the students developing into confident readers, she said.
“I love their innocence and their total love for their teachers and for learning,” Hubbard said.
Prior to beginning her fellowship, Hubbard completed a one-semester teaching practicum at a public school in Palm Beach County. This was the first academic year in which PBA’s senior education students spent a semester at both a public and private school.
During her time at PBA, she was involved in the Point 58 and Roots ministries, where she served as a leader for female students. She later became president of Kappa Delta Epsilon, the education honor society.
Her professors at PBA described Hubbard as a talented young teacher with a courageous spirit.
“She is very adventurous and willing to take on something new,” said Professor of Education Dr. Emery Twoey, who oversaw the teaching fellowship program along with Associate Professor of Education Dr. Tim Ladd.
The program, which is open to all education students, will continue next year, Dr. Twoey said. In addition to Santiago Christian School, he said, students have the opportunity to complete the fellowship at other schools that are members of the Association of Christian Schools International.