Alumnae Cherrelle Blevins ’09 (left) and Jill Bushman ’10 served as co-directors of the Junior/Senior Scholars summer camp, a college readiness program that partners with high-need elementary and secondary schools in Aurora and Chicago. Program Coordinator Jan Fitzsimmons recruited them along with four other alumni as coaches and 17 students as interns for the 2011 five-week summer program.
During the school year, Blevins teaches general music to students in grades K-8 and Corrective Reading to children in fourth through sixth grades at Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School in Chicago. Surprised she learned so much this summer, Blevins says, “I didn’t realize how much goes on behind the scenes to make everything run so smoothly, and I’m a part of making all that happen. I’ve discovered that I really like administration, and it’s given me a different perspective and insight on how I can better approach administrators in my school and keep open and honest communication.”
Bushman begins her second year of teaching at Oak Park Elementary School in Aurora, a Junior/Senior Scholars partner school, where she’ll speak Spanish all day, teaching a combined third- and fourth-grade bilingual class. Like Blevins, her experience as co-director this summer has been an eye-opener. “Across the board, with all the student interns, I was impressed with how well they were doing at this stage of their education,” says Bushman. “They engaged the students, managed their classrooms really well, were creative in their methods and used technologies to teach. As I observed them, I saw new things I can do in my own classroom and ways I can be a better teacher. I was learning from them!”
North Central Now Fall 2011