When Purdue University North Central alumnus David Myers stepped in front of his fifth grade class at Kankakee Valley Intermediate School to begin the 2012 school year, he fulfilled a lifelong dream.
“I am extremely happy. This is truly a dream come true,” said Myers, an Elementary Education major. “My classroom will be a great place to learn for all of my students.
Myers decided to become a teacher because he wanted to be “a difference maker.” He explained, “Being a teacher is a great opportunity to be a difference maker. I want my classroom to have a learning environment where students can discover and learn.”
As Myers reflects on his time spent at PNC he recalls that his Elementary Education professors entered the classroom smiling. “They were excellent mentors. They were concerned about your well-being. They wanted to make sure you were doing ok. They were there to help you. Each taught me strategies and ideas that I can implement in my classroom.”
He also singled out Keri Marrs Barron, director of Student Activities for a special thank you.
“She is an outstanding person who has great ethics and characteristics that are hard to find anywhere else. Without Keri, I would not have been a successful student. Keri mentored me. She was there for me. I can’t think of what my college experience would have been like without her.”
Myers was a prominent figure on campus for four years. He was involved in the Dean’s Leadership Group all four years and was co-president in 2009-2010. He earned the Club Member of the Year award for his accomplishments that year. He was a member of Student Government for seven semesters and served as treasurer and as president. He traveled to New York for a student government conference. His grades earned him academic honors every semester and he was a four-year Chancellor’s Leadership Award recipient.
He also worked in the Office of Student Activities helping student leaders and other clubs and organizations.
His get-it-done personality is evident in his off-campus activities, too. In his hometown of Wheatfield, he is a volunteer firefighter, helps at the local Helping Hands Food Pantry and at Sorrowful Mother Catholic Church and lends a hand at the Wheatfield Chamber of Commerce Sandhill Crane Festival.
When he can, he works as a disc jockey with 27 Entertainment in Valparaiso.
It took a while for him to find a balance with school and everything else in life, he admits. “As a freshman, all I wanted to do was say ‘yes’ and please everybody. I still struggle with saying “no” but I know my boundaries now.”
He also works hard to keep on schedule to ensure that everything gets done, even using post-it notes to remind him to stay on task.
All of his activities have helped to shape him into the person and the teacher that he is today. “I am without a doubt more prepared for my future after being so involved at PNC,” he said.
While a student, he did have to cope with the death of both of his grandmothers and some family health issues, but as after weathering these events, he realizes that he can survive life’s unexpected challenges.
“PNC has given me many opportunities and I am truly grateful for everything that has been offered to me during the past four years,” said Myers. “I am excited for my future.”
Sounding very much like a teacher, he added, “To new students, my advice is be aggressive and seek out opportunities from getting involved in a club to working on campus. Do not wait for your advisor to contact you about registering for classes, look ahead at what you will need to graduate in four years. Do not hesitate to seek out help for a class, don’t be afraid to take that extra class. Work hard. Be aggressive. It will pay off.”
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