Marc Welch, Teacher Education Program Coordinator – The Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education recently honored three Wabash student teachers: Lucas Blakeslee, Nick Durm, and Josh Miracle. All three alumni received Outstanding Future Educator Awards at IACTE’s annual banquet in Carmel. Taking advantage of Wabash’s 9th semester option, they completed their semester of student teaching after graduating last May. Dr. Helen Hudson, Language Arts Methods Instructor, and Marc Welch, Teacher Education Program Coordinator, also represented Wabash at the yearly banquet.
All three student teachers were chosen by the Teacher Education Committee. Committee member Dr. Hudson said, “All three of their cooperating teachers found them to be exemplary in their academic expertise, classroom management, and presentation of lessons.”
While each might be an expert in his respective field, life after student teaching has thrown these guys into situations well-beyond their specific content area—a true testament to a liberal arts education. While Luke majored and licensed in English, he’s fulfilling a maternity-leave position within secondary agriculture, “If I ever doubted that a trained teacher of poetry could also plant soybeans and instruct freshmen on the proper way to artificially inseminate a Yorkshire sow, I now know otherwise. And if I ever doubted the fruit of a liberal arts education, the energy I feel toward my job every morning is clear evidence for it.” Blakeslee commented.
Miracle majored in History, but is temporarily teaching Economics and Computer Applications as part of a maternity-leave vacancy. He noted, “Although I was never trained in business or entrepreneurship, thanks to Wabash, I was more than adequately prepared. My liberal arts education certainly allowed me to think on my feet, continue to learn, and tie my own content knowledge to lessons in both business and entrepreneurship.”
While Blakeslee and Miracle have enjoyed teaching beyond their content areas, both are seeking permanent positions within their respective fields. While not teaching in the secondary classroom, Nick Durm continues to work with youth in a different capacity. He’s currently a Youth Minister at Rock Point Church in Crawfordsville.
In addition to teaching at Westfield High School, Miracle coaches three sports: football, basketball, and track. He’s also sponsoring a group called Young Life and working with alumnus Jake Gilbert ’98 to start a chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When asked about Westfield, Miracle said, “Westfield has been absolutely amazing. Just like at Wabash, Coach Gilbert continues to be a great mentor and man of principle to everyone here at Westfield.”
During the banquet, guests had the opportunity to hear from Indiana’s teacher of the year. As always, the Wabash guys noted that they were in a minority as many of the student teachers honored were women. Blakeslee observed, “Of the 126 future educators recognized, we joined 25 other men in a 22% gender minority.”
While next year’s professional plans might be uncertain, one thing is certain for each of the three guys this summer: marriage. Miracle joked, “This summer I plan to continue to put all the leadership and training that I have received from Wabash into practice as I will embark on possibly the most difficult endeavor yet, marriage.”
While Miracle focuses on his upcoming wedding and unknown placement for next year, he’s not shaken by uncertainty, “As for now, I can rest easy knowing that I chose to enter the best profession ever, teaching!”