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ALUMNA RETURNS TO SHS AS STUDENT TEACHER

First Generation student Katie Harvey finds passion in Education

McCalee Cain, Editor-In-Cheif

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When Katie Harvey graduated from Sandpoint High in 2014 and enrolled at the University of Idaho, she became the first in her family to attend college.

“When you’re First Generation, you’re not only doing it for yourself, you’re carrying your family along with you. It’s really emotional to think about, but it’s something that I needed to do because education has always been something I’ve put my heart into,” Harvey said.

The power of education led Harvey back to the halls of SHS this year as a student teacher.

“I may not have always been the best student, but I know I’ve always tried my hardest and being able to now reverse that and help students try their hardest, I think there’s nothing better I could do.”

Harvey is finishing the last semester of her degree in English Education in Pamela Webb’s English classroom.

“It was a little overwhelming at first because there’s a difference between what you learn in the classroom and then actually practicing it,” Harvey said of her first day in the classroom and back at SHS. “Everything looks the same [as when I attended], but it feels different because I’m different…It’s an eerie in-between of familiarity and strangeness at the same time.”

Harvey explained that her path to teaching wasn’t linear. When she graduated four years ago, her ambitions were different — she planned to become a psychologist and someday open her own practice.

“My first year, my major was Psychology and sitting in [classes], I just glazed over because none of it really sparked a passion,” she said. “Education kind of found me because, being a first generation student, I reflected upon my own life at the end of my freshman year thinking [of] what has had the most impact on me. Once I took an education course, that passion ignited.”

Harvey opted to focus on literature as an homage to its significance in her life.

“Another thing that had a big impact on me was reading and books, because I didn’t really get to travel outside of Sandpoint that much, so I traveled through literature. As a way of giving back to my community, I thought I could teach literature,” she said.

Harvey offered a few words of advice for seniors preparing to pursue their aspirations after high school.

“Your first year of college is overwhelming. It’s easy to get swept up in everything, in being an adult and all of these pressures and responsibilities that are now on you, so step back, take a breath, and realize where you are and what you want to do, and really evaluate what brings you joy,” she said. “Otherwise, you end up sitting in a chair thinking, ‘do I really want to do this?’”

Harvey is unsure where her teaching career will take her next but is enthusiastic about entering the professional world.

“There’s nothing more that I want to do than interact with people. I know that’s what I’m meant to do in my life, so finding that in education has just been amazing for me,” she said.

 

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ALUMNA RETURNS TO SHS AS STUDENT TEACHER