I enjoy the relationships I build with students and their families. It is a sweet gift to get to teach most of my students for several years because I grow to know them and their families on a deep level. We set a lot of goals, walk through many trials, and celebrate numerous achievements. My students and their families are my greatest teachers.
My Samford experience gave me the self-assuredness and competence to assist faculty, staff, students and parents in accomplishing our vision. My experience and passion for education have pointed me to new and exciting ventures that have blessed me beyond measure and, hopefully, have contributed to others’ lives.
Jessica Ray DePaolantonio
“God ordained” is the best way to describe my journey from Samford to my current position. My whole Samford Story was a "God thing" and He definitely worked in mighty ways to reveal to me that being completely out of my comfort zone is the plan He has for me at this moment.
I cannot speak highly enough of the Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) faculty. They provide instruction in a challenging, yet encouraging manner and serve as wonderful mentors. The HDFS curriculum includes studies in human development, family dynamics, family law and public policy, and interpersonal communication. Having previous experience conducting an undergraduate research study at Samford served me well when I took my graduate-level research class.
My desire to become a school administrator came from my desire to impact more adults and kids than I could as a classroom teacher. Each teacher has the opportunity to greatly change the lives of the kids assigned to them each school year, and administrators can create and atmosphere and culture that positively effects students, teachers and the community.
After graduating from Samford in 2014, I moved back home to begin the next chapter of my life. My parents and grandparents all started their own businesses, so taking risks, stepping out in faith, preparing for failure and successes through an entrepreneurial adventure run deep in my family. I prayed for God’s guidance and sought wise counsel from professors, friends and ministry leaders. Slowly the dream began to take shape!
Mandy Jayne Antwine
Coming from a family filled with educators and Samford alumni, the journey to Samford was definitely a clear one; however, the journey to the field of education was not. The moment I changed my major to education, I knew that I was finally on the path God mapped for my life. After telling my father about my major change, he smiled as if he were not surprised.