The gifted classroom took the limitations that were in the regular classroom due to testing and mandated curriculum off of me. No longer did I have constraints on my creativity with teaching students. I was able to ask them what they wanted to learn and explore those areas with them. I was able to cater to each student’s needs and find ways to help them grow and learn in areas of their social, emotional, and academic needs. I love it and will always love it!
I love Samford and connecting with our Samford Education graduates is always a pleasure! I am always fascinated by what they are doing and where their degree has led them. I also enjoy planning the Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series and the Learning for Life Awards Dinner with a fabulous team of folks each year.
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.