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Celebrating Graduates 2014

Veronica C. Olson: 2014 Co-Outstanding Graduate — Elementary Education

Veronica C. OlsonAs a child, teenager, and young adult, teachers have always been my heroes. Upon seeing the movie Dangerous Minds where Michelle Pfeiffer played the role of a teacher who changed the lives of a group of inner city teenagers, I made a goal: to find the worst school district in the U.S. and teach there so that I can bring hope to those students. After completing my first two years of college, I wasn't satisfied knowing that I was going to soon be a 22 year old with little life experience in charge of entire classrooms of students

I joined the Coast Guard knowing it would give me a broader view of the world and heighten my maturity as a future educator. I learned how to act quickly and calmly in unpredictable situations. The glass ceiling of being a woman in the military is exactly like the child who has been labeled "unteachable.” My experience blessed me with the tenacity to never give up on a student, ever!

Now working in an elementary school, I have never felt more alive. Each student and class is like a Rubik's cube, arriving at school with different backgrounds, different personalities, and varied abilities. Not only do we as educators need to know our material, but have the patience and instincts to figure out how to transmit this material in ways most meaningful for our students. I am so excited to one day have a classroom of my own! ~Veronica Olson

UAS' 2014 Juneau Commencement will be held May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the UAS Recreation Center.

Student Speaker Link

Crystal Rogers is receiving her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Independent Design, focusing on the art, language, government and history of indigenous and Western societies in Alaska, with a minor in Tlingit.

Learn more about Crystal Rogers, this year's student speaker at the UAS Commencement in Juneau on May 6th.