Newberry leads in education with GROW Symposium
January 31, 2023
NEWBERRY — Newberry College’s teacher education division hosted its 9th GROW Symposium on Jan. 27 at the Center for Teacher Education.
The conference brought together 153 student teachers from five institutions — Newberry College, Anderson University, Columbia College, Lander University and Presbyterian College — to prepare for careers in education.
The event included seminars and workshops from veteran educators, financial advice from Thrivent, and a teacher clothes closet provided by the Palmetto State Teachers Association. The event also featured a career fair of 46 school districts from across South Carolina.
“It’s grown so much since we started it almost 10 years ago, from 18-20 students and five school districts to about 150 students and over 40 districts” said Deborah Poston, assistant professor of teacher education. “I think we’re making a difference because we’re giving them professional development that’s really geared for them.”
Several students left the event with job offers in hand. One Newberry College senior, Jillian White, of Irmo, shared that she had accepted a position at Blythewood’s Westwood High School earlier that day.
“It’s shown me more of what my first year of teaching is going to be like, helped me meet new teachers and get advice from them, from what they’ve learned,” said senior Rebecca Watson, of Aiken, about the event.
Among the symposium’s presenters were Newberry College alumni and educators Sarah Bouwkamp ’19, Sunshine Hayes '06, Lindsey Fallaw ’16 and Taylor Gooding ’22.
“The pure enthusiasm and eagerness of future teachers is unmatched,” said Bouwkamp, who teaches at Saluda Elementary. “Newberry College has been integral in my career. My continued connection with the College through events like this just proves the essential nature of the relationships I made with my professors. These same professors put on this phenomenal event and continue to grow the future generation of teachers. Any opportunity I can have to assist in that, I will always take.”
Photo: Taylor Gooding '22 offers tips as a first-year teacher. She currently teaches at Saluda Elementary in Saluda, S.C.