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Catherine "Katy" Synan
Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
Program of study: Magis Catholic Teacher Corps, MS Educational Administration
Why did you choose Creighton? I attended Creighton for my undergraduate studies, and I received my undergraduate degree in elementary education. During my time at Creighton, I loved how all of the members of the Creighton community truly cared about my progress and success in school. At the same time, I was also able to grow in my faith and learn how to share my faith with my students. When I was applying for graduate school, I knew that Creighton would continue to support me and help me grow both academically and spiritually.
What made you decide to pursue education in this program? I have known for a long time that I wanted to pursue a career in education. Through my undergraduate coursework, I had the privilege of completing practicums at various schools in the Omaha area. These experiences helped me become aware of my vocation as a Catholic school teacher. When I first came to Creighton, my freshman seminar advisor told me about the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps at Creighton. Magis is a two or three year graduate program in which you receive your Masters degree while teaching at a Catholic school. I knew that this was the perfect fit for me. When I applied for the fourth grade teaching position at St. Joan of Arc School, I immediately felt like a member of the community. I knew this was where God was calling me to teach.
What are your interests outside of graduate school? I enjoy running, reading, and traveling with my family. I ran competitively in both cross country and track in high school, and running continues to be a passion of mine. As a teacher, I love reading to my students and sharing some of my favorite books with them. This past summer, I went on a vacation to Florida with my family. It was great to spend time with my mom, dad, brother, and sister.
What experiences at Creighton have best prepared you for life after Creighton? One of the unique parts of Magis is that you live in a community with other teachers. This year, I live with seven other teachers who are also in Magis. This has been a true blessing, because we have been able to support each other and help each other grow as teachers. I have made some great friends through Magis, and it has been wonderful to have friends to go to for advice and suggestions.
What is your most memorable experience at Creighton? My most memorable experience at Creighton was our commissioning ceremony this past July. It was amazing to think that I was going to start my final year in graduate school. At the commissioning ceremony, we came together with family, friends, and other supporters of Catholic education to celebrate our vocation as teachers. I have also shared some great experiences with my roommates, and I am so glad to have them in my life. Their support, advice, and friendship have been amazing.
What is one thing that you have accomplished that makes you proud? As a third year teacher, I have learned a lot from my friends and coworkers about what makes a good teacher. I have learned how to get kids excited about learning, and I have been able to help students grow in their relationship with God. This year, one of my roommates, who also teaches at St. Joan of Arc, is working with me to start a student council at our school. We are very excited to start this program at St. Joan of Arc, and we are all very proud of the progress we have been making this school year.
What have you most enjoyed about your experience at Creighton? I have enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and the smaller class sizes. The professors know all of us very well, and they have a real desire to help us succeed. The directors of the Magis program have done an excellent job of providing me with feedback to help me become a more effective teacher.
Are you involved in any community service activities? The student council at our school is going to have a "food fight" with other Catholic schools in the west deanery. The school that collects the most food per student in pounds will win. This should be a very exciting contest!
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