Superintendent Shepherd proudly announces Brandi Slone, primary teacher at Duff-Allen Central Elementary, as an Ambassador for Education for GoTeachKY, an initiative from the Kentucky Department of Education whose mission is to rectify the teacher shortage in the Commonwealth.
Superintendent Shepherd comments, “Congratulations Brandi Slone on being selected one of 22 Ambassadors for GoTeachKY! I am excited to see one of our rising stars pursue additional responsibilities all because she loves teaching. Brandi did not begin her career pathway with teaching as her goal, but it is clear that she is a natural.” Commenting on the teacher shortage, Shepherd says, “We believe there are more like Brandi out there; more people who did not set out to become teachers but who should have chosen our field. Our children deserve the best teachers, like Brandi.”
As an Ambassador, Brandi will encourage others to pursue becoming a teacher, help them understand the different certification routes for aspiring educators, and work with any groups in our district that may lead students on an education pathway. When asked why she was interested in this role, Brandi says, “I would love to change the narrative around teaching, to inspire students to pursue this profession, and to network with other educators in the state on how they train and support their new teachers.”
Brandi says that teaching has changed her. She comments, “Teaching has made me a more confident person. Before teaching, I would have never been able to get in front of a room and speak. It has caused me to develop an even stronger sense of pride in my work and I’ve become more diligent because of teaching. Becoming a teacher after being a student most of your life is like peeking behind the curtain. It completely changed how I see the teachers and coaches I had. It makes me see myself as a child differently too.”
When asked about her original career plans, Brandi says she was never really sure of what she wanted to pursue although she was encouraged to go into healthcare. Her original plan led her to obtaining a degree in Kinesiology with thoughts of pursuing becoming a physical therapist. Thankfully, that plan did not work out so Brandi began to pursue education. It was not something she had considered before due to the attitude about teaching she had experienced. In fact , when she decided to go into teaching, she didn't have much support. Brandi went in blindly relying on her only experience of substitute teaching for one day.
While many in the field of education do, Brandi did not have family members who were educators. Her path was not traditional, nor by design. Brandi believes that had the attitude around her about teaching been different, this career possibly would have been something she would have considered sooner and that is why she wanted to be an ambassador. Fortunately, once she began teaching in her own classroom, Brandi had a skilled principal and mentors. Brandi says, “In our area there are probably amazing potential educators that are being encouraged to not pursue a career in education. I never felt passionate about a degree or major in college and I think it was because society had limited my idea of success and what careers are "best". I was told not to go into teaching and it was discouraged to me in every way possible. Those people were wrong.” Brandi concludes saying, “Teaching has given me an artistry, a craft. It brings me joy to develop that artistry and I take pride in what I can accomplish in my classroom. I've never had a sense of pride or passion from any job like I have with teaching.”