Noah and Shauna Holloway are education majors in the Teacher Apprentice Program at Wichita State.
They are parents of two who took classes while teaching full-time.They earned their degrees with help from family and by working with professors when life intervened.
They will graduate together on Sunday after a busy two years as students, teachers and parents.
Shauna and Noah are one of more than 1,100 students eligible for fall 2019 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grads.
What led you to WSU?
Noah: I was looking at joining the Transition to Teaching program and working at a boys ranch at the time. I worked there quite a bit in the classroom, and that’s what got me interested in education. When I came in to talk . . . they told me about the TAP program, which is K through 6th, which is what I was more interested in teaching than high school.
Shauna: He literally led me here. I was only here to be with him while he was talking with Dr. (Jim) Granada. While they were talking, (another WSU employee) came in and said, ‘Hey, come talk to me.’ I had already been a para for a long time and was interested in becoming a teacher. It definitely was exciting that I didn’t have to quit my job to go that traditional route.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
Shauna: Relieved. It’s been crazy and hectic. We have two kids at home, who are 10 and 7. For the last two-ish years, they have definitely lacked our attention. It’s nice to finally be able to give them the quality time they’ve wanted so much.
Noah: Definitely relieved. Being a teacher of record, still trying to go to school full time, being a family unit and finding the balance has been very difficult. It is nice to see an end to it. We’re looking forward to spending more time as a family.
What has been the key to juggling all your responsibilities?
Shauna: Family. They’ve definitely helped us out. There’s no way, at all, we could have both done this at the same time if we wouldn’t have had family to help.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at WSU?
Shauna: The hands-on experience we’ve gained through our program and also through a good handful of professors that have seen us through a lot of hardships and successes. They’ve been understanding.
Noah: There was a time we were doing foster care and we had six kids in the house. And doing school. And going to work. The (professors) were very patient with us. They were great at encouraging us throughout the whole program. They helped us, not only as students, but as individuals and educators.
What are your plans now workwise?
Noah: I’m at Valley Center Middle School as a science teacher. I plan on staying there, working and getting experience.
Shauna: I am a first-year 4th grade teacher in Wichita (at Anderson Elementary). I’m going to continue bettering my knowledge of education and grow and keep teaching.
What advice would you give other WSU students?
Shauna: Ask a lot of questions, even if they sound silly or mundane. I’ve had more understanding for asking questions. You’re less likely to drop out, due to frustration, if you keep asking questions. Also, don’t procrastinate.
Noah: They should not be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there wanting to help. Communication is also very key. Communication with your professors, communication with your advisors. Letting them know what’s going on in your life so they have a better picture who you are and what you deal with. They will help you succeed.