I am Stephanie Gillogly. I have been living in Fairbanks since 2014. I retired from the Army in 2016. Over 15 years ago, while still serving in the Army, I decided that I wanted to teach after my time in the Army. That time end up being much longer than I initially planned due to September 11th. Over the years, my desire to teach and continue to serve my community grew. I started my studies in education while still in the Army.
Once I retired, I initially worked as a substitute teacher and English Language Learner Interpreter for Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for the AY 16-17 school year. During that time, I applied for the post-baccalaureate teaching licensure program with University of Alaska- Fairbanks. I was accepted and completed the program in May 2018 after a year of student-teaching. I was fortunate to be hired at Ladd early last summer.
This past school year (2018-2019) was my first year of teaching. I taught 3rd grade at Ladd Elementary School. I loved it and had a great year of learning and growing! Both of my daughters attend school at Ladd and I feel like we have another extension of our family there.
I see teaching as a profession where it is essential to build trust and positive relationships with students, families, colleagues, and administrators. This is achieved by consistent and positive communication geared to build transparency, understanding, and trust with families and the community. As educators, we must spend every day building relationships at all levels.
Teamwork and collaboration is essential to this process, for adults and students, because we are simply better at solving complex problems when we work together. I find great satisfaction in helping, empowering, and watching others succeed.
For me it is important that each of us grow, learn, adjust, adapt every day; teachers and students alike. Learning is not clean, it’s is a messy process of mistakes and triumphs. I model this for my students through my actions. I want my students to see that I, too, am still learning and growing my brain right alongside them. I want them to see how they can be teachers too.
To close, as a young lieutenant, when I was asked by my first battalion commander about what I liked best about being a platoon leader, I told him that I loved watching my soldiers succeed. Twenty years later, I feel the same way in the classroom. I celebrate the connections and ‘Aha” moments and relish the small moments where I truly connect with individual students. I see the opportunity to teach future leaders of our nation as an awesome responsibility and privilege.