Wyoming Education Association

Summer 2021

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1390700

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24 Currently a student at Northwest College in Powell, Sariah Hendershot plans to teach secondary art. "I decided to go into the education field for a few reasons," Hendershot told WEA News, "for one, I have had a lot of teachers leave an impact on my life over the years. Many have been encouraging of my interests and activities outside of the classroom as well as always pushing for me to improve. This led to a good relationship with many teachers that continues today. This is the type of relationship that I want to offer to my future students." A recent survey of WEA members revealed that one in five new educators in Wyoming is actively considering leaving the profession because of budgetary shortfalls and a negative overall political climate in the state. Sariah shared that while she remains committed to becoming an educator, she does have concerns. "The climate has not changed my mind about going into education," she said, "but it does make me concerned about job opportunities." Already feeling the pressure of a financial squeeze, Wyoming's community colleges have been rocked by reduction-in-force measures—some even being forced to discontinue entire program offerings. Education advocates point out that sub- par educational offerings at the college level will force Wyoming's next generation to seek better opportunities out-of-state, taking their ambition and their future spending power with them. "If a community college was not near me, I probably would have moved to a university out of state that offers the same programs I am studying," said Sariah. "If NWC did not have the education or art program, I feel it would have impacted my education because I would probably not have attended their school—or I would have only taken my general courses there before moving on." Evaluating Future Opportunities in Education: Meet One of WEA's Newest Aspiring Educator Members Did you know? Aspiring Educator (AE) members receive ... • Select NEA member benefits • Access to a professional growth community • Access to an NEA conference for AE's • Liability insurance • Discount on first year of active, certified membership Sariah signing up for WEA membership. April 2021.

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