Keyle Hawk, a senior Early Childhood Education major, knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children, but she wasn’t always sure what direction to take. In high school, a mission trip to Guatemala afforded her the opportunity to teach English at an orphanage, which changed her perspective.
“I learned so much during the trip,” she said. “I had so much fun leading and teaching these children that I decided I wanted to take this passion and turn it into a career.”
Now, with one semester left in her undergraduate studies, Keyle sees herself obtaining a teaching position after graduation. She is also interested in providing individualized support to children and would love to eventually take on a leadership role in a school district.
During her time at Ohio University, Keyle has immersed herself in several teaching and leadership endeavors. As Vice President of the Students in Early Childhood Education Organization (SECO) on campus, she volunteers in the Athens City School District and fundraises on behalf of children in need.
Outside of Athens, Keyle has worked as a swim instructor, camp counselor, nanny, and elementary student tutor in her hometown of Hilliard, Ohio. She is avidly involved at her local church – she is entering her tenth year of teaching bible school, and she has been on mission trips to Jamaica and Sweden since her initial experience in Guatemala.
Still, Keyle considers her biggest accomplishment to be her acceptance into a teaching program at Ohio University because she will soon be able to take her passion for teaching into the world.
Keyle is grateful to have many mentors who have shaped her into the teacher she is today. Among them are her elementary school teachers at Scioto Darby Elementary, Heritage Middle School, Hillard Darby High school, and all of her professors in The Patton College of Education.
Dr. Courtney Koestler, associate professor and director for OHIO Equity in Mathematics and Science, said that Keyle “truly is a gem!”
“In my math methods class, Keyle consistently went above and beyond in her coursework,” said Koestler. “She was a strong student due to her dedication, work ethic, and disposition of inquiry.”
As she reflects on the past four years, Keyle says an important lesson she’s learned while in college is to “do what you love, and never take anything for granted.”
Another piece of advice Keyle has for incoming students is the importance of taking time to recharge between school and extracurricular activities.
“There will be days where you need to take time for yourself to do the things that you love and to give yourself a mental break,” she said. “Remember to have fun and make memories that will last a lifetime because before you know it, you will be graduating too!”
Keyle is going to miss the scenic aspects of Athens, like College Green, Court Street, and the cherry blossom trees near the Hocking River bike path. She has also enjoyed exploring “hidden gems” of Athens, like Beads & Things, Larry’s Dawg House, and Eclipse Company Store.
“However,” Keyle added, “my most favorite thing about our university is how it makes me feel like I am truly in another world, and I am sad to be leaving so soon!”