“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is something we’re asked almost as soon as we start school.

Logan (Wesseldyk) Linton always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. She made the decision at the age of five, mostly because “teacher” was one of the only professions she knew at such a young age. However, that simple desire to teach turned into a burning passion as she matured.

Now, Logan is a senior at Cornerstone University and an elementary education major with an integrated science, mathematics and planned minor.

When it came time for her to choose her college, she knew without a shadow of a doubt that it had to be Cornerstone. For Logan and her family, Cornerstone is what you might call a legacy school. Her older brothers and their wives all came through Cornerstone, so she knew where she wanted to be.

However, the fact that Cornerstone was a legacy school for her family was not the only reason she decided to attend here. Logan attributes part of her decision to the school’s reputation when it came to the teacher education program.

“I knew it was a well-structured program because it encompasses not only the content focus but also field experience [in teaching]. Because of that, you’re able to be immersed in the education field,” said Logan.

Teacher Education Division Chair Dr. Laurie Burgess also understands and appreciates the impact of the teacher education program on its students and those they go on to teach.

“Our program is committed to preparing highly qualified teachers with the knowledge, skills and Christian character to be servant leaders who influence their world for Christ,” said Dr. Burgess. “In the State of Michigan, Cornerstone students ranked 5th on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, which is evidence that our students are highly prepared to teach in their subject areas.”

Even though school hasn’t always come easily to Logan, she worked hard and persevered in both high school and college. It ultimately paid off. Cornerstone has provided Logan with an abundance of opportunities through both the Kent Intermediate School District (ISD) and the Leaders of Tomorrow Cohort.

The Kent ISD has given Logan access to tons of resources to better improve her teaching abilities, and since being selected for the Leaders of Tomorrow Cohort, she has been able to network with top students from programs all over Kent County, as well as share new ideas, studies and findings.

“This cohort has really allowed me to network with other student teachers and other teachers around the area, as well as get in touch with the Kent ISD, which is a great resource,” Logan said. “You want to fully use the Kent ISD and their tools and resources when you become a teacher. Because the Kent ISD is pouring so much into college students, it hopes to one day give them the opportunity to work in the district.”

Illuminated by her experiences with CU and the Kent ISD, Logan is excited for the future ahead of her, and hopes to offer helpful advice to incoming freshman:

“The best piece of advice I could give is to not let the little things get you down, but to keep pushing forward, keeping that overall goal in sight. The education program is hard—I’m not going to sugarcoat it. But if you can push through all the assignments and lesson plans to focus on becoming the best teacher you can be, it’s worth it.”

If you persevere and work hard, then you too can take advantage of opportunities like those Logan has had through CU’s Teacher Education Division. As Logan moves into her future as an educator and gets married (to the handsome writer of this article might I add), she knows that she will continue to hone and love the talents God has gifted her with!

If you’re interested in following in Logan’s footsteps, why not schedule a visit to meet some of the teacher education staff?