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Shelby Grandt
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Shelby Grandt

Graduation year: 2018

Major: Elementary education

Activities: Varsity softball

Internship: Student teacher (first grade) at Hamilton Elementary, Moline, Ill.

Post-grad plans: Teach first grade at Woodglen Elementary School in Denver, Colo.

Why Augustana?

I feel comfortable here. I first visited in January of 2014, and as soon as I got on the plane to fly back home, I knew where I was going to spend the next four years of my life. I remember being blown away by the look of the campus and the friendliness of everyone; Augie immediately felt like my home away from home.  

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I am definitely not where I thought I would be; the growth I have made personally and academically has definitely surprised me. I could not be happier with where my life is headed, and I owe it to everyone I met along the way and all the things Augie has to offer.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My family has always been a phone call away and have supported me through the entirety of my college experience. My mom made coming to Augustana possible and has helped and guided me every step of the way. I will forever be in debt to her because of everything she has done, and I am so grateful to have a mom as amazing as her.

Other than my family, there are no words to describe the endless support the education department has provided me. I have never met such an amazing group of people who devote so much time and energy to their students and take pride in what they do. The professors have shaped me into the teacher I am today and have provided me with every single tool I need to be successful. They taught me how much of an impact teachers can have on their students and why being a passionate educator is so important.

I will never forget the experiences I have had in this outstanding program nor will I forget how the professors made me feel and all the amazing things they have done for me.

Peak experience?

A peak experience was student teaching. I was in a first-grade classroom at Hamilton Elementary and loved every minute of it. My cooperating teacher helped and guided me through every lesson I taught, answered every question I had, and was the epitome of a mentor teacher. I learned and grew more than I thought possible. I discovered so much about myself and my teaching habits.  

What surprised you?

Augie has challenged me mentally and academically, and I believe I have lived up to every one of those challenges. When looking back and thinking about all the work I have put in and completed successfully, I almost don’t believe it. Augie has taught me I am capable of far more than I think I am.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice money to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, with the softball team. While there, we put on two softball camps, played two games, went on a safari, visited Robben Island, explored Simon’s Town, and hiked Table Mountain (one of the New 7 Wonders of the World). It was the experience of a lifetime and a trip I will never forget.

What will you miss the most?

What I am going to miss most are the people I have met along the way. I became very close with the education professors and Class of 2018 education students and am going to miss seeing and talking with them every day. We started as sophomores in EDUC-300 knowing very little about being educators and now we are applying for jobs and planning to move away from the Quad Cities. They became my second family, and I am lucky to have had each one of them by my side while taking on the challenges of the education program.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Take advantage of all the resources Augie has to offer. Not many people can say they are ready to graduate and move to the next part of their life, but I can and I owe it to everyone I encountered during my four years.

“I was Shelby’s first-year advisor and was excited to continue as her advisor when she declared an elementary education major. I have worked with Shelby in advising sessions, classes and student teaching. The potential I saw in her initial enthusiasm has truly come to fruition. During student teaching, she demonstrated a calm, caring manner that invited her students to engage. She had a wonderful student teaching experience and this April accepted a teaching position starting this fall! Congratulations, Shelby. We all look forward to hearing from you in the years to come.”

– Dr. Randy Hengst, professor and director, elementary education