Danielle Bratton, senior education major, said her choice to attend Waynesburg University was one of her greatest decisions and one that has prepared her as a leader.
“I managed to maintain A’s and graduate with a 3.99 GPA. I grew academically, professionally, socially and spiritually in my time at Waynesburg,” Bratton said. “I worked alongside classmates, professors and teachers to fine-tune my leadership skills so I can kick start my career.”
As a sophomore, Bratton was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Educators. In the spring of her junior year, Bratton was voted in as the president of KDP.
“I attended and planned events such as Reading Days with public schools, where we planned lessons and taught students in small groups,” Bratton explained.
Bratton was also actively involved in field experiences in preschools, public schools and after-school tutoring programs. This involvement is a part of her education that she says she deeply appreciates.
“My favorite aspect of the Education Department is that they put students in the field in the first semester,” she said. “While it was intimidating to be in a classroom already as a freshman, it really helped to shape me as a teacher and build my confidence from the start.”
Bratton said every professor has affected her in positive ways; however, Instructor of Education Yvonne Weaver and Associate Instructor of Education Julia Bausman influenced her most.
“Both of these women have done so much for me over the past few years,” Bratton said.
“My favorite aspect of the Education Department is that they put students in the field in the first semester...it really helped to shape me as a teacher and build my confidence from the start.”
Bratton said Weaver was the reason she decided to attend Waynesburg. After meeting her on a visit, she knew the Education Department was for her. Dr. Bausman has been her professor and advisor.
“Danielle is an exceptional student,” Bausman said. “It was exciting to watch her as a professional in her student teaching setting.”
Bratton echoes the importance of this professional relationship to her as well.
“I’ve learned to count on and trust her [Bausman] as I begin to navigate through education as a teacher, instead of a student,” Bratton said.
Bausman said Bratton’s leadership and dedication are characteristics she will miss the most.
“I will miss Danielle’s leadership in our department,” Bausman said. “She was a true leader and took her responsibilities seriously. She was reliable and dependable, and other students looked up to her for support and assistance when needed.”
Some of Bratton’s favorite memories include attending Upper Room and chapel services, hanging out in Johnson Commons, hammocking and spending time with friends.
“Having the [physical] year cut short [due to COVID-19] was devastating and took away my chance to say goodbye to my students, colleagues, professors and friends,” she said. “But, … I’ve used this opportunity to earn certificates and complete professional development to further prepare myself for entering the education field.”
Although the end of the semester has not been what was expected, it is allowing many seniors to rise to the challenge.
“I have no doubt that Danielle will excel as a teacher,” Bausman said.
This article originally appeared in Waynesburg University's student newspaper, "The Yellow Jacket."