Emma Boyle (’09), history department chair at Saint John Paul the Great High School, Christine Nussio (’12), history teacher at Oakcrest School, and Kelly Lawyer (’13), Latin teacher at Oak Hill Christian School, were the featured speakers for the latest “Life on Tap,” organized by the career and leadership development office and held in St. Kilian’s Café on September 22.
Over fifty students, faculty, and staff turned out to hear these talented alumni discuss how a Christendom education, with its multi-disciplines and strong emphasis on learning and sharing the truth, provides students with a good background for a career as a teacher and educator.
Boyle earned her B.A. in history, with an English minor, during her time at Christendom. She began her talk by relating how her education at Christendom gave her the good habits of study and inquiry, which have served her well as a high school history teacher, and department chair, later in her career.
“If I don’t have an answer for my students, I know where to go, thanks to my Christendom education,” said Boyle. “Having a liberal arts education and being proficient in multiple disciplines has been invaluable to me as a teacher. Christendom taught me how to integrate different disciplines, such as history and English, serving as a natural springboard for me to think about what education is and what education has become for society today.”
Nussio graduated from Christendom with a bachelor’s in history and a minor in theology, sustaining a 3.9 GPA along the way. She now works at Oakcrest School in McLean, Va., a Catholic girls preparatory high school.
She gave some insights into why she entered the field of teaching, explaining that the professors at Christendom deeply affected her, and she wanted to have the same effect on others. She said that in her experience with Christendom professors, she found individuals who were eager to impart the truth to their students so that they could make it their own. Nussio knew that she wanted to do this for someone else as a result.
“If you care about character development, that’s why you should go into teaching. The reason I love being a teacher is because I love to see the impact education has on my students — the same impact I received from my Christendom education,” she said.
Lawyer focused her talk on her experiences attending graduate school at the University of Kentucky, and the benefits of beginning her career as a teacher’s assistant. After double majoring in history and classics, she earned her Master’s in classics and a certification in spoken Latin from the Latin Institute in Kentucky.
Lawyer pointed out that there are various ways for Christendom students to pursue a career in teaching and education. While Boyle and Nussio graduated Christendom and went immediately into teaching, Lawyer decided to pursue graduate school before going on to her teaching career — both valid decisions for students interested in becoming educators, according to Lawyer.
She advised that Christendom students should start researching both choices now, while they are still at school, so that they might be better equipped to make the right decision upon graduation. Furthermore, she advised those interested in graduate school to start taking advantage of the programs Christendom has created for that purpose.
“To attend grad school, you have to take the GRE, which is very expensive. Christendom now has a great program to help you with this, saving you both the time and the expense in the long run. Take advantage of it, and take advantage of the wonderful professors here who have always been willing to help students in their considerations of careers and further education,” said Lawyer.
The “Life on Tap” series is a bi-monthly event organized by the college’s career and leadership development office, featuring noted alumni speaking on topics such as journalism, web development, and non-profit business. To find out more, or see videos from past “Life on Tap” events, please visit here.