Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
The College of Education and Human Development faculty in Elementary Education have chosen
2021 Outstanding Student in Elementary Education – Yearlong Internship
Q & A with Outstanding Student in Elementary Education – Yearlong Internship, Kayla Bukovac:
What part of your Mason experience are you most proud of?
I am most proud of maintaining positivity through my yearlong Internship during a global pandemic. This was a novel year and every week there was a new challenge. At times it felt like I was treading water, but I quickly learned that everything will always get done. Prioritizing myself was not always easy, but I’m proud of my ability to find ways to relax and persist.
What are your future plans, goals, and dreams?
My immediate plan is to continue to teach elementary school in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). I will strive to constantly grow my professional skills and improve upon my teaching philosophy. A dream of mine is to become more involved in education policy. I want to join the work toward building a better American Education System by focusing on inequities in our schools. I believe any effort towards addressing opportunity and achievement gaps in our schools can only project us all toward a more successful tomorrow.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the College of Education and Human Development?
My favorite memories in CEHD are the relationships I’ve made! Though our time together in person was short, our transition to virtual learning didn’t hinder our ability to support each other through academics and everything else!
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students?
Take it one day at a time and collaborate. There are so many things I’ve learned through my entire experience at Mason, but the one that shines, especially now, is asking for help when you need it. You are not supposed to have all the answers and you never will. Remember all you can do is your absolute best. When you make relationships and communicate your needs, questions, or ideas to others, your best (and theirs) will always be enough! A bonus piece of advice would be laugh a lot, remember you are never alone, and hydrate!!
Would you like to give any shout-outs to those who supported you along the way?
I could never give enough thanks to those who supported me and continue to support me through all I do. My mom, dad, and brother, Matthew, continuously give everything they can in time, advice, and of course, laughs! Thank you to my friends who are always there when I need a change of perspective and a pick-me up. Finally, thank you to Drs. Audra Parker, Amanda Bean, Lois Groth, and all the faculty in the CEHD. In this, I’d like to thank my remarkable mentor teacher, Marcia Paulson at Hunters Woods Elementary as well as Jill Moore, our GMU intern liaison at Hunters Woods. All of you have inspired and guided my professional development. I couldn’t have a more impressive team of role models in my corner!