Bethany Fralish takes lessons learned at NWF State College with her on path to become teacher

Bethany Fralish has known all her life she wanted to be a teacher. There was that one brief moment in time when she considered veterinary medicine until she realized she would most likely have to perform surgery, but being an educator has pretty much been "it" since the beginning. "I can remember teaching my classroom of dolls and stuffed animals when I was a child. It's just something I've always wanted to do."

Grad_BethanyFralishThe vivacious, very active, very involved 20-year-old will graduate from NWF State College with her Associate of Arts degree before making the move to the University in Central Florida this fall. Once in Orlando, she will begin the journey toward completing her degree and becoming the classroom teacher she's always known she would be. At the end of the road with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics, she should be set to teach the 2nd or 3rd graders that have her heart. To hone her skills and observe classroom teachers in action, Bethany currently works several hours a week at Bluewater Elementary School in Niceville.

While at NWF State College, the Niceville native and graduate of Niceville High School has been active in the Student Government Association, serving as secretary; she's been a RaiderRep student ambassador; and she has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as well as the Pre-Professional Educators Association. Bethany was also selected for the All-Florida Academic Team and is listed in Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges. She definitely doesn't let grass grow under her feet.

Bethany is quick to praise NWF State College. She also lauds several instructors who have impacted her college life and whom she admires. "Dr. Jon Bryan (Chair, Natural Sciences) taught me so much. Our class went on field trips and I had never really done that before. I just really appreciated the outside-of-the-classroom experiences he gave his students. I also enjoyed Ronnie Stanley (Professor, Speech), who has been such a good mentor and professional role model, and Ms. Donna Pierson (Assistant Professor, American Sign Language), who pushed me with a 'you-can-do-this' attitude. I will always remember each of these instructors and take their life lessons with me."

Bethany admits she loves being busy, being around people and being right in the midst of the action. "Given the choice of being alone or with other people, I'll take being with people every time. Whether it's with my family and/or my friends, I'm happiest when I'm with others, keeping busy and being active. But I also like to bake, love nail art design and really like Netflix."

Bethany's next stop is Orlando and UCF after which she would like to return to Niceville and teach in the Okaloosa County School District. "I love that Niceville is a small town with lots of advantages. I want to live here, have a family here and serve other students here. This is a great place to live," she says.

When she receives her bachelor's and moves her mortarboard tassel to the other side, after her car is packed and when she turns toward the northwest, Bethany, with her sights on the classroom, will move beyond teaching her dolls and stuffed animals and will finally walk into the classroom she has dreamed of her entire life!

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