Students receive scholarships for educational excellence

Contributed photos Makenzy Ballinger, left, and Julia Poorman are recipients of Goddard Education Association scholarships.

Two seniors in the Goddard School District earned $500 scholarships from the Goddard Education Association. Both candidates demonstrated a commitment to learning, excellence in education, and an interest in leadership. The winners were Makenzy Ballinger of Eisenhower High School and Julia Poorman of Goddard High School. Applicants submitted essays about their interest in a profession in education.
Ballinger was involved with various activities and clubs such as thespians, drama club, Outloud, spirit club and GSA, and served as a Tiger Ambassador, all while accumulating a 4.0 GPA.
In addition, Ballinger showed promise through her excellence in the teaching pathway in which she completed teaching observation and internship in Audrey Kirkman’s fourth grade classroom at Apollo Elementary School.
“She loved working in the classroom, and especially loved her students,” said Kirkman.
Her commitment to improving the lives of children transcends the school walls as she has become an integral part of Ruby’s Gymnastics Program at the Northwest YMCA. Starting out as a volunteer, she quickly worked her way up to an instructor and finally a lead instructor, where she has been instrumental in developing innovative drills and stations for her classes, as well as growing the boys’ gymnastics program by nearly three times.
“Every kid deserves to have someone they can trust and learn from, and I want to be that person,” Ballinger said.
Throughout high school, Poorman was involved in National Honor Society, prom committee, student council, ambassadors and FCCLA, all while accumulating a 3.765 GPA. In addition, she showed promise through her excellence in the teaching pathway, in which she has completed teaching as a career, teaching observation, and teaching internship 1, 2, 3.
Poorman’s cooperating teachers highlighted her willingness to go above and beyond to help within the classroom as well as her ability to positively interact with the students.
Poorman has become an important part of the daycare in which she works where she is able to utilize her unique teaching skills and has created a special bond with each child who attends.
“I am dedicated to developing a creative, collaborative, and welcoming environment for any and all kids. My goal is not to just teach children, but to remind them that they are loved and welcomed no matter what walk of life they may come from,” said Poorman.
GEA recognizes the importance of supporting students who aspire to be educators, which is the foundation for the Goddard Education Association Scholarship for Educational Excellence. Those who receive this scholarship are committed to enriching the lives of our future generations, and they show promise as aspiring educators through their work and commitment both in, and out of, school.