William Woods Education Students Learn from Pros

Ed. Event

William Woods University undergraduate education students had an opportunity to meet with future colleagues at the Reciprocal Learning event, organized by Dr. Roger Wen, associate professor of education and business.


“I really enjoyed it,” said Brady Farrington, a senior from, Richland, Wash, who was one of 61 students who participated. “It was good to go and meet people and listen to their advice.”


School administrators from numerous central Missouri school districts agreed to meet with students and help prepare them for their first years in the education world. They included principals Amy James of Auxvasse, Rhonda Jackson of Columbia; Ryan Neal of Eldon; Kevin Kiley of Jefferson City; Tracy Bottoms (who will be the new superintendent in the Keytesville R-III School District), Kelly Briscoe and Aaron Vitt of Moberly and Kelly Sobaski of Sedalia.


Superintendents represented were Gabe Edgar of Marceline; Mark Penny of Moberly; Richard Hockersmith, formerly of Salem, and Todd Wilhite of Salisbury. Others who participated were Leslie Trogdon, director of school improvement for Columbia Public Schools; Julie Dill, director of special education in Sedalia, and Cristina Heet, a master teacher from Hallsville.


“I’m definitely glad I went,” said Jackie Neuner, a junior from Jefferson City, Mo. “My group was given multiple helpful interview tips that will really help.”


During the program, students discussed educational jargon, interview tips, current strategies and issues heavily impacting the education field today.


“I thought the reciprocal learning opportunity was a great way to find out what we, as future educators, need to do to prepare ourselves to adequately get a job,” said Paige Baysinger, a freshman from Fulton.


“The interview tips were very helpful. It was an excellent opportunity. All education majors or anyone considering education as a major should go to the event if it is held again. You may not get another chance to ask the administrators that could be employing you one day the questions that you always wanted to ask them.”


“I thought it was very helpful,” said Stormey Hug, a freshman from Portland, Mo. “Getting to listen to the different teachers and principals say what they would like to see during an interview was especially helpful.”


Before the event started, students had the opportunity to meet with various superintendents and principals to inquire about their school district, their education experience and much more.


“I thought it was very helpful and interesting to meet people who have already secured the jobs we are pursuing,” said Taylor Clark, a sophomore from Fulton, Mo.


Wen hopes to make the program an annual event.

Ed Event 


William Woods University education students listen to school administrators (left to right ) Mark Penny, of Moberly, Rhonda Jackson of Columbia, Kelly Sobaski of Sedalia, Kevin Kiley of Jefferson City and George Vitt of Moberly.


School administrators (left to right ) Leslie Trogdon of Columbia, Todd Willhite of Salisbury, Gabe Edgar of Marceline, Ryan Neal of Eldon, Kelly Briscoe of Moberly and Tracy Bottoms of Moberly speak to a group of William Woods University education students.