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Georgia Southern education senior named one of three PAGE teacher candidate scholarship recipients

NelSilva Wolf, secondary education major

Georgia Southern University senior and secondary education major NelSilva Wolf has been awarded one of three scholarships from the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). The scholarship is awarded annually to rising juniors or seniors pursuing their initial certification as a teacher in the state. 

“Ms. Wolf’s dedication to the profession is evident through her thoughtful engagement in course assignments as well as her involvement in both the university and local communities,” said Janel Smith, Ed.D., Georgia Southern senior lecturer for middle grades and secondary education. “She is willing to take on extra demands to prepare herself to be an effective educator for her future students.”

Wolf is service chair for Circle K International, an international collegiate organization that is a service leadership program of Kiwanis International, and organizes service opportunities across the state for collegiate members. She is also the current president of the Georgia Southern Circle K International.

Wolf can also be seen on the Statesboro Campus giving tours to potential students and their families as a member and training coordinator for the Office of Admissions’ Southern Ambassadors team. She has served as a SOAR leader and FYE peer leader, and most recently joined the Educators of Color student organization in the College of Education (COE).

“The younger me shied away from being involved,” said Wolf. “Now I have the volunteer bug, and I cannot stop myself. When I see an opportunity that I think I might like, I make time for it.”

In the first semester of her senior year, Wolf started this fall in a yearlong placement at Richmond Hill High School (RHHS), a Georgia Southern Professional Development School, in a ninth grade Algebra I classroom.

“I love math,” she said. “It is my favorite subject, and I wanted to teach something I love so that my students could see my passion for it.”

As a part of the University’s placement, RHHS math educator Eileen Hough serves as Wolf’s teacher mentor for a full school year, so that Wolf can experience a closer, proactive relationship with the school and its personnel as well as a more integrated student teaching experience for the teacher candidate in the school climate.

“I was worried that since I was not out in the field last year due to COVID that I would be at a disadvantage,” Wolf said. “But the yearlong placement puts me back on a level-playing field. Ms. Hough is awesome and brings 27 years of experience to the classroom. Before I started, I was terrified, but just a month or so into interacting with the students and receiving mentorship and advice from Mrs. Hough is lessinging my worries. It has already been a very positive experience.”

Wolf received the PAGE John Robert & Barbara Moore Lindsey Scholarship this fall, which provided her with $1,000 to assist in college expenses during her final year in the education program.

“This scholarship provided me with financial relief,” she said. “With all that I am involved in, I wanted to make sure that I could focus on balancing everything without having to worry about paying for this semester.”

For Wolf, May 2022 cannot get here soon enough, as she will get to do what she has always wanted to do since she was a child — help others.

“I had plenty of career ideas when I was younger because I am the type of person who wants to help people,” she said. “Once I tried tutoring, I realized teaching was the path for me. It is rewarding. I want to teach because it makes me feel good to help the students.”

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