Waleska Ga. – Reinhardt University Price School of Education graduate student Karen Garland has been named as a David Watts Scholar by the Southern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE). The award is named in honor of David Watts, an educator at both the public school and college level. It recognizes a scholar and outstanding educator whose performance merits special recognition. It carries a monetary stipend and a certificate.
“I am extremely honored to receive this most prestigious award,” said Garland, who is working towards her master of arts in teaching at the University. “What I find beautiful about David Watts and his gift to humanity was that he was described as a ‘real’ teacher, as detailed in the Velveteen Rabbit. Mr. Watts must have been a truly amazing person, and I will do my best to uphold his legacy. As was true with him, education is my passion. Sometimes we are blessed to know what our purpose is in this world and I feel a strongly that my path is to teach.”
When she was asked as a young child, “what do you want to be when you grow?” Garland’s response was always the same—a teacher. However, for various reasons, she chose a different path after high school, receiving a bachelor of science in biology. Her childhood dream was indirectly always a part of her, as she has been an environmental educator for the past 16 years.
It was because of her commitment and passion to education that she made the decision to pursue a MAT at Reinhardt, with the desire to fulfill her childhood dream of teaching students on a daily basis.
“I am very excited with this new chapter in my life with the possibility to teach in a formal classroom, as I guide my students and myself into the wonderful world of learning,” Garland said. “My greatest goal is to empower students to believe in their own value, stimulating their interest to question, and providing the tools to discover answers. I want to inspire them to love learning as much as I do, and establish the skills to achieve health, respect, prosperity, and happiness.”
Garland’s work was recognized at the annual SRATE conference during an awards luncheon in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 28, 2011. She also presented during a conference session.
“I believe that education can be an effective tool in securing change and achieving a more just and sustainable society,” she explained. “However, I realize that education cannot do it single-handedly; it takes all of us working together to achieve this goal.”
Garland’s expected graduation date is May 2012. She resides in Canton, Ga.
Return to Previous Page