Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.— Brittney Harrison of Meridian is the Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Education. An elementary education major, Riley Scholar and highest honor graduate (summa cum laude), Harrison is also a Stephen D. Lee Scholar earning a 4.0 grade-point average throughout her college career. She will be recognized at commencement ceremonies to be held Monday, May 3 at 11 a.m. at the MSU Riley Center.
Harrison originally wanted to be a pastry chef when she began taking classes at Meridian Community College but had second thoughts and decided teaching was the right career for her.
“It’s funny but one of the main reasons I didn’t want to go into education field was I didn’t like getting up in front of people,” she laughed, “but I realized how much I liked teaching my younger cousins, working with kids in Vacation Bible School and the Boys and Girls Club, and thought I’d give it a try.”
More confident in her skills and abilities after three semesters at State, Harrison began her final semester as a student intern at Southeast Lauderdale Elementary school.
“I loved my internship and especially my mentor teacher, Lisa Greer, whom I’ve known since I was a little girl,” she noted. “She has such great behavior management strategies that her second grade students were often able to self-regulate themselves, which was amazing! They were also so eager to learn, especially since at the beginning of the pandemic they had to be home a lot and couldn’t be at school.”
When Harrison first stepped into the classroom, the lessons plans and activities she developed had to be designed around social distancing regulations in place at each school.
“As the semester progressed and the guidelines have lifted somewhat, I’ve been able to incorporate more group work and hands-on manipulatives, like a math scavenger hunt, I did weeks ago,” she said. “The kids loved it!”
Once graduation is behind her Harrison will begin setting up her own classroom at Southeast Elementary and finalize plans for her fall wedding.
“I have so much to be thankful for and excited about happening in my life over the next several months,” she noted, “a new teaching job, my wedding, and if that wasn’t enough, I also have plans to pursue graduate school sometime in the next year as well. I will be busy for sure – but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”