Welcome to the second “spotlight” blog post featuring one of the student leaders of SEA & KDP at Governors State University!
This week, our spotlight leader is:
KDP President and SEA Vice-President
Michelle Westergaard is a 27 year old Senior student in the Elementary Education program with a specialization in Mathematics at Governors State University. She aspires to teach 1st grade students when she graduates in May 2019.
In May 2018, Michelle was given the opportunity to study abroad for the first time in Slovenia. She considers this unforgettable experience to be her favorite GSU memory thus far. Throughout her trip, she was exposed to the rich history and beauty of Europe which has inspired her to travel more in the future. She believes that everyone should experience Europe at least once in their lifetime.
Some of Michelle’s biggest accomplishments at GSU is managing her challenging coursework as well as fulfilling her leadership responsibilities as the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) president and Student Education Association (SEA) vice-president. Just recently, Michelle helped coordinate the KDP Initiation Ceremony on October 10, 2018. Although this event caused additional work and pressure, she is proud of how everything turned out and will never regret her involvement with this event as the KDP chapter president.
In her personal life, Michelle enjoys spending any free time she has with her two nephews and niece. She takes pride in being their aunt and feels blessed to be active in their childhood. In addition, Michelle frequently travels with her family. Every year, they take a vacation together. This summer, she’ll probably be cruising down a lake on a pontoon boat with her two sisters, two brothers-in-law, boyfriend, and parents.
If she had to choose one thing in her life she couldn’t live without, Michelle would say her family. She considers them to be an amazing support system. They’ve incited her to pursue her elementary education degree and she’s very grateful for their everlasting love and care. Certainly, Michelle’s hero is her father who has always encouraged her to follow her dreams and shares how proud he is of her every step of the way. He is one of the most patient, kind, and empathetic person she’s ever met.
While at home, you might catch her and her boyfriend watching a football game featuring their favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, on their couch with a bowl of chili or her favorite food, Macaroni & Cheese. If there’s no game playing, Michelle may watch her favorite movie, Dirty Dancing, or re-runs of her favorite TV show, Friends.
When she’s not at school or at home, Michelle works part-time at her older sister’s wheelchair accessible van business where she delivers vehicles to customers, most often to the Chicago-land airports. As she’s preparing to be an elementary school teacher, Michelle couldn’t see herself teaching high school students. She believes that her personality and skills are much better suited for 6 or 7 year old students. Moreover, high school students are giants. Their height, alone, is intimidating! 🙂
Michelle’s favorite quote is a prayer – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Furthermore, as December approaches, Michelle can’t wait for the Christmas season. She longs for the fresh smell of pine, cinnamon, and fresh baked cookies.
Since Michelle loves water sports, she would jump at the chance to go parasailing one day. Undoubtedly, the movie title that best describes her life would probably be It’s a Wonderful Life because she always tries to be optimistic of the future and is genuinely grateful of every opportunity she has been given and every person in her life.
In the next few months, Michelle looks forward to student teaching. She can’t wait to spend every day in a first grade classroom where she hopes to eventually work in one day. In the next 10 years, Michelle envisions that she’ll be a full-time elementary school teacher, get married, and have children of her own! Down the road, she wants to be remembered by the people she meets as a passionate individual who puts a lot of time and thought towards the people and things she loves.
If you have any questions to ask Michelle or would simply like to share your thoughts, please use the comment section below. Thank you!
Information Provided by Michelle Westergaard
Spotlight Post Written by Sireen Hamarshah