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July 11, 2023

Gilpin looking forward to teaching career on foundation built at Northwest

Benefitting from the layered field experiences Northwest Missouri State University offers within its School of Education, Shanna Gilpin gained confidence in her abilities, flourished and now is embarking on her teaching career.

Gilpin graduated from Northwest in May, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree.

“I’m honestly super excited and super happy that I spent my time here,” she said.

Shanna Gilpin

Shanna Gilpin

A native of Fairfax, Missouri, Gilpin chose to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Northwest because of its proximity to her hometown. Her grandfather also is an alumnus of the University.

She enrolled at Northwest as a business major but soon realized it wasn’t a fit for her. Instead, academic advisors recommended she consider an education degree. Gilpin says she fell in love with the School of Education and finished her time at the University where she was supposed to be.

“It was great,” she said. “I had really great professors and a really great time.”

As a result of the profession-based learning opportunities in the School of Education and the relationships she built with faculty members, Gilpin secured a teaching position and will begin the 2023-24 school year as a 7-12 special education teacher with the South Nodaway R-IV School District.

Through the School of Education’s emphasis on practical experiences, Gilpin spent time at Horace Mann Laboratory School, which is located on the Northwest campus and enrolls children in grades kindergarten through sixth. Coupled with its innovative and interactive teaching practices, Horace Mann also serves as a valuable clinical teaching environment for Northwest students.

At Horace Mann, Gilpin practiced teaching math and science lessons to first and second-grade students, and she taught language arts to fifth and sixth-grade students.

“I loved being in Horace Mann,” Gilpin said. “That was super helpful. Also, going out to the local Maryville schools and being in their special education classrooms really gave me a feel for what the local community’s like.”

Those profession-based learning experiences in the School of Education also included a simulation involving Northwest students leading a series of meetings with role-playing faculty and professional educators to discuss individual education plans.

“I feel like that was one of the best experiences for me because it taught me how to run one of those meetings instead of just showing up to my first one and hoping to know how to run it,” Gilpin said. “Of course, I’ve watched videos of them or I’ve sat in on a few, but it’s completely different when you have to run the whole thing.”

Away from Northwest’s classrooms, Gilpin developed her knowledge and experiences by participating in a book club for education majors as well as Student Activities Council, which plans and administers activities to contribute to a more well-rounded social, recreational and cultural life for the Northwest campus and community.

Looking back on her undergraduate experience at Northwest, Gilpin says she is seeing the benefits of her hard work.

“I’m so happy to be here,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d make it in four years, but I made it.”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215