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Ronni, a graduate of Cocalico Senior High School, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Geneva College. She currently works at a hybrid school called Pathways located at Brubaker Park and Red Run Mennonite Church, where she teaches third, fourth and fifth grade. Pathways operates as a hands-on school merged with a homeschool. Students typically attend school alternating three or four days a week and are schooled at home the remaining day or two, a set-up Ronni says allowed students to make the transition to complete school at home days relatively smoothly.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Ronni reports, “I have continued to be dedicated to my students’ education. I have tried to focus a portion of their educational experience this year to realizing and documenting the changes throughout this historic time. Each week the students are responsible for updating a journal about what is occurring. This includes their thoughts and how it is affecting their family. My goal is for the students to realize what they can learn through this time as well as record for future generations to read and hear about.”

She adds, “The students are also responsible for writing a letter each week to someone in quarantine. This may be a grandparent or a neighbor who is at high risk for contracting COVID 19. I want the students to understand that even though they are stuck at home, they still have a responsibility to offer encouragement to those around them. Some of my students have even started a weekly correspondence with a relative or neighbor through these letters.”

When asked how her education prepared her to serve at this historic time, she comments, “My education at Geneva College has helped prepare me for education in this time by highlighting the importance of community as well as using technology as a tool for your advantage. I have tried to balance the continuing education of my students with an emphasis on community help and service during this time. I also have tried to teach and encourage my kids on using technology as a tool for learning. I have found various useful websites that help teach my kids the subjects we normally would cover in the classroom. I have also found ways to allow my students to interact without sharing the classroom. They are currently writing a class story together on Google Docs. Each student is responsible for adding a new segment to the story each week. By the end of the year, the students are hoping to have completed at least one full story as a class.”

Ronni continues, “Overall, it has been an interesting time to be in education. My goal is for my students to have a continued quality education with a renewed understanding of the importance of their involvement and help in the community at this time. My education from Geneva College with the help of LDHL has helped prepare me and reach my goal amidst this trying time for everyone.”

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