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Stars On and Off the Field

Senior Macie Sillman decided to become an elementary education major because she loves working with children and because she wishes to become a coach someday. She is currently in her last practicum, having completed 10 hours for each methods class, all the while teaching in the Waukee school district and the West Des Moines school district.

In addition to that, Sillman is an outfielder for Drake’s softball team.

“The best thing about my teaching experience is being able to see the glow on a children’s face when they finally get that one tough math problem or read a book that has been a struggle for them,” Sillman said. “Making a difference in a child’s life has got to be one of the greatest feelings ever.”

Sillman is not the only student athlete already making a difference off the field.

Senior track and field athlete Emily James is completing her practicum at Urbandale High School, teaching geography.

“I would say my experience has been interesting, but totally worth it,” James said. “It’s stressful, but I learn new things every day. My students teach me about being a teacher as much as I teach them about geography.”

James, a secondary education major, has to find a way to balance her school schedule, her practice schedule and her classes.

“I manage my time with a planner. I have to keep track of everything and I put reminders in my phone and write down nightly lists to accomplish. You name it. I do everything I can to stay organized,” James said.

The Office of Compliance and Academic Services at Drake work with students to make sure they remain academically eligible for athletic competition, and to make sure they are aware of the resources available on campus.

“We want to be mindful of their practicum hours. We want to work closely with the student athletes so they can plan ahead of time,” said associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator Megan Franklin. “It takes a lot of planning and time management skills. It takes a lot of organizational skills.”

Student athletes are well-aware that they might have to put in an extra effort to organize their schedules in order to make time for their teaching hours. But even if Sillman worries about finding time for practice, weightlifting and practicum hours, she can’t think of a better feeling when it’s all set and done.

“I would recommend the School of Education to people because it allows you to make an impact on the future of the students,” Sillman said. “I would think that having a group of 25 students look up to you for a whole year and see the progression over time would have to be the best feeling ever.”

The School of Education currently has undergraduate students participating in men’s cross country, men’s track and field, women’s cross country, women’s track and field, crew, softball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s golf and football.

Be sure to keep up with the following athletes who are currently in-season: Junior Brogan Austin (men’s cross country), first-year Cassandra Aerts (women’s cross country, sophomore Brianna Leinon and first-year Briana Varela (crew), junior Kiah Swanson and sophomore Victoria Flynn (women’s soccer), junior Hadley Jennings (women’s golf) and seniors Brandon Coleman and Anthony Gianaras, junior Jacob Schmudlach, sophomores A.J. Erb, Jonathan Getting, John Hugunin, Michael McClanathan and first-year Samuel Scherer (football).