Angela McGraw is graduating with a Master's degree from Kansas State University on May 11 and daughter Amber Jellison-Harris is graduating from Pratt High School on May 13 that is also Mother's Day.
Mother’s Day will have a special meaning this year for Angela McGraw and her daughter Amber Jellison-Harris.
McGraw received her Master of Art in Teaching at Kansas State University on May 11 and Jellison-Harris is graduating from Pratt High School on Mother’s Day, May 13.
“There’s two graduates in the family. It seems like a big deal,” Jellison-Harris said.
McGraw said the family was heading to KSU on Friday for her graduation then take a breather on Saturday before Jellison-Harris’ graduation on Sunday afternoon.
“We’ll be able to share our graduations,” McGraw said.
While there are two graduations, there will be just one party for Jellison-Harris’ graduation.
McGraw is headed for a teaching position at Liberty Middle School and Jellison-Harris will attend Pratt Community College for a year and take general education courses. She will transfer to a four-year university, right now she's considering Fort Hays State University or KSU and she's looking at a teaching degree, Jellison-Harris said.
Jellison-Harris has a strong interest in music and is considering teaching music. She also has an interest in psychology. Whatever direction she chooses, she plans on using the college education to expand her horizons. She was also excited about her mother graduating and pursing what she is passionate about.
“I’m proud and happy. She’s (McGraw) been working very hard. It’s like I haven’t seen her for two or three years,” Jellison-Harris said.
But for now, Jellison-Harris is excited about getting out of high school.
“I’m ready to get out and start being my own person,” Jellison-Harris said. McGraw said while she is excited about completing her degree, it has been a very emotional week for her because her daughter is doing everything for last time in high school.
“It’s been a very tearful week,” McGraw said. “I’m excited about she and I graduating at the same time. It’s a weird dichotomy there.”
In a unique coincidence, Jellison-Harris’ kindergarten teacher was Heather Teasley and Jellison-Harris was Teasely’s student aide this year.
“She (Amber) got to spend her first day of school and her last day of school with the same teacher,” McGraw said.
The KSU Master’s pro-gram that McGraw took is new to the university. This is only the second year it’s been available. Instead of the traditional Master of Science degree, this Master in Teaching program is designed for anyone with a bachelors degree in another program other than teaching. McGraw has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fort Hays State University.
“If you have a bachelors in any program, you can change your masters in teaching rather than going through the traditional bachelors program,” McGraw said.
She has been a para at USD 382 for the last couple of years and loves it. The KSU program was done almost entirely on-line except for student teaching and her practicum at Southwest Elementary. The on-line program allowed her to get her degree and continue being a para.
For the last few months, McGraw has been doing her student teaching and completed that in April.
“The KSU program allowed me to do that and it was a perfect fit for me,” McGraw said.
The last year has been very busy with student teaching and sometimes McGraw felt like she was meeting herself coming and going.
“There weren’t enough hours in the day,” McGraw said.
McGraw will be a seventh grade science teacher at Liberty Middle School in the fall.