Ever since her childhood, Ashley Bronakowski has loved to teach. “I was around education my entire life,” she says, referring to her parents who work within the field. “I have always loved reading and writing. And as I began to take education classes, I realized that I had been teaching my whole life.” Ashley played school instead of house as a little girl and taught piano once she was older- teaching comes naturally to her.
Ashley is currently a junior English Education major and student of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP. True to her major, Ashley’s favorite thing about IUP has been her education classes. She loves these classes because of the admiration she holds for her professors, “They have helped me love teaching more because they are so passionate.” Ashley hopes to exhibit this same passion in her own classroom. She will have the chance to do so sooner than later. Ashley begins student teaching in the spring 2014 semester. Ashley remembers how scary it was as a freshman to imagine student teaching, but, now, she knows that she is prepared to take on the challenge.
Ashley is also amply involved within the IUP community. She holds the presidential position of the IUP chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE acts as a resource to English Education majors within the IUP community, providing workshops and professional opportunities. Ashley recently organized and executed a bake sale benefiting NCTE members planning to attend the national conference this coming school year in Boston, Massachusetts. “The bake sale was extremely successful,” Ashley reports, “We sold out of baked goods before the end of the last day!”
On top of NCTE, Ashley is involved in the Catholic Student Association on campus and spends time participating in community service. Ashley has participated in several alternative spring breaks to disadvantaged communities in Kentucky. She also volunteers at the annual used book sale hosted by the St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church.
When asked about her post-graduation plans, Ashley replied that she changes her mind every minute. Although she’s “not opposed to teaching,” Ashley hopes to attend graduate school in creative fiction. Depending on how well her student teaching goes, Ashley will “see what opportunities arise” and make a decision accordingly. Regardless of her future career path, Ashley Bronakowski is going to make a positive impact on our world and the students who have the opportunity to be in her classroom.