At the 2016-2017 Master of Arts in Teaching Recognition Ceremony, Courtney Sharar was awarded a Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholarship in Teaching and Learning for excellence in academics, demonstrated leadership skills, and dedication to improving the lives and educational opportunities of students. Courtney is pursuing her MAT with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics. Below, she shares her thoughts about her educational journey and her chosen career.
I grew up in Sylvania, Ohio until I was 13 when I moved to the Central Valley in Clovis, California. I have always been involved in athletics growing up but really began gravitating toward cross country and track and field throughout high school. My teammates were so welcoming when I first moved to California, which was a huge reason I stuck with the sport. I pushed myself in high school in both athletics and academics and found myself really enjoying mathematics due to a few very fun and personable teachers.
I decided to come to UCI after my senior year of high school because of the academic prestige, the location in Southern California, and the opportunity to compete as a Division 1 athlete on both the cross country and track and field teams. I decided to come to/stay at UCI for graduate school because of the awesome friends I've made in this area as well as the prestige of this accelerated Masters and Credential program. I honestly couldn't image myself at any other university and am excited to stay for another year!
I've always been interested in becoming an educator so it isn't a huge surprise that this is the path I've taken. My dad has been a coach and teacher for my entire life, and I have very similar interests to him. I hope to have a similar opportunity to inspire the next generation through my passion for education and improve our current educational system.
I have been a NCAA Division 1 athlete on the UCI cross country and track and field team for the past four years. I have met some amazing friends, teammates, athletes, and coaches during this time, and they have been my biggest support system here at UCI. I met my best friends here and my experience has been awesome. I have one more year of NCAA eligibility for track and field and plan to continue to compete this year during the spring while in this program. I cannot wait to continue to challenge myself both academically and athletically this year!
After this program, I hope to become an educator at the high school level and eventually move up to the collegiate level. I would like to have my own classroom for a while and eventually move into an administrative role either. I would also like to coach cross country and track and field. Doing so will allow me to encourage others to hopefully develop the same type of passion I have for the sport as I do.
Mary Roosevelt and Courtney Sharar