Devon Zangger, Teaching Credential Candidate in the UCI Master of Arts in Teaching program, has been awarded a 2017 Laura E. Settle Scholarship. The scholarship was established to honor Laura Settle, founder of the California Retired Teachers Association and president of the association from 1929–1945. Scholarships are awarded to those candidates with excellent academic performance, exemplary character and citizenship, and demonstrated potential to become outstanding teachers.
Ms. Zangger, who earned her BA in Sociology from UCI in 2014, will complete her MAT+Multiple Subject Teaching Credential this summer. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.
From Devon Zangger
Becoming an elementary teacher has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I was raised in Orange County in a multicultural household—my mother is of Mexican descent and my father of Swiss-German descent. Growing up in Irvine afforded me many opportunities and provided me with an education that engaged me, nurtured my strengths, and was a source of refuge. School has always been a safe space for me, a place where I was provided with structure and support, two things that were severely lacking in my home life. I was very fortunate to attend schools staffed with teachers who inspired me, encouraged me, and helped me to succeed. These teachers were the inspiration for my life’s pursuit of becoming a teacher. I saw from an early age the impact that educators can have on individuals and their communities. I knew that I wanted to continue these teachers’ legacies and provide a safe space for children to grow, explore, and learn.
Knowing that I wanted to be a teacher, I worked up to four jobs at one time to put myself through school and reach this goal. I put myself through community college while working two part-time jobs and then transferred to UCI. As an undergrad, I continued working and found a job in a preschool where I could see just how much positive influence teachers can have on children’s lives. Upon graduating from UCI with my BA in Sociology, I worked as a substitute teacher, English language development teacher, after school care provider, tutor, and teacher’s assistant. Many days I worked in different capacities with children from 8am until 8pm, trying to provide these children the same security, respect, and encouragement that I was afforded as a child. All of these experiences helped me gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a child growing up today and prepared me for many of the challenges that teachers face on a daily basis.
I decided to return to UCI to pursue my Master’s in Teaching and Teaching Credential so that I may accomplish my goal and become an elementary teacher. While at UCI, I have learned how to create a rich learning environment for children and been given tools to positively impact the children that I am working with. I have also been fortunate enough to also take on leadership positions within the program, including serving as Student Representative for my cohort of teacher candidates.
I am excited and ready to take on the responsibilities of a teacher and work to enhance the lives of others.
Pictured above: Devon Zangger and Multiple Subject Coordinator Susan Toma