The Education Department welcomes updates and photos from our graduates. If you are an alum and would like to share news with classmates, please email Heather Bergthold.
I hold a deep sense of appreciation for my experience in the Westmont College Education Program. The program not only fueled my desire to teach, but also provided me with practical experiences, strategies, and philosophies essential for inspiring my students to actively pursue learning. Through the Westmont Education Program I learned how to communicate to my students that learning is an experience rather than a task.
Brooke Holly ’08
San Diego City School
I am very grateful for my teaching preparation at Westmont. Before student teaching, I had many opportunities to work in classrooms, prepare lesson plans, perform lessons, and receive immediate feedback from professors and classmates. Once I was in charge of a class, I had the strategies to manage my students and create a positive environment for learning. I’m in my first year of teaching now, and I don’t think I could have been any more prepared.
Rachel Wolfshorndl ’07
3rd grade teacher
West Park Elementary School
I wore so many different hats last year - nurse, counselor, soccer player (at recess), mediator...and the list only goes on. I am also working on creating a new school website, while participating in my 2nd year of BTSA and a district math grant… You will be excited to hear that we have already conducted four science experiments as a class. After your class, I have witnessed the joy in students to get out of their seats and explore. So, I made that a priority… Thank you for all the work you did with me over those four years.
Jennifer Lauthen ’07, who teaches at Bubbling Wells Elementary School in Hot Springs, CA.
My experiences at Westmont were invaluable. After speaking with my colleagues who attended different schools and participated in other programs, I am confident that I received the best possible education to prepare me for this field. I am so pleased that I chose to attend Westmont’s teacher credentialing program. My teachers at Westmont prepared me for every possible teaching scenario.
Emily Wise Bajwa ’06
English and Drama
Summit Charter Academy Redwood, CA
I want to thank you for all the help you gave me during my 4 years at Westmont. I must say that your credential program has prepared me very well for that which is teaching. The other first year teachers I speak with all say they wish that their program had done more for them. My literacy coach thinks I’ll be a “master teacher” in about 3 years, maybe even 2. She thinks you did an awesome job and sends you her thanks. So, thanks. Thanks for everything. I appreciate it more than you know.
Charlene Martinez ’06
7th & 8th Grade Teacher
New York, NY
Westmont’s education program thoroughly prepared me for my teaching career. When I saw other beginning teachers floundering, I was equipped with the ability to deal with all of the usual and unusual trials that arose because of my Westmont training. In the program, my professors were insightful, engaging and knowledgeable; my placements were effective, personal, and rewarding; my classes were practical, applicable, and interactive. I am eternally grateful to Westmont’s Education Program for molding me into the respected and effective teacher I am today.
Erica Sells ’05
M. C. Cash School
Thanks again for a wonderful credential program and all the effort you put into your students. It is much appreciated. There were quite a few brand new teachers at my school last year, and after talking with many of them, I was even more convinced of how great and unique Westmont’s program is.
Mindy Thralls ‘05
5th Grade Teacher
My wonderful experience in the teaching preparation program might be summed up by two major ideas: personal care for the student and fostering the love of learning. The year that I attended the program very difficult for me personally but I found my professors to be supportive and nurturing. Though I know their care for me wasn’t intended to be a lesson in pedagogy, it modeled for me the practice of embracing the whole person in the classroom, not just the training of the mind. Once the heart has been attended to, the mind is opened for learning.
Katie Woodford ‘04
Teacher for long-term patients, Shriners Burns Hospital-Boston
Formerly of the Lincoln School, San Jose, Costa Rica
Whether teaching children in the inner city of Los Angeles or teaching private school students in Orange County, everyday I am incredibly thankful for the education I received at Westmont. The personalized instruction given by the dedicated professors has proved to be invaluable to me as a teacher. My experience at Westmont taught me that it is my responsibility to provide the highest quality of instruction as well as the deepest level of love to those entrusted into my care.
Emily Thompson Omondi ‘04
Friends Christian Middle School, Yorba Linda, CA (formerly LAUSD)
I am consistently impressed with how well you all prepared me to do my job. I talk to other colleagues about their training and it is always so clear to me how superior my training from Westmont was. Thank you for giving me the tools necessary to do my job well and be prepared.
Kristen (Thompson) Mullikin ’03
2nd Grade Teacher
My experience in the Education Program Westmont was phenomenal. Words cannot express my true appreciation of the program and how it prepared me for the classroom. I am deeply convinced that Westmont’s high standards, strong curriculum, personalized support, small class size, and professionalism, truly equipped me to become the best teacher possible. Over the past few years, as a 4th/5th grade teacher, I have come to see how well my supervisor, Dr. Mullen, my professors, Dr. Ruth and Gayle Tucker, and my master teacher, Rosa Rodriguez, have positively influenced my teaching career. The way the Education Department balanced rigorous academics, real life application, and care for me as an individual, has molded me into a passionate, balanced, hard-working teacher, who strives to be the best I can be. I believe that Westmont gave me a real picture of what the real teaching world was like even before I got there. I have had countless co-workers and administrators commend me for my teaching abilities, professionalism, and creative drive. All of which I can confidently say came from Westmont’s Education program. Countless conversations with fellow teachers and my own student teachers about how other credential programs have left them unprepared, have confirmed the fact that Westmont stands out among the best.
Katheryn Saballet ’03
Sweetwater Springs Community School, Spring Valley, CA
I wanted to say thank you. I have realized how well you have prepared me to teach in a classroom and adapt to situations that I am presented with in teaching. In these last few days I was shocked to discover what many of the other teachers don’t know. It’s even a little sad, and I feel very sorry for them and their students. Thank you very much. . . thanks for such an intensive program; it prepared me for the ‘real’ world of teaching, which never seems to slow down or become predictable.
Becky Rathburn ’02
Middle School Teacher
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
My professors and fellow student teachers knew my personality and my strengths, and knew just how to encourage me as I learned to master the elements of teaching that were at first challenging for me. I’m thankful for the camaraderie that marks the Westmont program.
Katherine Stocking ’02
6th grade teacher
Seneca Ridge Middle School