BHSU education prepares Mary Mitchell for a career in the classroom

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, May 7, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Black Hills State University graduate Mary Mitchell, of Eagle Butte, will earn her elementary education degree on Saturday, May 9 during BHSU&rsquos spring commencement ceremony. Mitchell will begin her teaching career in the fall as a junior first grade teacher in Eagle Butte.



Mary Mitchell was meant to teach others.

The BHSU graduate has spent her final semester student teaching at Creekside Elementary School in Spearfish, and after commencement on Saturday, she is more than excited to pursue a fulltime career in the classroom.

Mary will begin her professional teaching career this fall as a junior first grade teacher in her hometown of Eagle Butte.   

"I just love working with kids," Mary said. "It&rsquos just something that comes easy to me. It&rsquos natural and so much fun."

Mary spent her summers in high school and college working with mentoring programs, summer recreation programs and also served as a summer school assistant and substitute teacher in Eagle Butte.

"I just really want to make a difference in kids&rsquo lives," Mary said of her future career in the classroom. "I want them to succeed academically, but be able to know they are a good person. Students need to feel important and know they are special."

That desire to make students feel special carries over in her extracurricular activities on campus, which include the Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) Bridge Program, Lakota Omnicye and Kappa Delta Phi International Honor Society President and Presidential Student Ambassadors.

Mary began her college career as a mentee in the CAIS Bridge Program, which allowed her to get an exclusive tour of campus, meet her professors and learn a few tricks to succeeding in the University classroom.

"I&rsquod never left home before college. I stayed and worked in Eagle Butte every summer," Mitchell said. "Where I come from, a lot of people don&rsquot leave. I was one of the first to attend college among my peers."

After completing the Bridge Program her freshman year, Mary decided to become a mentor and share her college experience with new freshmen.

"I really love and believe in the program," Mary said. "I am able to give what I know to everyone else that&rsquos new to BHSU."

Mary&rsquos experience on campus has been a positive one. And she&rsquos well-known by fellow students, faculty and staff for her participation and commitment to BHSU activities. Her excellent attitude and dedication to her volunteer work earned her the prestigious Spirit of BH Award during the 2015 Student Volunteer Awards on campus.

"One of my biggest accomplishments was receiving the Spirit of BH Award," Mary said. "I love that award because it was my advisors and faculty that noticed what I was doing and knew that I was doing some good."

She added that she&rsquos also proud of not only being involved on campus, but maintaining her school work and making the BHSU Dean&rsquos list over the years.

And after she walks across the state in the Young Center Saturday, she said she will miss BHSU and offers some advice to underclassmen:

"I preach this everyday &ndash be involved. I loved my experience at BHSU. Make sure you put yourself out there, even if it is scary, and make the best of it. I had a blast."


Number of views (322)/Comments (0)