School of Education Alumna Sara Jeffries is a Special Education Teacher Alumni Profile
Meet Sara (Cumpston) Jeffries '20
- Job Title & Employer
- 7th & 8th Grade Special Education Teacher, Mapletown Jr./Sr. High School, Southeastern Greene School District
- Education Pre-K – 4th Grade
- Dual certification, special education Pre-K through Grade 8
- College Activities
- Campus Activities Board, dance team
- Bobtown, Pa.; Mapletown Jr./Sr. High School
- Now Living In
- Greensboro, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Reading and spending time with family
"Education is not always the easiest job, but the outcome of it is always beautiful. If I can inspire one student like some of my Point Park professors have inspired me, then I have reached my goal as an educator."
Why did you choose Point Park?
I chose Point Park because of its location. I have always lived in a small town, so I thought going to school in the city would boost my independence. While I later realized that I did not like the city so much, I valued the friendships I formed and the close relationships with faculty made possible by Point Park's small class sizes. They know their students by name, and they make themselves available for one-on-one time outside of class.
What did you like about the School of Education's approach to teaching?
I liked the School of Education’s approach to teaching because it was really hands-on. I was able to get experience in multiple schools inside and outside of the city. We learned a lot by actually going into classes every semester and either teaching the whole class or breaking up to teach small groups. That really prepared me for my student teaching placement, as I was able to apply what I learned during those field experiences.
Describe some of your favorite hands-on learning opportunities.
One hands-on opportunity that I really enjoyed was my field experience at Manchester Academic Charter School. It was fun to see the students interacting with all of the science experiments we did. Another enjoyable hands-on experience was student teaching in Mt. Lebanon School District. My first placement was Jefferson Elementary in a third grade class, and my second placement was at Howe Elementary in an applied behavior analysis class. My third grade class taught me so much about teaching and how to handle behaviors in the real world. It unfortunately ended early due to COVID-19, but I got to sit in on meetings, which definitely prepared me for the job I have now. Student teaching really taught me a lot about working in the field, and I loved getting to know the students and seeing their personalities unfold in the classroom.
Which faculty members had an impact on your Point Park experience and career success?
Some of the faculty who had an impact on me include Stanley Denton, Christal Edmunds, Arleen Wheat, Kamryn York, Virginia Chambers and Brad Kolvacik. They never give up on their students. They are always there to help you. Even if I had an off-topic question unrelated to education, they were there to help me. They always pushed me to be the best version of myself. They taught me to never give up. Education is not always the easiest job, but the outcome of it is always beautiful. If I can inspire one student like some of my Point Park professors have inspired me, then I have reached my goal as an educator.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Enjoy your time in college. It goes by fast. Try your best in everything that you do, and remember that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela
Connect with Sara (Cumpston) Jeffries '20
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