Craig McDavid started at ACTC as a student in the summer College Camp when he was 10 years old. Now he teaches summer youth classes for the college.
I remember taking courses in science, journalism, business, Spanish, art, and other subjects, McDavid said of his four summer camp experiences. The teachers were also educators at the college, and I remember them encouraging me to pursue careers in those fields. They definitely influenced my decision to attend ACTC when I was older.
The encouragement from the teachers and the excitement of the courses also influenced my decision to come back and teach at youth camp classes, he said. I have instructed classes for three, going on four, years now.
His early ACTC experiences not only encouraged him to attend college but influenced his ultimate career choice in education. A Raceland High School 2007 graduate now living in Ashland, he is an Intermediate Science Teacher at Fallsburg Elementary School in Louisa.
During my senior year of high school, I was encouraged by teachers at ACTC to take evening classes for college credit, McDavid said. While taking those night classes I realized that I was having trouble declaring a major. I decided to attend ACTC to complete my general education courses while I determined what I wanted to do with my life.
Truth be told, I was not the highest achieving high school student, he continued. ACTC showed me that I could do great things academically. It was the confidence boost I needed to go on and earn my four-year degree. The advisors were helpful, the teachers were encouraging, and the staff was friendly.
At ACTC, my peers were a mix of recent high school graduates, like myself, and adults who had been out of school for several years. This really helped shape my image on the importance of earning a degree as soon as possible.
I started as a business major because of the business class I took during college camp. I changed my major to X-Ray tech because I had heard ACTC had the best program around. My second year at ACTC, I still had not found a program I liked.
Both of my parents are educators at ACTC, and they encouraged me to try one education course, McDavid said. His mother Christina is Associate Dean of Advising amp; Student Retention, and his father Ron is an Academic Advisor for Student Support Services.
That first education class was taught by Warren Howard who was such a unique professor that I decided to take more education courses during my last semester, McDavid said. When I graduated from ACTC with two degrees, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science, my focus was on education as a career.
ACTC gave me my first glimpse at what being a teacher is like. The education courses were great, and my advisors were a huge help in finding the right education program for me after I graduated. If it were not for my experiences at ACTC I might not have become an elementary school teacher.
Science has been my favorite subject for as long as I remember. I always enjoyed the hands-on learning that was involved. When I came to ACTC, I excelled in my science classes. When I found myself in the education program at Northern Kentucky University, science seemed like the most enjoyable emphasis I could choose.
I graduated from NKU in 2011 and found a job at Fallsburg. The intermediate grades there are departmentalized instead of self-contained. I was very blessed to land the science teacher position. I get to teach science, every day, to third to fifth grade students!
As if that was not enough science, McDavid also became involved with the committee that administers the ACTC/FIVCO Science and Technology Fair.
Barbara Walters, the committee chair, was an education professor of mine while I attended ACTC, McDavid said. When she started work on this project two years ago with Dr. Keith Brammel, another ACTC professor, she reached out to me as a first year science teacher. I recognized the importance of this experience for my students, my school, my district and myself.
I chose to become involved with the science fair because I believe science is one of the most important subjects a student can learn. Unfortunately children do not see enough of it in schools. My goal is to have this science fair become such a well-known event that it is more talked about than a football game between high school rivals.
He is now involved in planning for the 2015 Science Fair that will be held next February. He is also involved in planning for his Camp classes this summer.
My teaching philosophy, and my purpose for teaching the science camps as well as my elementary classes, is to mold students into critical thinkers and productive members of society. I want my students to be independent problem solvers who can survive when they graduate, McDavid added.
This summer, McDavid is teaching Robotic Arm Science and Electronics Lab classes from July 7 to 11 at the College Drive Campus. The free camps for youth ages nine to 15 are offered through a Career Craze grant from Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramsons office.
These camps are designed to encourage interest in technical / engineering careers. Camp enrollment is limited on a first come basis through ACTC External Education, 606-326-2072 or the Workforce Solutions Youth Program page on the web at: ashland.kctcs.edu.
I love teaching science, McDavid concluded. I hope to help my students get as excited by science as I am.