Katie Schwizer ('09,'10M)
Pruden Scholar

As students rushed to the front of the classroom, Katie Schwizer ('09, '10M) second-guessed her decision. The middle-school aged students fought to get their hands on the valuables that lay before them; a pile of books, donated by JMU alumni and staff. While teaching during her Study Abroad in South Africa, Schwizer set the books in front of the class yet hadn't expected such a reaction. Her experience in South Africa fueled the passion that Katie already had for teaching. Even at an early age, Schwizer dreamt of becoming a teacher, constructing her own classroom in her bedroom with stuffed animals as students, and even getting an overhead projector, podium and marker board, as she got older. At JMU, she received the prestigious Pruden Scholarship, a full-tuition award given to an outstanding individual pursuing a career in early education. What fuels Katie's passion? The passion to change the future through her students. "It is my responsibility to realize that my students are our future now," Schwizer says. As a new graduate, Schwizer has already started to change the future. Now a fourth grade teacher at Berkley Glenn Elementary School in Waynesboro, Va., Schwizer's dream of changing the future through her students is finally being realized.

""It is my responsibility to pave the way for our future leaders; my students who will one day grow up and succeed in our world because of what they have learned in my classroom."