Paula Schoonmaker reached many milestones before attending Granite State College: receiving a bachelor’s degree, getting married, and raising her children.
As an undergraduate, Paula studied Biology and Chemistry. She always regretted not getting her teaching certification. But like many working adults, she found her calling through hands-on career experience and identifying the things that interested her most about her job. For Paula, it was the teaching aspect of her work in science labs.
I was teaching science labs at a university in Florida. After I got married and had kids, I decided to leave the workforce.
When her children were older, she re-directed her career goals and started to build a resume of part-time jobs in special education eventually making the transition to public schools.
Paula knew she wanted a special education degree and a colleague recommended our Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program. Paula set up a meeting to discuss the options.
I decided on GSC after speaking with Beth Hoyt-Flewelling. Beth was so accommodating and wonderful. She came to my house, we had a cup of tea, and she handed me the all of the information. I was 48 at the time and wondered who would hire me when I finished. I just looked at her and said, Can I do this? Beth answered, Absolutely! Beth was more than encouraging and explained how to become a teacher in New Hampshire. I looked at her and said I’m in!
Along her journey, Paula has found support that helped her balance her many roles: mother and spouse, teacher, and student.
My family has pulled in, giving me so much support and picking up the slack around the house. They knew that mom’s got to do what mom’s got to do. And at work, every single one of the teachers that I work with has been in my situation and everyone is rooting for me. The faculty at Granite State has been so encouraging and always available. They understand working and going to school. That is what makes Granite State College really attractive to me and a really good fit.
Leveraging her experience and education with unconditional support from her family, colleagues, and Granite State, Paula is close to achieving her life goals becoming a teacher and a getting her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification.