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The City Journals

Stephanie Seely dedicated to students’ academic growth

Mar 31, 2017 10:13AM ● By Aspen Perry

Seely teaches a GED mathematics course. (Aspen Perry/City Journals).

By Aspen Perry  |  [email protected]

At 8 p.m. on a Thursday, Stephanie Seely is teaching a mathematics GED course through Granite Peaks with a level of energy that does not reveal she has been at Connection High School since 6:30 a.m..

It is a level of energy that Seely said stems from doing what she loves.

“I have never wanted to be anything but a teacher. When I was growing up my next- door neighbor was a teacher and I would spend hours at her house helping her grade papers and cut out bulletin board pictures,” Seely said.

Though Seely has only been with Connection High School as the Library Media Educational Technology Specialist (LMETS) for three years, her resume is extensive. Seely has worked in the Granite School District for 24 years, including teaching at Jackling Elementary in West Valley for 12 years, followed by seven years working as the School Technology Specialist (STS) for Jackling and Farnsworth Elementary schools.

Though she never planned to leave the classroom, after some encouragement from friends Seely applied for a position with the Educational Technology Department.

“I have always loved using technology with my students and loved seeing their excitement as they learn new things. I wanted to be able to help other teachers incorporate technology and excitement into their teaching, so I decided to apply for the position,” Seely said.

Though Seely enjoyed her work as an STS, she missed the classroom and started teaching GED courses five years ago through Granite Peaks Learning Center located at Connection High School.

After just a few months with the GED program, Seely was asked to create a curriculum all GED teachers in the district could use to keep content consistent regardless of campus. Additionally, Seely created a pre-GED course for students who needed a review to be ready to start their GED.

“I am proud of these resources, because I feel like it is making a difference to our students,” Seely said.

For Seely it does not matter whether she is teaching elementary students or adults, she loves the excitement of helping others reach their goals.

“The light-bulb moments, the success and excitement you can see as students conquer something that was a challenge for them is what makes being a teacher worthwhile,” Seely stated.

When the LMETS position became available at Connection High School and she was asked to consider applying, she began making the transition from STS for elementary to LMETS for secondary schools. 

This transition included earning her Library Media Endorsement and added to an already busy schedule.

“My schedule was quite crazy during this time. I would work for the high school from 6:30 or 7 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. [Then spend] an hour or two working on assignments, [from courses] I was taking online from Southern Utah University. I then taught GED classes from 6 to 9 p.m.,” Seely recalled.

Seely’s dedication paid off, she completed all required credit hours and passed her Praxis test earning her endorsement in just two years, less than half the time she was allotted and is now in a new role she loves.

“The best part of my job as the LMETS for Connection is definitely the people I have the chance to work with…we have an amazing administration, the teachers are incredible, and the students are so much fun to spend time with,” Seely said.

Seely further stated, as the LMETS she loves the ability to be part of the various aspects, whether visiting different classrooms or helping students one-on-one with computer issues or finding books.

When asked what her biggest challenge, Seely responded, “I could say lack of sleep is my biggest challenge, because I seem to work a lot, but if I didn’t love what I do so much, I wouldn’t keep doing it.”