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Raen Johnston and her Educational Journey: Lessons and Reflections from the Class of 2024

Raen Johnston

Raen Johnston, BS in Elementary Education ‘24

May 28, 2024

Raen Johnston, BS in Elementary Education, Middle Level Science and English, will represent the undergraduate Class of 2024 at the School of Education commencement ceremony. She says she is thankful for the experiences she had during her time at Drexel and praises the staff who supported her through it all. Because of the hard work she completed throughout her studies, Johnston has a bright future in education ahead of her.

What does it mean to you to be able to address the Class of 2024?
Addressing the class of 2024 means that I get to commend the hard work that my peers and I have put in over the last four years. They are truly some of the most talented and passionate people that I have met, and I am sincerely happy that I get to work with them and live in a world where they are educators.

How has Drexel prepared you for what is to come in your future?
Drexel has given me so many diverse experiences in education that I'm confident I will be able to work in a variety of classrooms in the future. I have always been encouraged to explore different paths and opportunities, which has led to me working with many different groups in several settings. My experience hasn't only prepared me to teach a subject, it has prepared me to lead a classroom.

What are some of the big lessons you learned, either about yourself or through the coursework, during your time at Drexel?
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is to be prepared. From the classes that I took as a student to the lessons that I taught as a teacher, I know the value of preparedness.

Which faculty and/or staff members helped you along your educational journey that you would like to recognize?
I would like to sincerely say thank you to David Appleton (academic advisor) and Sarah Falkowski (assistant director of field placements) for their unconditional support in the journey that has led me to where I am today. I wasn't always sure what my plan was, but they were always there to help me figure it out. I would also like to thank Dr. Colin Hennessey Elliot and Mr. Michael Franklin for showing me what I can do as a science teacher. I appreciate you both for letting me bounce 10000 ideas for lessons off you and your support in making them work.

What is the most important message you want your fellow graduates to take with them as they head out into the world as Drexel graduates?
You've worked hard and you've earned this. Every single piece of effort that you have put in over the last four years has been worth it - please don't doubt yourself or the work that you do. It is important, valuable and worth it.

Raen Johnston
BS in Elementary Education, ‘24