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ECHS Charlotte Students Learning to Teach

June 25, 2014 – PUNTA GORDA, FLA. – Two recent graduates of Edison Collegiate High School Charlotte (ECHS Charlotte) are preparing to step into the role of teachers with their college experiences. After years of learning from the experienced teachers in the local high school, two students became inspired to take the career path towards educating the next generation. Holly Osborne and Joy Wolfahrt were members of the very first class of ECHS Charlotte, and helped form many of the procedures and traditions the school has today.

Both students are currently in college pursuing degrees in Education, Osborne is studying Early Childhood Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Wolfahrt is studying Elementary Education and Mathematics at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Even though they have only been out of high school for one year, both are classified as seniors in college due in part to their attendance at ECHS where they were already college students when they were juniors and seniors in high school.

“The experience at ECHS really helped prepare us for college because it helped us to get organized and plan our schedules to attend classes and complete assignments,” said Wolfahrt. Osborne echoed that same thought saying, “While in the Dual Enrollment program, we learned how to hone in on our organizational skills so the transition to college after high school was easy.”

As part of the first class to complete four years at ECHS, they helped guide the traditions and club formations for the school, including the theater club, Student Government Association, the running club, peer mediation, and both were inducted into National Honor Society. Because of the small class sizes, students formed strong bonds and remain close and in touch a year later.

“Being part of the first class was fun, but coming into it I was a little nervous because all my friends were going to other schools and I wouldn’t know anyone,” said Wolfahrt. “But students should select schools based on what they want to do in the future. I made so many new friends and we are all extremely close.”

Osborne also had concerns being part of the first class. “I was ready to be challenged and do something new. The relationships between the students and teachers were amazing, and everyone in the school was there to help answer questions and support each other,” she said.

When both students graduated they took a break in the summer, and then transitioned into a different type of college life.

“Going off to college is different, but I felt much more prepared having been at ECHS and Edison,” said Osborne. “USF if a bigger school, which has given me even more experience in my college career by offering opportunities for multiple guest speakers, exposure to different cultures and new perspectives from so many different backgrounds.”

Wolfahrt chose a smaller college which gave her a different experience than the traditional college.

“I went to a new college and town on my own, so I had to be very independent right away. I have made a lot of friends,” she said. “Because of the first two years of college already under my belt, I tend to spend more time with upper classmen since I am on the same educational track as they are.”

“Every year is exciting, because there are so many great personalities in the school,” said Diane Juneau, ECHS Charlotte Principal. “With 2013 having been our first graduating class, it started a tradition, and it is so rewarding to stay in contact with the students from that class and learn about their experiences. Our school is small, so the connections with the faculty and students resemble that of a family. We are proud of all ECHS Charlotte students. Holly and Joy are just a few examples of the many great stories from our school.”

As for their future plans, Osborne and Wolfahrt both are considering Master’s degrees. When they step into their careers, Osborne hopes to eventually open a Preschool after a few years of teaching Pre-k. Wolfahrt, having both parents as teachers in the Charlotte county area, plans to return and would like to teach in Middle and High schools in the area. She hopes to become a teacher at ECHS Charlotte one day where she can share her experiences as part of the first class with future students.

About ECHS Charlotte
ECHS Charlotte is designed to provide students of all ability levels an opportunity to graduate with both a high school degree and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Edison State College. The transformational teaching methods used provide an engaging learning environment and opportunities for all students to receive additional educational resources through the high school and Edison State College. Students enjoy small class sizes and individualized attention at ECHS since the school has a maximum of 400 students, 100 per grade from nine through 12. For more information about Edison Collegiate High School Charlotte County visit www.edison.edu/wp/echs.

About Edison State College (soon to be Florida SouthWestern State College)
Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, Edison State College, soon to be Florida SouthWestern State College, is Southwest Florida’s largest, most accessible and ranked nationally as one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Serving more than 22,000 students per year regionally, nationally, and internationally, students are also active in a wide variety of clubs and programs that cater to their interests. Nationally, Edison State is ranked 45th among associate degree producers and 26th for its prestigious associate producing Nursing program. For more information please visit www.edison.edu or www.FSW.edu. Edison State College will officially become Florida SouthWestern State College on July 1, 2014.