Meet Stacey Gallos, a recent graduate from the College of Education. Gallos obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and accepted a full-time kindergarten teaching position with Franklin County Schools in July of 2023.
“I am officially a kindergarten teacher as we speak,” Gallos commented during her spotlight interview.
The joy of earning her first bachelor’s degree was infectious as Gallos shared her Athens State story. However, being a student and pursuing her dreams was not something she was too familiar with. Gallos recalled always struggling in school. Despite her struggles as a student, she had always dreamt of becoming a teacher but never pursued a bachelor’s degree. Flash forward about eighteen years when Gallos sent her own daughter, Cambridge, to college and encouraged her to pursue a career that inspired her.
“Then she (Cambridge) gave me my own advice and challenged me to pursue my dream of teaching,” stated Gallos.
Gallos enrolled at Northwest Shoals Community College in 2018 to earn her associate degree and with the help of mentors and advisors, she transferred to Athens State University in 2020 to work toward her bachelor’s degree. She shared that the credit transfer process was amazing. Her advisors ensured she received credit for relevant coursework and saved her almost a full semester of classes. She was also awarded the Empowerment Scholarship for transfer students.
“This is something I did not think was attainable,” said Gallos. “Athens State holds students like family and walked me through the whole process with ease.”
Through genuine enthusiasm and hands-on activities, the professors at Athens State brought teaching to life and made school fun. Gallos shared that teaching philosophies have changed since her childhood and she is excited to enter the classroom to positively impact her students this school year. Early childhood education and a child’s teacher set the foundation for our young people to love learning and to love themselves.
“The classroom can be the first time a child receives validation outside of the family unit, or at all,” said Gallos. “Sometimes the hug, wink, or reassurance is all they get.”
Gallos shared that when she made a cold call to the Athens State Admissions office, she knew she was at the beginning of her journey. Rather than being stuck and holding herself back, she ran forward and graduated at the top of her class from Athens State. Today, Gallos is confident, excited to teach, and knows that she can help others, which is exactly what our young people need in their kindergarten teacher.
About the College of Education:
The mission of the College of Education (COE) at Athens State University is to prepare teacher candidates to become reflective practitioners who are knowledgeable and collaborative professionals. The COE provides quality programs that meet the educational needs of ever-changing student populations. In accordance with our mission, continual assessment-based improvements are being made. Our goal is to provide rigorous yet flexible programs for students that encourage wider skill sets with multiple credentials. Learn more about the College of Education.