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PROFILE: Two Future Teachers Awarded For Their Dedication To Young Children

The Pearl M. Wright Award is a lasting legacy from a UC alumna. Two University of Cincinnati seniors will receive $15,000 each to apply toward tuition, fees and living expenses.

Date: 8/1/2005 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Andrew Higley
UC ingot
Jenny Horgan, left, and Kellie Biegger
Jenny Horgan, left, and Kellie Biegger

Kellie Biegger of Loveland and Jenny Horgan of Bridgetown are the 2005 recipients of the University of Cincinnati’s Pearl M. Wright Award. Since 1999, the annual award from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) has reflected an endowment to honor students who best exemplify “high moral and academic standards of a primary teacher.”

Biegger, a graduate of Loveland High School and Horgan, a graduate of Oak Hills High School, were chosen from 17 early childhood education majors who had applied for consideration. Both students are 21 years old and are entering their teaching internships in local elementary schools this fall.

“Kellie and Jennifer were chosen to receive the Pearl M. Wright Award not only because of their academic performances, but also because of their demonstrated enthusiasm and passion for teaching and children,” said Julie Thompson, assistant academic director of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.

The gift comes from a $680,000 endowment established by Kathryn E. Wright and is named in memory of Kathryn’s sister, Pearl. Both women graduated from UC in the 1920s and spent their careers educating young children.

Kellie Biegger
Kellie Biegger

Kellie Biegger will be spending her internship teaching first grade at Meadowview Elementary in Milford this fall. She says the award will enable her to spend more time on school and with her two-year-old son, Josh, instead of struggling to balance work, motherhood and college. “I’ve always enjoyed being around children, and I think the early years are key to building their enthusiasm about school,” Biegger says. “It’s exciting watching them discover things and make connections, and see how they progress through the year.” In addition to her major in education, Biegger also is finishing a minor in sociology.

Biegger says her early learning experience was enhanced by one of her favorite teachers, Mrs. Powers. “She was wonderful about communicating with her students and changing her teaching methods so that she could get through to everyone in the classroom.”

Jenny Horgan
Jenny Horgan

Jenny Horgan will spend her internship teaching second graders at Saylor Park Elementary. She says the diverse teaching experiences in UC’s teacher education program build a stronger talent base as students take the information they learn at UC and build their skills in the classrooms where they teach.

Horgan adds that her first grade teacher, Mrs. Steers at C.O. Harrison Elementary, had a profound influence on her own schooling experience. “My sister had to have a very serious surgery as I entered first grade, and I remember how compassionate Mrs. Steers was. She was always there to read to me and to calm me down.”

Both Biegger and Horgan expect to graduate from UC in spring 2006.


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