St. Mary’s College of Maryland graduated 24 students with the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) on Saturday, June 7. The Commencement address was delivered by Jack Smith, chief academic officer at the Maryland Department of Education.
Smith spoke to the graduates on the value of educators in his life. Smith told the students “the central purpose [of teaching] is learning.” Smith also told the graduates, “You could do any job, but you chose teaching and I would be eager to hire any one of you.”
Caroline Sellers, MAT graduate, gave the student address. Sellers remarked on the 11-month journey the students took together and gave gratitude to friends, family and faculty. Sellers said, “Every day is an opportunity to make something happen in the classroom.”
Katy Arnett, chair of the St. Mary’s College Educational Studies Department, charged the graduates to “see the strength and value in every student you meet.” Angela Johnson, director of teacher education at St. Mary’s College, cited a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I’m going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.”
Concluding the ceremony, graduates Meagan Ragland and Matthew Pearson performed a rendition of “Blackbird” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The Master of Arts in Teaching degree at St. Mary’s College is a full-time, year-long program. Certification programs exist for elementary certification in grades one through six, and secondary English math, social studies, biology, chemistry, physics, and theater for grades seven through twelve. Art, music, and foreign language majors may also certify in their disciplines for grades preK-12. To learn more about the program, visit www.smcm.edu/mat or email email@example.com.