AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 30, 2017 – PeopleAdmin, a leader in talent management software for K-12 and higher education, yesterday announced the latest honoree of its Inspired2Educate program. Tracy Erickson, a sixth grade math teacher at River Ridge Middle School in New Port Richey, FL., was named winner for her essay about the mentorship and support of her professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Dr. Doug Brumbaugh.
On her quest to become a computer programmer, Erickson enrolled in several challenging math and science courses at UCF, including physics — which Erickson admits she had never heard of. Then, like Murphy’s Law, everything that could go wrong did. Erickson received a 12 percent on her first physics test. Devastated, Erickson dropped the class and concentrated on other subjects such as calculus, where she met Dr. Brumbaugh.
“Dr. Brumbaugh saw the qualities in me that I couldn’t see in myself, and I’m so thankful for his help and encouragement,” said Erickson.
Following a second failed attempt at Physics, Erickson considered dropping out of college and sought Dr. Brumbaugh’s advice on her next move. After reviewing Erickson’s transcript and seeing she had several math credits, Dr. Brumbaugh proposed Erickson focus on becoming a math teacher instead of a computer programmer.
“Dr. Brumbaugh said he recognized teacher qualities in me and guided me to consider a degree in Secondary Math Education,” said Erickson. “He found me a tutor, which I think he paid for himself, and he helped me get my first internship.”
Educators like Dr. Brumbaugh are remembered through PeopleAdmin’s Inspired2Educate award program, which encourages K-20 education professionals to nominate a teacher, administrator, or staff member who inspired them to start their careers. Beginning in 2018, college and university students pursuing degrees in education also qualify to participate.
The Inspired2Educate award includes a $1,000 scholarship for Erickson to further her professional development and $1,000 for River Ridge Middle School.
“Educators have the ability to positively change lives, and that’s evident with Dr. Brumbaugh and Tracy,” said Jimmy Kelly, chief operating officer at PeopleAdmin, who presented the award during a school assembly. “Dr. Brumbaugh’s support and encouragement not to give up are ingrained in who Tracy is, and she demonstrates those values to students in her classroom every day.”
From left to right: Principal Angela Murphy, Jimmy Kelly, Chief Operating Officer, PeopleAdmin and winner Tracy Erickson
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