Heather Lowery ’12
Currently: ESL Teacher with Alcoa City Schools
Loving language and diversity, Heather considers her career path a calling and not just a profession. After completing her B.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) for Teacher Licensure, she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is now working on a Ph.D. in Education. She is in her sixth year of teaching ESL, those years spent in grade levels kindergarten through college. “With professors such as Dr. [Becky] Lucas and Dr. [Alesia] Orren, I was able to choose TESL as my major and bring the wealth of knowledge that I gained from them and my cooperating teachers to the classroom,” she said. “Maryville College prepared me to be the best teacher that I can be.”
Heather Hendricks Byrd ’02
Currently: Assistant Principal at Eagleton Elementary in Maryville, Tenn.
Since leaving Maryville College, Heather’s career in education has taken several paths. From being an elementary school teacher to coaching teachers to serving as an assistant principal, Heather has been prepared for each role because of her experiences at Maryville College.
“Maryville taught me the value of continuous professional improvement and learning,” she said. “The professors instilled in me the importance of being an informed educator to best serve my students and to seek opportunities that will grow me as an educator. Now, as an instructional leader, I strive to be an example of this mindset for my staff just as Maryville’s instructors were for me.”
Cheree Self Purdy ’13
Currently: Second grade teacher at Eaton Elementary School in Loudon County, Tenn.
In addition to her duties in the classroom, Cheree is involved in a mentor program, represents the second grade in a student-centered school environment program and is responsible for Eaton’s monthly student news broadcast. “Maryville College has prepared me immensely for my career. The liberal arts curriculum taught me to be an educated, effective and informed teacher. I felt prepared going in as a first-year teacher because we learn expectations through firsthand experiences in the licensure program. My professors taught me to be a better teacher because they are exemplary role models of extraordinary teaching. Overall, Maryville College challenged me to achieve academic excellence,” she said. “Now I challenge my students to do the same.”
Kevin L. Fowler ’08
Currently: Instructional Designer at Apple Inc.
Kevin spent two years in high school classrooms before transitioning to positions that allowed him to explore his passion for classroom technologies. He earned a master’s degree in instructional technology in 2015 and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program for educational leadership and administration. “In 2004, I walked on Maryville College’s campus as a first-generation college student with the desire to teach. A decade later, I work for a Fortune 500 company that is impacting thousands of classrooms around the world,” he said. “I would not be where I am today without the wisdom and guidance of Drs. Simpson, Lucas and Orren and the entire MC teacher education program. They are still a source of inspiration to me as I attempt to, as Isaac Anderson said, ‘do good on the largest possible scale.’”