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“Making a mistake isn’t bad unless you don’t learn from it.”
Alumna Christina Tabler believes that attending Harford Community College was one of the best choices she ever made. Tina graduated from HCC in spring 2017 with an AAT degree in Elementary Education/Special Education.
As a first generation college student, Tina knew she needed to take time to understand how college worked. “Despite having always done well academically, I knew that there was still a lot I needed to learn in order to be successful in college. Thankfully, I was surrounded by very supportive people who were always willing to give me advice when I needed it,” she said.
According to Tina, her years at HCC definitely prepared her for a teaching career. Dr. Sheila Allen, who is well-known for her commitment to the teaching profession, inspired Tina and helped her throughout her two years at Harford. Tina said that Dr. Allen, Associate Professor Laura Hutton, and Kimberly Bell, term faculty, showed her what it means to be an excellent teacher. She also had field placements at Jarrettsville Elementary School and North Harford Middle School. “I learned a lot from both of my mentor teachers; it was easy to tell that they had a passion for teaching. I hope to become a great teacher like them someday!”
Tina was surprised by the number of extracurricular activities and events offered at Harford, explaining, “Because of these opportunities, I was able to meet many people and learn more about the teaching profession as well.” She joined the Future Educators of America (FEA) and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) National Honor Society. She served as the FEA’s Liaison, Treasurer, and President. Tina noted the dedication shown by FEA Advisor Dr. Sheila Allen: “All of our club’s meetings and events wouldn’t have been possible without her help and support.” She was the Vice President of Scholarship for PTK and helped her chapter, Rho Beta, achieve Five Star status for the first time in 20 years. In addition, she became the first-ever Five Star Member from HCC.
Tina also worked on campus as a Learning Center Assistant, where she sharpened her teaching skills by providing academic support and promoting good study habits and learning strategies to fellow students. Many of them returned to the Learning Center to thank her for helping them get good grades on assignments and tests. “Working at the Learning Center is definitely the best job I’ve ever had – especially since it is so closely related to teaching! All of my coworkers are very friendly and knowledgeable in their respective fields of study. I still plan on working there when I transfer to TUNE in the fall.”
A highly motivated student, Tina maintained a 4.0 GPA and was one of 32 students named to the 2017 All-Maryland Community College Academic team. She was also one of 150 students selected from more than 1,800 finalists in the nation to be selected as a member of the 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. For this honor, she received a medallion in addition to a $1,000 scholarship for demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service. She also received the Alfred C. O’Connell Scholarship, which paid for tuition and fees for two years at HCC. “This greatly helped me because I was able to focus on my studies instead of worrying about finances.” In addition, she received the HCC Alumni & Friends Transfer Scholarship that will help with her expenses at Towson University in Northeastern Maryland (TUNE).
She attributes her success to staying optimistic and trying her best every day. “Making a mistake isn’t bad unless you don’t learn from it,” says Tina. She always gives 100% and thinks it is important to take the initiative. “It is very important to pursue what you want in life because it’s better to know the outcome than lose an opportunity and always wonder about what could’ve been. I would recommend Harford to others because it is local, affordable, and provides students with the high-quality education needed in order to be successful.”
The support of her family and friends means a lot to Tina, and she is especially thankful to her mother. “She has always been my role model and has inspired me to strive to be a better person each day.”
Tina will transfer to TUNE next month to earn her bachelor’s degree. Once she graduates, she aspires to become an elementary school teacher in Harford County.
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