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Leia Warden

Leia Warden

Morgantown, West Virginia

Second-Year Student in the Master of Arts in Certification Program

As a junior accounting major at the WVU Chambers College of Business and Economics, Morgantown native Leia Warden was struggling to find her fit as she advanced through her courses.

“I got through two intermediate accounting courses and quickly realized that I did not enjoy it,” Warden said. “I started to make a game plan about what I could do or if there was another major I could pursue, so I met with my advisor.”

In the meeting, Warden’s advisor asked a simple question–what would your dream job be if time and money weren’t factors? Without flinching, Warden said, “a teacher.”

“Teaching had always been in the back of my mind, and he made me realize that teaching was what I really wanted to do,” Warden said.

Because Warden had advanced so far in her business courses, she wanted to complete her degree before pursuing her teaching certification. After some research, Warden discovered CEHS’ Master of Arts in Certification Program, known as the MAC program, which allows students with any bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree in education.

Once she finished her undergraduate degree, Warden enrolled in the MAC Program for elementary education and hasn’t looked back since. She has flourished in her classroom placements and enjoyed the time working with her professors and classmates.

“The two main things that I got out of the MAC program have been the friendships I have created as well as all of the relationships I have created with my professors,” Warden said.

In recognition of her commitment to becoming an educator, Warden received the Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Teacher Preparation Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The scholarship, which was created in 1989 to encourage more educators to remain in West Virginia, supports multiple CEHS students each year. For students like Warden who are passionate about pursuing this goal, the scholarship allows them to follow their dreams.

“For someone who is interested in doing education, who might have been in a similar boat when I was doing undergrad, my advice to them would be to follow your heart,” Warden said. “I know it sounds cheesy – and it really is – but it has been the best decision I have ever made. I could not be happier. You go into the schools and help these children, and it’s extremely fulfilling and inspiring to serve as not only a mentor, but a teacher and a friend to students all over.”