Foley’s education evolution

McKenna Foley

By Amanda Duchsherer
Digital Communication Specialist

MINOT, N.D. – In 2016, then-Minot State undergraduate student McKenna Foley, fellow Minot State Student North Dakota United chapter members, and North Dakota United-Retired hosted a literary event commemorating Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America.

Nearly four years later, Foley is again surrounded by books and Minot elementary students.

“I work at Roosevelt Elementary as a reading and math specialist,” she said. “I work with students who are below grade level and work to help close that achievement gap, these students are the ones who work harder than any other kid in the school.”

The 2017 Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education alumnae initially found work in Watford City following graduation but soon returned to the Minot area, wanting to be closer to home. It was then she enrolled in the Master of Education program at her alma mater with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

“I returned to Minot State because I knew there wasn’t going to be any other university with professors that care so much about my success,” she said. “I’ve been able to network so much and meet so many professionals that have turned into my friends.”

Her coursework also gives Foley the opportunity to work one-on-one with her professors.

A collaboration with Daniel Conn, Minot State associate professor of teacher education, led to a research project titled “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the Title I Setting.” The project was presented by Conn at the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum Conference in Birmingham, Alabama early October 2019.

“Dr. Conn had inspired me to look  deeper into how educators in my position — Title I reading/math interventionist — can create an environment that is more understanding of the cultures and backgrounds students come from, then use the information to better educate learners,” she explained about the project. “We created more of an idea session where educators were able to share their ideas and ask each other questions as culturally relevant teaching is something that is always changing with our understanding of cultures.”

Understanding her students is one part of Foley’s charm in the classroom. Her energy and enthusiasm are another.

“I feel so fortunate to be in a career field that I love. I get to wear my pajamas and act silly while making such an impact on so many students,” she said. “I work with so many great people who inspire me to be a better educator and better person each day.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 01/07/20   

» More MSU News