April 18, 2018 at 11:26 am

Happy Beginnings | Shoemaker Teaches at STEM High School, Starts Mock Trial Team

Paige Shoemaker, informal portrait

Paige Shoemaker

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

by Logan Stark ’18

Ohio University alum Paige Shoemaker ’17 is an environmental science teacher at Cleveland’s MC2 STEM High School, which features a rigorous STEM education in a non-traditional environment through trans-disciplinary curricula, hands-on projects, and community partnerships.

How did she become a science teacher—with a Political Science and Sociology-Criminology degree and a Certificate in Law Justice & Culture?

Teach for America is the answer.

Teach for America is a non-profit organization aimed at recruiting leaders across America to help fight for educational equity. Shoemaker first got involved with the organization after she applied early in her senior fall semester. After her acceptance into the program, she compiled a list of 10 cities across the country where she would be willing to relocate. Just a few short weeks later she received word that the Cleveland corps had selected her.

Using a Sociological Mindset to Work around Disadvantages

Shoemaker said she is putting her sociology degree to work as a teacher in downtown Cleveland, citing how her coursework emphasized the importance of education.

“We discussed the many different disadvantages minorities face in America, I found that much of it stems back to education,” Shoemaker responded. “Without a quality education, those individuals often find themselves stuck in a cycle. Now as a teacher in an inner-city school district, I have used a sociological mindset to work around the disadvantages many of my students are placed in and find ways to fight against these systems. My sociology degree has provided me with the understanding of how a society and the systems within it can control the lives of youth.”

Shoemaker is finishing up her first year on the MC2 STEM High School staff and is looking forward to the next academic year, where for the 2018-19 school year she begins transitioning to the 10th grade American History position. She is also starting a mock trial team to compete in the 2018 Cleveland Mock Trial Competition.

She has many goals for her future and believes that her degree from Ohio University created the foundation of that future.

“Eventually I would like to push my education further and get my master’s in public administration and then work with the Department of Education. This way I can tackle educational inequity at a higher level. Without my education in sociology at Ohio University, I would not be able to do this necessary work.”

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