My time at USAO deepened my appreciation for education and life-long learning, something that I hope to pass on to my students.
Lisa Hightower graduated from Chisholm High School in 1986 and spent a few years working in a retail outlet before deciding it was time to go to college.
After hearing good things about USAO from her mother, who was finishing up a degree of her own, Lisa decided to check it out for herself.
The first thing that struck her about her own USAO experience was the quality of instruction and personal attention she received.
“One of the other benefits of going to USAO is that most of your professors have PhDs,” Lisa said. “Also, many of your classes are small enough that you can develop a good rapport with your instructors. I was and still am very fond of several of my instructors at USAO.”
Lisa finished up her bachelor’s in English in 1992 and then earned her certification to teach in 1994.
Today, Lisa has almost twenty years of experience teaching high school English in Tuttle. She credits USAO’s IDS program in tandem with the teacher education program with giving her the skills she needed to survive and thrive as a teacher.
“Going to USAO prepared me for my career by first having a first rate teacher education program,” Lisa said “Second, the knowledge that I gained from the IDS Core classes was valuable and enhances my English curriculum.”
Though Lisa’s background was in English, the impact of her education on her career wasn’t limited to just literature classes.
“One of my favorite elective classes that I teach at Tuttle is a film class,” she said. “I used what I learned from Dr. Jerry Holt's film class as the basis for the curriculum for that class.”
Today, Lisa feels like her time at USAO gave her more than just the opportunity to work.
“My time at USAO deepened my appreciation for education and life-long learning, something that I hope to pass on to my students.”