Newman alumna Jamie Harrington was featured in an advertisement in the Southwest Kansas Catholic magazine during Catholic Schools Week. The magazine is published by the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.
Tim Wenzl, communications liaison at the Diocese said, “We highlight a Catholic educator who received their degree from Newman’s Western Center during Catholic Schools Week.” The celebration of National Catholic Schools Week in the United States begins the last Sunday of January.
Harrington received her Bachelor of Science in Education in 2007. She said being a mother while obtaining a degree is no easy task — but Harrington graduated summa cum laude.
Harrington was a great choice for the advertisement because of her Catholic education background and the amazing work she’s done in her second- and third-grade classroom at St. Joseph Catholic School in Ellinwood, Kansas.
Juggling two grade levels took some getting used to.
She said, “They learn to be very independent and follow a set of tasks. While I am teaching one grade, the other is working on assignments and then we flip. Both grades complete science, social studies, and writing and English together. I just modify assignments for the second-graders.”
Organization and preparation are key when teaching two grade levels in the same classroom. It keeps Harrington very busy but, she said, “It makes the day go by very quickly.”
Harrington enjoys being able to tie spiritual growth to academic growth at St. Joseph’s. “When teaching about how to treat others, I get to use Jesus and the great commandment as an example,” she said.
She spent time working at a public school before she found St. Joseph’s. “In my previous position, I could not share anything about my faith even when it seemed the most applicable explanation,” she explained. “I love that prayer is part of my daily classroom routine and that we go to Mass together as a class twice a week. I also have the privilege of teaching second-grade religion class and preparing students for First Reconciliation and First Communion.
“I love to share the joy students have as they enter into a new relationship with Jesus through these sacraments.”
Her Newman education is something she doesn’t take for granted.
“I felt my time was well spent on tasks that were relevant rather than just busy work,” she said. “I also know that the time I spent in classrooms was invaluable. I was fortunate to watch and learn from amazing educators.”