Teacher at Springfield Public Schools
AA, General Studies, Missouri State-West Plains
BS, Education, Missouri State University
MA, History, Missouri State University
Hometown: Koshkonong, Missouri
Currently Resides: Springfield, Missouri
“The more involved on campus I became, the better my experience was.”
Luke England chose to attend Missouri State University-West Plains first for financial reasons, knowing he could use his A+ funds to help pay for his education. Secondly, as a native of Koshkonong, he could still live at home while saving money to one day pursue his bachelor’s degree. Finally, and most importantly, he said, “I knew from family and friends who had already attended Missouri State-West Plains that I would be receiving a quality education that would prepare me for the eventual transfer to Missouri State-Springfield.”
England said he had many unique experiences at Missouri State-West Plains that helped him become successful in life and in his career.
“I think the root of those unique experiences was the Student Ambassador program run by Rachel Peterson and Melissa Jett,” he said. “It was a great way to get involved on campus and work in the community. Rachel was an exceptional mentor and is now a lifelong friend. Through the Ambassador program, I met my wife, Taryn, and some of my closest friends still today. The Ambassador program also led me into the position of project outreach coordinator, where I was able to become involved in area high schools to help recruit students to Missouri State-West Plains. I have no doubts that the time spent as an ambassador and project outreach coordinator helped me become a better teacher and increased my ability to connect with students.”
England’s Missouri State-West Plains experience also helped shape his future career.
“After I realized the NBA was not in my future, my goal was to become a teacher,” England said. “While taking the education classes offered at Missouri State-West Plains, I was placed in classroom observations very early. There was a small group of us that needed a specific class for our degree program. The class only had three people in it, but the campus decided to keep the class open instead of closing it and putting all of us behind. I’ve always remembered that about Missouri State-West Plains. That is truly putting the students first because most universities would have closed that small of a class.”
As a teacher at Conway High School in Conway, Missouri, England said his greatest professional accomplishment so far has been writing a grant for new laptop computers for the social studies department.
“We received $10,000 and were able to purchase a classroom set of laptops,” England said. “The students were excited that someone had invested in their education, and I was excited to have a classroom set of laptops for research and new projects.”
England said his degree has allowed him to make a large impact on the community of Conway and the surrounding area.
“Teaching is a great way to make an impact, and teaching history allows me to inform students about how we arrived to our modern-day situations,” he said. “I also try to incorporate the history of Conway, as well. I think helping students learn about their local history and the larger history of the U.S. and its place in the world helps them be more involved citizens.”
A Fantastic Experience
“I had a fantastic experience at Missouri State-West Plains,” England said. “The more involved on campus I became, the better my experience was. I had a fantastic teacher who helped me understand complicated subject matter and also taught me the study skills I needed to become a better, more independent learner. Going to the Grizzly volleyball and basketball games was always enjoyable, and the student section was an awesome atmosphere.”
To prospective students, England says, “The best advice I can offer to any potential student is to get involved with at least one club or organization. It will help you meet new people and make you feel more connected to the campus. You will get out of college whatever you put into it. If you go to class and leave, it will be pretty boring. If you get involved and meet new people, it will be an amazing experience that will gain you lifelong friends.”