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I am fulfilling a personal and academic goal for myself. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

Biography

Stephen Keiley’s fourth grade students were surprised when they found out he was a student at Ashford University. They assumed adults didn’t need to spend time in classrooms unless they were teaching. Stephen, who became a teacher nearly 15 years ago, reminded them that, “we are always learning.”

Stephen teaches at San Diego’s Monarch School, a K-12 school where homeless students can get the education they deserve. For many of the students, being homeless means spending nights in shelters, “couch-surfing” with friends of families, and even sleeping in cars or on the street. Programs at the school focus on four key areas to help students develop: academic growth, emotional growth, social growth, and life skills.

The ups and downs of his personal life, Stephen said, are nothing compared to the challenges his students face every day.

“They keep me in check, and provide me with the strength to give them my best,” he added.

Stephen’s goal since completing his teaching program had always been to earn his Master’s degree. His interest in working with technology in the classroom drew him to Ashford’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology.

After seeing many of the graduating students at Monarch earn scholarships to attend Ashford, Stephen applied for the University’s Teacher Appreciation Scholarship. The scholarship, offered in the San Diego area, required him to submit an essay on the effects of online learning, how classrooms are evolving, and the impact of teachers on the learning community.

In 2014, Stephen was one of four teachers to receive the scholarship, and he was honored at a Salute to Teachers event in downtown San Diego. He graduated the following year and planned to use his degree to pursue new opportunities within the school district.

“I am fulfilling a personal and academic goal for myself. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!”

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