Changing career paths

Photo courtesy of Reinhardt University

Photo courtesy of Reinhardt University

Grace Dickson, Staff Writer

On the right side of the 1400 hallway, a brightly decorated room resides by the middle staircase, housing a first-year teacher at Creekview High School, but she had not always planned on having the career she does today.   

Haleigh Pate is the new English and Special Education (SPED) teacher. Formerly a nursing major, Pate found herself switching majors after realizing that science was not for her. Pate continued with her education to become a teacher though the changes did not stop there.  

“I was actually just an English major; I didn’t intend to teach Special Ed., but when I interviewed with Creekview, they were like ‘you would actually be really great in Special Ed.,’ so they asked me to get certified, and I did,” Pate said.   

Pate enjoys her job, but she does not hide the difficulties she has faced in her work. She highlights that the most challenging part of her job is constantly developing new ways to engage students as, after COVID-19, they do not seem to have an interest in maintaining good academics. 

“I guess I’m your [students] biggest cheerleader, but I’ll also let you know when you… have reached a point where I can’t help you anymore,” Pate said.   

With her first year of teaching being in the aftermath of a worldwide pandemic, Pate finds herself overwhelmed with her own emotions and those of her students. However, Pate has found a successful work-home balance through all of this.  

“I enjoy fishing with my fiancé; we have a boat and go fishing a good bit in the summer. I enjoy really anything outside,” Pate said.   

Pate loves what she does and does what she loves. She hopes to be a teacher at Creekview for many years to come.