For Addie Saxton, graduation comes with mixed emotions.
“I’m leaving high school and my childhood years behind,” Saxton mused. “I feel happy and sad at the same time.”
Her walk across the stage to receive her Hahnville High diploma may close the book on her own childhood, but Saxton plans to enrich the lives of children for years to come. She is planning to attend Southeastern Louisiana University where she will major in early childhood education, with an eye on becoming a teacher in the near future.
Saxton has known for quite some time that she wanted to lead her own classroom. She focused in on her goal of teaching young children, however, after her recent experience interning at Mimosa Park Elementary. There she worked with Kindergartners, and found much joy in doing so.
“It made me realize, ‘hey, I work really good with kids,’” Saxton said. “The experiences I’ve had made me pretty excited to pursue that.”
At the school district’s Satellite Center, Saxton worked within a program called Educators Rising, a career and technical student organization with intra-curricular learning opportunities integrated into existing education and training programs. Saxton was part of the program for two semesters.
“That really pushed me to make (teaching) a goal,” said Saxton. “It was all a really valuable experience … it gave me an opportunity to build connections with people I might work with some day, and I learned so much.”
Saxton is not originally from Louisiana – she lived in North Carolina for 12 years before her family moved six years ago. She arrived in St. Charles Parish near the end of her 8th grade year.
“I feel like I found so many more opportunities in high school than I would have had (elsewhere),” Saxton said. “I’ve never seen a superintendent or a principal so involved in helping their students succeed. (Hahnville) made me so much more comfortable in a new home.”
Saxton writes a weekly journal reflecting on her recent experiences, a practice she picked up at the Satellite Center, where it was part of her coursework.
“I thought that was really cool and a smart thing to do,” she said. “Even now that I’m not in school, I still do it because I think reflecting on the things I’m doing in my life is so important.”
It’s a natural progression for someone who has had a lifelong love of writing – Saxton said English is her best subject and would write her own books and stories growing up. She has also volunteered her time for good causes – after Hurricane Ida, she worked with her church collecting items of need for those affected by the storm.
Saxton was part of the school’s choir – she loves to sing – and ROTC. And Saxton has a few unique hobbies as well – she skateboards and roller skates, and has a job at a skate shop that gives her an outlet to enjoy them while making some extra money.
As she works to be an educator herself, she offers much appreciation to those who have guided her over the past several years.
“I think (teachers and school staff) have always tried their best and worked hard to help make us better versions of ourselves for the future,” she said.
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