On May 8, the School of Education held its second annual Welcome to the Teaching Profession and Pinning Celebration for graduating seniors in the Rockland banquet hall. Jorden Lim ‘12 was the featured speaker. The event was attended by families and friends, Education faculty and University Mentors, members of the junior class, and special guest Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Susan Gorman.

The festivities began with a poster session highlighting strengths demonstrated in internship classrooms. Associate Dean and Professor, Dr. Beth Kobett, then welcomed attendees. She described the Marigold Effect and encouraged new teachers to “find their marigold,” someone special who can be a source of support, help develop growth, and be a positive companion. As one of the gifts interns received for the occasion, each was presented with a marigold plant to begin their professional journey and remind them to find their marigold.

Next, Dr. Kobett introduced featured speaker, Jorden Lim ‘12. Jorden was a member of the first graduating class in Middle School Education at Stevenson, which was also the first graduating class in Middle School Education in the state of Maryland. Ms. Lim began her teaching career at Lake Elkhorn Middle School, where she was a math teacher and team leader. She taught sixth grade math at Thomas Viaduct Middle School for three years before becoming an Algebra I and Gifted and Talented geometry teacher at Long Reach High School in 2017. In addition to her teaching roles at Long Reach, Jorden is the co-leader of the Reach Academy and the Algebra I team leader. Jorden is the 2022 Howard County Teacher of the Year and was honored in Howard County and by the Maryland State Department of Education. In her remarks, Jorden told the graduating seniors, “After 11 years of teaching I have come to recognize that connection is the single most important aspect of being an educator.” She passed along a reminder to help new teachers prioritize connection, “All people are worthy and relational.” This phrase matters in building school and communities, Jorden stressed, to reimagine an education that focuses on connection.

Prior to the pinning, a video was shown with photos of each intern as a child beginning school and as graduating seniors. Each senior then ascended the stage and was pinned by a person they selected, which included parents, family members, loved ones, faculty, and mentors. Afterwards, the seniors stood at the front of the room and recited the Teacher’s Creed. To close out the program, a second video was shown of children from classrooms of our past graduates, who gave advice to our future teachers on why they should be teachers, what makes a good teacher, and how they can be good teachers.

The seniors ended the evening taking photos with invited guests, faculty, mentors, and peers at a special photo backdrop featuring the Stevenson sign and two trees of Stevenson green balloons.