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VCU School of Education student continues her family’s teaching legacy
Alicia Bryan, right, receiving the Jo Lynne DeMary Merit Scholarship in 2016

Alicia Bryan, right, receiving the Jo Lynne DeMary Merit Scholarship in 2016

Alicia Bryan did not choose education: it is simply an extension of who she is. She prepared for the life of a teacher from an early age.

“My greatest teachers were my mother, my grandmother and aunt, who all instilled in me a love of knowledge and a passion for building relationships,” Bryan said. “That’s what education is all about, building relationships and creating new understanding that bridges to previous knowledge and experience.”

Originally from Henrico County, Bryan chose to attend the VCU School of Education because of its proximity and its quality of education. Currently a student within the early and elementary education program, Bryan has one more semester of student teaching before she graduates with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

One of her favorite memories at VCU has been her practicum class, during which she taught grades 3-5 at Seven Pines Elementary School. It was here that she fell in love with teaching fifth-grade students.

“The most exciting moment was during class when I was teaching and I felt like, ‘I can really do this,’” Bryan said. “It’s one of those things where you worry if you are going to be able to make a difference, if you’re actually going to help these kids as much as you want to. Now I know that I can.”

After graduation, one of Bryan’s goals as a teacher is to show students that education is more of an opportunity than a means to an end. She wants to focus on making education more individualized for students’ needs in a way that turns them into lifelong learners.

With dreams of making a positive influence within the community, Bryan hopes to get a job teaching math education or working as a math specialist in a gifted education center.

“I’m really proud to be a part of the School of Education, where we are working on changing the face of education and making effective, positive changes in the community,” Bryan said.