MELBOURNE — Ozarka College in Melbourne has added a program-coordinator position for the Early Childhood Development program, and with that addition comes a new staff member.
Typhanie Franke of Batesville was hired Monday to fill the position.
As program coordinator, Franke said, she will oversee the Early Childhood Development program and develop curriculum, advise students and teach some of the education courses in the Associate of Arts in Teaching program at Ozarka.
This position has allowed Franke to come back to the place where she developed her educational roots.
“I started out at Ozarka and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree,” Franke said.
After graduating from Ozarka, she continued her education at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, where she said she decided she wanted to be an educator.
“I remember when it first happened,” Franke said. “It was when the [Westside School shooting] in Jonesboro happened.”
She said she hadn’t yet determined a major at ASU, and after the shooting in 1998, her decision was made.
“I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people,” Franke said.
Inspiration to become an educator wasn’t hard to find, the new program coordinator said.
“My mother taught second grade for 33 years. I’ve grown up around teachers, and education was always important around our house,” she said.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from ASU in mid-level education, she taught for one year at Imboden Charter School, then spent the last 10 years at Cave City Middle School as a science teacher.
Franke said she is excited to get started with her new title and come back to the place where she started her route to become
“It’s really neat to come back and now help others on their journey into education,” Franke said.
With more than a decade of teaching behind her, she’s seen her students learn and become successful individuals.
“I like seeing the effects of my influence on students,” Franke said. “I like knowing that my involvement with them does influence them.”
Although her new position will create different opportunities for her as an instructor and a director, she will miss some parts of her previous job, she said.
“I’m going to miss the interaction with middle-school students, and I’ll miss my peers,” Franke said. “I’m looking forward to trying to have that positive influence on my new students.”
Part of the student population at Ozarka College is made up of nontraditional students, and she said she will be able to relate to them because she started college as a nontraditional student.
“I’ve been there, and I know how that is,” she said. “I’m hopefully going to guide them in the process [of becoming an educator].”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.