Ashlee Vitz never wanted to become a teacher. But the award-winning French teacher and drama director at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., is so glad she was wrong.
“I absolutely adore my job,” she said. “My students are the joy of my life. I truly feel valued, respected, appreciated by not only my building administrators, but also my corporation-level leaders.”
The three-time Sycamore, who is a currently pursing a doctorate, recently received the Technology Titan Award. The award recognizes those who effectively use technology in the classroom and teach colleagues how to do the same.
Vitz, who grew up in Brazil, Ind., recently earned the role of drama director at Center Grove High School. It’s a role she is looking forward to because her first degree was in theater. She has been performing since she was 5 years old and has been continually involved in community theaters through acting and directing. During her time at Indiana State, she was involved in the Crossroads Repertory Theater.
“My favorite experiences were taking part in the plays, especially the musicals, while earning my theater degree. I have particularly fond memory of my summer performing with Crossroads Rep,” Vitz said. “I surprised myself this past year when I realized how long it’s been since that summer. I’d really like to do it again.”
Vitz is hoping to move into a leadership role in the school system, so she is working on her fourth degree from Indiana State, this time in K-12 administration.
“When I initially decided to become an administrator, it was because of the financial struggles my family is experiencing,” Vitz said. “Now that I am three semesters into the program, though, I have discovered a true passion for wanting to take a larger leadership role within our public school system.”
She is hoping through her work and experiences that she can inspire other students to continue their education beyond their first college degree.
“Don’t be afraid to explore. The educational experience at ISU is designed for you to be able to take advantage of many kinds of classes. If you are not clicking with one major, don’t be afraid to change. After you graduate, don’t be afraid to come back. Education should be a lifelong marathon, not just a four-year sprint to a goal line,” Vitz said.
“In addition to an educational buffet, try to indulge in life. You will likely never be surrounded by as many different cultures in one location as you are right now. Go to the cultural events, make friends with people who look and sound nothing like you, travel with student groups abroad. You will be better for it, and the world will be a better place because of having you in it.”