Commencement Speaker Feels Calling to Education
The following article appeared on December 16, 2019, via EKU Stories (stories.eku.edu). It was reprinted with permission from Lanny Brannock, Director of Communications for EKU. The article highlights Martin Rosenberger (Eta Beta/Eastern Kentucky 2019).
Martin Rosenberger has always believed that the field of education is a “calling for those who want to improve life for others in the community,” a calling he felt as a senior in high school. But as he shared while addressing the crowd at the College of Education commencement ceremony on Dec. 13, his sense of calling was not always clear.
The Louisville native struggled to adjust to college life during his first semester. So much so, in fact, that Rosenberger dropped his first foundations of education course to avoid failing.
“I was ready to end my stint at Eastern, ready to move back home, ready to take a semester off and re-evaluate what I wanted to do. But I did not.”
Rosenberger stayed, thanks in large part to the support of his elementary education classmates. “It was their community and camaraderie that kept me moving and looking forward.”
And move forward, he did. During his time at Eastern, Rosenberger has been involved with Theta Chi fraternity, serving as vice president, and secretary and philanthropy chair. As philanthropy chair, he organized events that raised more than $5,000 for the United Service Organization. He has also been a member of the Order of Omega, an honor fraternity for the top 10 percent of greek students; Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education majors; and the Kentucky Education Association - Student Program (KEA-SP). He has graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (P-5).
After surviving his first semester, Rosenberger still questioned his career choice. “Did I really want to spend the rest of my life in a classroom with children?” he wondered. But an encounter during his clinicals at Kirksville Elementary sophomore year reshaped his perspective. His cooperating teacher approached him, asking him to explain to a student a new concept that she struggled to grasp. Incidentally, he had just discussed teaching that very concept in one of his classes.
Rosenberger’s appointment with that student was all the confirmation he needed.
“I will never forget the look of success and pride in that student’s face when she realized she understood,” he said. “It was the moment I knew I had made the right decision to stick with education.”
Since then, Rosenberger’s passion for teaching has only grown. In the spring, he will begin graduate study at EKU, pursuing a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership. Eventually, he hopes to become a district-level administrator, to positively impact as many students as possible.
“It is truly for the children,” he said of his chosen career. “Never lose your passion, never lose sight of why you chose that profession, and always remember you have an EKU family of fellow-professionals waiting to encourage and support you.”