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Parallel Paths: Cornerstone Teacher and Alumna Complete Their Master’s Degree

Parallel Paths: Cornerstone Teacher and Alumna Complete Their Master’s Degree

Today, we are delighted and honored to spotlight our very own Lissette Sanabia and Alumna, Kara Start, who recently received their Master's Degree from Covenant College. Despite the challenges, they both give God the glory for equipping them with endless strength to pursue and complete their dreams. 

Kara Start- Alumna- Cornerstone Class of 2019

Road to Cornerstone

I attended Cornerstone from 9th to 12th grade and graduated in 2019. The University-Model® schedule was a great blessing to me as I managed my schoolwork and taught music lessons - and it truly prepared me for a college schedule! I completed my undergraduate degree at Covenant College (located atop Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga) and graduated with a degree in History. I immediately began working on my Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at Covenant, which prepared me to teach the discipline of history that I had been studying for the past four years!

Managing a Master’s Program, Family, and Work

Managing my graduate school work, student teaching full-time, maintaining a job, and spending time with the important people in my life was difficult! Thankfully, I had very kind and understanding people in my life who were able to keep my work schedule flexible, adjust deadlines when needed, and help me stay grounded.

The most valuable part of Covenant's MAT program was the support of my professors and the community of my fellow teachers. Even though going to class multiple evenings per week was tiring, the professors provided opportunities for fellowship. They prayed with and for us and were patient with us when schoolwork got overwhelming. Additionally, having a community of a dozen fellow teachers from a variety of schools teaching a variety of grades and subjects was a great blessing. We were able to encourage one another, offer ideas, commiserate together, and tell stories of our classroom mishaps. Together, we explored what exactly it means to be "Christian Educators" in many different contexts: urban, rural, public, private, and charter schools.

More Than Just a Degree

Next fall, I will be teaching 9th grade English/Literature at a mid-sized Christian School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Switching from History to English will be an adjustment, but I am eager to learn. Getting my Masters of Arts in Teaching helped me get up to speed with what is happening in the world of high school education, become familiar with the process of unit and lesson planning, and gain some classroom management skills. It helped ensure that I am not only a budding expert in my discipline, but can also effectively and creatively teach that content to my students. I'm looking forward to having a classroom of my own and diving into high school English!


 

 

Lissette Sanabia-  Elementary and Secondary Teacher, Instructional Coaching, and Testing Coordinator Roles

 
 
 
 
 
Road to Cornerstone 

My family was drawn to Cornerstone because of its Christ-centered education and unique UMS model. My daughters both attended Cornerstone for many years throughout their education. I was incredibly blessed to spend so much extra time with them at home. My current roles at Cornerstone include teaching Elementary and Secondary courses as well as some Instructional Coaching and Testing Coordinator roles.

Managing a Master’s Program, Family, and Work

I have always wanted to continue my educational career, but my focus was on being a mom and wife. As my children have grown into young adults, it became a realization that I could go back to school. While trying to keep a work-life balance, it was apparent that the best time to dedicate towards my coursework was in the late, late evenings. My coffee and espresso intake has definitely increased the past two years!! The biggest sacrifice was being away from my family for three weeks during the past two summers for on campus classes and coursework. Although these classes were highly educational and absolutely worth every minute, I missed my family beyond words.

More Than Just a Degree

Covenant has a gift of making students feel like family from day one. They are so hospitable and want to make sure you have everything you need to succeed. Above all, the professors at Covenant are the absolute best. They seamlessly weave God and Shalom into every single part of the coursework. It is such a blessing to continue a higher education with this lens. I am excited to continue my career at Cornerstone. I will be focusing my work as an Instructional Coach and providing support to teachers and staff. I would like to thank my family for their endless support. I am forever thankful to the wonderful professors at Covenant and my mentors at Cornerstone. Above all, I thank the Lord for giving me the endless strength to pursue and complete this dream. 


Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Summer is a great time to pursue new interests.  Whether it’s for academic or personal growth, Cornerstone encourages everyone to continue learning!


“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
Proverbs 18:15

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