Desire to help daughter results in educational career

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Webster assisting Sophomore Sierra Smith with portfolio.
Photo by Mercedes Ott

Teacher, mother, motivator – that’s Cheryl Webster, coordinator of First Year Institute Seminar and associate professor of educational classes, and the organizer of dedicated events that take place on FPC’s campus such as the Holocaust Remembrance service or the Fall Festival. Despite her impressive titles, she only speaks of herself as a helping hand and not the hardworking professor that she is when asked about what she does at FPC.

“My job is to make coffee and cookies for the faculty,” Webster said. “But I’m also allowed to teach education classes, FYIS, and Learning Framework,”

Students who take Webster’s classes agree that she is enthusiastic about her job and teaching her students, and does so in an environment safe for student expression and questions they might have. Webster is known by her students and coworkers as one of the friendliest and kindest faces of FPC, and constantly takes time out of her schedule to help students one-on-one or to decorate for upcoming events or holidays.

“She’s a really nice person and it’s evident the first time you talk to her,” said sophomore Rachel Sandoval, who was enrolled in one Webster’s education classes.

Webster’s FYIS class provides students not only with knowledge for a college career but also information needed for an adult life after college. Some of the topics she has covered have ranged anywhere from avoiding sexual harassment or human trafficking, budgeting and applying for financial aid, maintaining a good credit score, and taking steps to avoid identity theft.

“All the classes I’ve taken with her are interesting,” Sandoval said. “Her teaching techniques are great and really help information stick.” Sandoval said Webster’s classes are helpful when it comes to real-life scenarios after college.

While a natural at teaching others, she had originally pursued a career in media, doing commercial work. However, it was ultimately her own daughter who led to her choosing to pursue a career in education, a decision she has stuck by throughout the years.  Webster said she but studied teaching “to find out how to help my youngest daughter with a learning disability,”

In her career she worked hard in order to learn the most effective ways to teach students with and without disabilities, with her daughter’s backing as her main motivation. Despite working with an attentive, helpful staff, her best learning came from the students she taught and worked with.

“My administrators were generous with opportunities to attend conferences and workshops, but my students were the experts closest to my heart,” Webster said, thinking back to her days of training.

After 12 years of differing work and life experiences, she decided to go back to school to teach students interested in becoming teachers. It was not long before her skills in education were noticed, and soon enough she was offered a job at FPC. While still a “relative newcomer to campus”, Webster’s time at FPC has been a long journey of meeting and teaching students from all walks of life and backgrounds. Her kind personality has left an impact on every student she teaches, but for her, the students are the ones who truly make her job amazing.

“I have been blessed in teaching with wonderful, supportive coworkers and the most delightful, inspiring, amazing students,” Webster said. “It’s the best job ever.”

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Desire to help daughter results in educational career