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WGU Graduate Speaker, Shannon Klieves, Winter 2010

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Shannon Klieves, Winter 2010
Western Governors University
<p>Shannon Klieves was selected as a graduation speaker for WGU's Winter 2010 Commencement. Shannon is from Spring Hill, FL.</p> <p>Shannon Klieves earned her Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>I just want to start by saying it's an honor to have the opportunity to be standing in front of you as a graduate of WGU. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to stand up here and share my personal story with you, even though it's a very scary experience for me. While I have no problem speaking to kids in the classrooms, speaking in front of adults is quite another story. [Chuckling]</p> <p>I want to take the time to thank my sister, Leslie, and my grandma, Mimi. I especially want to thank my husband, Chris, for all the babysitting, diaper duty, and paper editing he's done for me. I also want to thank my children, Hunter and Reed, for spending tummy time watching mommy type papers on the laptop and story time listening to mommy read textbooks. [Chuckling]</p> <p>And I can't forget about all the support from the WGU staff, especially my mentor, Dana Horgan, for her support in the good times and the bad. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. And just like my classmate, I too remember lining up all my baby dolls, Barbie's, and stuffed animals in rows and pretending to teach them. I would read books them and even give them homework, but for some reason, they never turned it in. [Chuckling]</p> <p>I cut school buses out of cardboard boxes and would push them through the house, dropping my dolls off at their bus stops. Every day when I'd return with my buses, my dolls would be there waiting on me, reminding me of my dream to become a teacher. WGU has helped me turn that dream into reality. As a result of my work at WGU, I'm now a licensed teacher in the state of Florida.</p> <p>My childhood years were challenging, and I didn't have a storybook home life. As a result, by the time I was in third grade, I was already well behind other children in my class. Fortunately, my third grade teacher recognized that I was struggling and had me tested for learning disabilities. I was diagnosed as being dyslexic. As I moved through school, my home life continued to affect my ability to be successful in school. As a teenager, I was extremely shy and withdrawn.</p> <p>I was just about to get married to my husband when I decided it was time for me to go to college. Shortly after we married, I applied to WGU and was able to qualify for financial aid. During my first year at WGU, my husband and I both worked long hours and didn't get to spend much time together. </p> <p>During my time at WGU, I've experienced several miracles. Some of these miracles that have occurred while I was a student at WGU were my children, Hunter, who's 22 months old, and Reed, who's nine months old, and another who's due this June. As I mentioned, the boys have spent a lot of time watching and helping their mommy study for her degree.</p> <p>In my years at WGU, I've developed a terrible habit I call stalking. This stalking refers to the number of times that I've logged in to Task Stream to check on my assessments and progress. Just the other day when I logged in, I noticed I had logged on 2,936 times. And that's not counting all the times I stayed on and just hit refresh. [Chuckling] I bet most, if not all, the grads at WGU know what I'm talking about and are guilty of the same thing.</p> <p>Now that I'm a teacher, I hope to be able to repay all the teachers who helped me by helping other students learn to read. When I was in elementary school and struggling to learn to read, it was a teacher who took the time to make sure I could learn. And now, I can do that for other children.</p> <p>My journey at WGU is proof to everyone else that anyone who believes in themselves, no matter their background or disability, can achieve anything they put their mind to. WGU has helped me to overcome some of the difficulties that I have encountered with my dyslexia by providing tutoring and other resources along with tons of support. This support has given me the confidence to get through my studies and complete my degree. </p> <p>My tory demonstrates that even a little girl who hadn't learned her alphabet by the third grade can achieve their dreams. I am happy to say that I no longer teach baby dolls and Barbie's, but I am now teaching real, live elementary school children. </p> <p>Again, I would like to thank all WGU staff and my mentor, Dana Horgan. To my sister and grandma, thank you for never letting me give up. To my husband and children, thank you for sharing our time together to allow me to study and finish my degree. I'd like to close by reading a quote from Dr. Seuss. "Don’t cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Thank you.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)