Teacher Education
Student Success Stories

Teaching What He Loves:  Steven Hammond

Photo of Steven HammondBorn and raised in Cranbrook, Steven Hammond began his education at the College of the Rockies in the Teacher Education program.

Completing his Bachelor of Education at University of Victoria, he then returned home to Cranbrook where he currently teaches Physical Education and Mathematics at Mt. Baker Secondary School.

Steven grew up playing volleyball throughout the school and club systems, was a part of the Mt. Baker silver medal winning team at Provincials in 2001 and was named to the Second Team All-Stars as a setter. Though no longer playing, Steven continues to fuel his love of volleyball through coaching.  He currently holds his Level 1 NCCP Coaching Certification.

After two years as the coach of the Mt. Baker team, and winning another silver medal at Provincials, Steven has moved into the Assistant Coach role for the College of the Rockies Men's Avalanche team under Head Coach, Steve Kamps.  "I am excited to have the opportunity to work with an exceptional coach like Steve Kamps and the talented group of athletes on the Avalanche," says Steven.

A Born Teacher: Karly Fregin

Photo of Karly FreginKarly Fregin learned about the East Kootenay Teacher Education program at a career fair at her high school when she was in Grade 12.

Already tutoring younger students, Karly got a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the increased confidence in others when she was able to help them to grasp a challenging concept or subject.

After completing an Associate of Arts degree at College of the Rockies, with a focus on psychology, Karly applied for, and was accepted into, the Bachelor of Education program.  “I had heard that COTR offered an amazing teacher education program that provided a lot of practice in the classroom and great one-on-one support from the professors,” says Karly.  “I had met many teachers who graduated from the program and spoke highly of it.” 

Graduating in 2011, Karly quickly found employment teaching Basic French at a middle school in Swan River, Manitoba.  She has found that the Bachelor of Education program provided her with the skills she needed to start her teaching career successfully and is very happy with her decision to attend COTR.  “I have fallen in love with teaching after just one year. The students are amazing and the staff has been very welcoming,” notes Karly.  “Living in Manitoba has been great so far although I do miss the mountains from time to time.”

Graduation to Employment in 4 Months: Nina Erickson

Photo of Nina EricksonDuring her first practicum experience in the Education Assistant Program at College of the Rockies, Nina Erickson decided she wanted to continue her schooling and obtain a Bachelor of Education degree.

Being able to complete the entire four years of curriculum in Cranbrook solidified her decision. Nina completed the Education Assistant program in June 2008 and enrolled in the Bachelor of Education program the following September.

With interest in both special education and aboriginal education, Nina found her time in the Teacher Education program to be very fulfilling.  “The small class size allowed for more hands-on learning with many opportunities to engage in activities in different schools,” she says.  It is the experience gained in practicums in and around the Cranbrook area that she believes enhances the likelihood of graduates finding employment in rural areas.

Nina was thrilled to obtain a full-time teaching position in BC just four months after graduation.  She is certain her experience as a Grade Five teacher in Ahousat, BC will help her to grow and develop her skills and that she will, in time, find a teaching position back in the Cranbrook area.  “I hope to find my way back to School District 5 as an experienced teacher with more strategies for integrating First Nations education into the mainstream curriculum,” Nina notes.