Jordyn Zilian has a lot on her plate these days.
A 2017 North Allegheny graduate, she juggles working as a cargo specialist for the West Virginia Air National Guard 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron on top of majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Infant and Toddler Development at West Virginia University.
The busiest times aren’t that different from high school when Jordyn also attended A.W. Beattie’s Early Childhood Education program, was Treasurer and then Vice-President of FCCLA and played slow-pitch softball for the Tigers.
“I have so many stories from my time at Beattie, but the most memorable ones are going to leadership conferences for FCCLA and planning the Holiday game for the Kiddie Tech children,” Jordyn said. “Working with children was always a priority for me and when I found out about the ECE program, I knew that I made the right choice.”
Four years later, Jordyn is about to complete her undergrad before choosing a university for her Master’s in Speech Pathology to be a speech therapist in a school system.
“I knew I always wanted to work with children and children with disabilities, and after shadowing a speech pathologist in local elementary schools I really fell in love with the job and knew I made the right choice in choosing a major,” she said.
Looking back, she was influenced by Early Childhood Education instructor Miss Cari Ludwig, Mathematics Integration instructor Mrs. Jennifer Groomes and Culinary Arts instructors Chef Aaron Yurek and Mr John Ellis, who were FCCLA advisors.
“They were always encouraging and motivating me to have independent classroom success and reinforcing my self-esteem both in and out of the classroom,” Jordyn said. “What I liked about Beattie was that I was accepted there unconditionally. I got to learn about things that I want to implement in my everyday life as a teacher. And to be honest, I miss everything about Beattie, the teachers, the atmosphere, and I know I will use the skills I learned there every day in my life.”
One of the most important benefits of attending Early Childhood Education, Jordyn said, was gaining confidence to succeed in college.
“I was more prepared for West Virginia University, and classes seemed to be easier to understand because of the curriculum in the ECE program,” Jordyn said. “if I could give advice to ECE students, it would be to spread your wings and do something outside of your comfort zone. If it was not for Beattie, I would not have been given the opportunity to hold a leadership position that led me to building more self-confidence and leadership skills.”