Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dixie McGrath - Grad Student

Hello everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t been in class, but I have enjoyed getting to know you through your posts. Here’s a little about me….

Today is my BIRTHDAY. I am 49-years old, and I just spent the past four days celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband, Kerry. He had planned a vacation to Florida before he found out I was going to be able to take courses this second summer session.

We have four children – four teenagers, actually. Two sets of twins. The oldest two, both boys, graduated from high school in 2009. Ryan attends the University of Arizona, and Sean is currently serving a year in AmeriCcorps NCCC. His last assignment is in the San Bernardino Mountains, preventing forest fires. In August, he will attend Texas State as a freshman.

My youngest children, age 14, will be sophomores in high school. Megan and Brendan are currently in El Salvador on a mission trip with our church and will be home on Friday. Normally, they keep me busy.

I received my Bachelor of Journalism from UT Austin in 1983. I have 23 years experience teaching journalism and advising student publications. I started my career teaching high school but after 10 years switched to middle school. I spent 12 years teaching at Hill Country Middle School in the Eanes School District in Austin before I took four year leave of absence. Last year was my first year back and I was fortunate to return to the same school, where journalism is valued and use of technology is encouraged.

I have taught Yearbook, Newspaper, Computer Technology, English and Photojournalism. I love technology and I love learning, so I decided to pursue a Masters in Educational Technology at Texas State University. Having earned 20+ graduate credits in the eighties, I had hoped I could do it quicker; however, I had to start over completely. Then when I went to enroll this summer, I found out that most of the courses that I had wanted to take are not offered in the summer. Yikes…so I changed directions and am now working on a Masters in Secondary Education, which frees me to take courses in other departments. I am excited to be working with Dr. Royal to learn all I can about web-publishing, so I can start an online newspaper at my middle school this fall. I feel fortunate to have met her by chance this summer.

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