Ellie Walecka '21

Major: Physical and Health Education
Minors: Coaching and Adaptive Physical Education

Why this major? What made you choose it?

I chose to major in physical and health education because I’m passionate about sports and helping people, and I would love to extend my love of sports and physical activity to young minds.

What is your career objective?

My primary goal is to become a physical education teacher in Wisconsin. At the moment, I’m hoping to teach in a middle school setting.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?  

I think my courses have prepared me pretty well so far. When I go into schools for my placements, I know how to interact with the students and how to help out the teachers when they need it. I’m excited to keep learning new things and developing skills that will help me along my path to teaching.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

I have developed a close relationship with Professor Dannhoff, the director of the Physical Education program. This has impacted my education greatly because we’re able to sit down and have conversations about what I need to be successful in my future but we’re also able to have fun and not be so serious all of the time. I have not only developed a relationship with Professor Dannhoff, but I’ve formed bonds with the other education professors as well. Whenever I see them, I’m welcomed with smiles and hugs. This shows that the student-professor relationships can be very professional and very personal at the same time.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your education at Carroll?

I think my most memorable experience so far has been my Cross-Cultural Experience trip to New York. I had a great professor and I got to work in a school in New York, experiencing a different culture that I’ve never experienced before. This was a very eye-opening experience and it taught me about how every culture is different, and how students’ needs can vary greatly depending on their cultural background. It also taught me that there are many different approaches to teaching physical education.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person?

Through Carroll, I’ve been able to get involved in many different clubs and organizations. I’m currently in Best Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Education Student Leadership Team, and club soccer. Being involved in all of these organizations has developed me into the person I am today. I have met so many amazing people through these organizations. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

I would tell them that you need to be passionate about children because if you aren’t, it’s definitely not the profession you want to be going into. I would tell incoming students that they should work hard and take advantage of the placements in schools that they’ll go to. Those are the best places to observe and learn different ways to teach and instruct kids. It’s also a great way to connect with teachers around the community, and the teachers you work with can be valuable references in the future.

How has financial aid made a difference in your life?

I do receive a scholarship through Carroll and it has made a big impact on my life and education. With my scholarship I’m able to attend this really great, personable school where I can build a one on one relationship with my professors. I’m also able to get close with classmates that I have multiple classes with. These two things are very valuable to me because I’m able to have friends that can help me out with classes. Developing close relationships with my professors has helped me get through my hardest courses because the professors know my name and I’m not just a number to them.

What’s your favorite place to study on campus?

My favorite place to study on campus is in the Learning Commons. When I’m there, I can put my headphones in and really concentrate on my work.

Learn more about the Physical and Health Education major


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