MARYVILLE, Missouri – Taylor Giesken, originally from Maryville, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Kindergarten to Grade 12 Arts Education from Northwest Missouri State University this month.
According to a press release, Giesken always knew she wanted to attend Northwest because she grew up walking around campus. However, she didn’t expect to enjoy her time in college as much as she did.
“The art department is where I spent most of my time. Northwest gave me a studio to work in and I met my best friends here, ”Giesken said. “I just feel like I’m leaving a part of my life that has been one of the best times of my life. I really didn’t think I would love Northwest as much as I did.
A press release said Giesken had learned networking skills and used resources to help him be successful during his time at TRIO. She also made connections through her involvement in Art Club, a student organization for students and art enthusiasts. Last September, she represented the club at the Creston Arts Festival in Creston, Iowa.
By taking classes and observing classrooms in and around Maryville, Giesken developed teaching and art skills and finalized his decision to pursue a career in arts education.
“I love the community feel of the small town of Maryville,” Giesken said in a press release. “I love rural school districts. I just feel like, professionally, I can relate to the children. I kind of fell in love with it.
In addition to being a full-time student, Giesken has worked full-time with adults with developmental disabilities at the Bethesda Lutheran Communities group home in Maryville.
A press release noted that Giesken plans to stay in Maryville while she seeks work as an art teacher. During this time, Giesken will replace teaching and continue his work in the Lutheran communities of Bethesda.
Giesken also plans to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling at Northwest next summer.
According to a press release, Giesken said his time at university allowed him to discover his passion and try new things.
“I made a lot of mistakes, but I would say you shouldn’t be afraid to make these mistakes,” said Giesken. “If you don’t take risks, if you don’t make mistakes, how are you going to become yourself?