“They Love Me–And I Don’t Know Why”

“They Love Me–And I Don’t Know Why”

Paige Stockinger

When Paige Stockinger came to see the Resurrection Pageant held on the Southwestern Adventist University campus in April, 2009, it was one of the first opportunities she had to learn about the University and about Seventh-day Adventists.

A native of Mesquite, Stockinger originally intended to go to Chicago for college, but chose Southwestern because friends were here and she found the Christian environment appealing. “I also heard that the program for training teachers was good,” she adds. Now she plans on graduating with a degree in elementary education and teaching certification in December, 2013.

Stockinger’s dream job is to teach first grade. She sees Dr. Michael England, education professor, as her mentor. “I was here about a month and he got me an internship with his wife in elementary school.” She ended up spending every extra moment she had at the school, and fell in love with teaching.

Stockinger has never had trouble with school, and especially enjoyed her American Lit class with Dr. Judy Laue. But she really loves the education classes she takes.

“I personally believe the teacher training program is Southwestern’s best program, but of course I don’t know much about the other programs. We have great teachers and they care a lot. My education classes are really, really fun.”

Her favorite education professor is Dr. Randy Gilliam, because she says “he’s so jolly all the time. He’s tough on the students when he wants you to learn and he gives assignments that can be difficult, but he’s usually so carefree and happy. You can talk to him about anything. And he laughs.”

Stockinger’s grandfather, who died in 2009, was the pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy in Tyler. She had occasionally visited a Baptist Church in Mesquite, but now she finds that she can’t attend that often.

When she rediscovered God after being away from church a while, she decided to come to Southwestern, a Christian campus—and found that she agreed with many of the Adventist beliefs. It took her a little while to get used to living in the dorm, but she found that having dorm worships helped her think about spiritual things even when she was in classes.

“A lot of times you get really busy and you don’t realize you should be keeping up with certain things,” she says. “Being here really helped. You have to go to worships and the church is right there.

“Most of the people are great,” she says. “Nobody really judges. I really do believe a lot of the things that Adventists do.”

Stockinger is a transfer student, and because of scheduling issues, she hasn’t had an opportunity to take a religion class as a Southwestern student. “I haven’t had a Christian Beliefs class, so I haven’t learned everything that Adventists believe. But I know that taking that class will be really good for me.”

More than anything, she’s eager to take what she has learned in the classroom and share it as a teacher. She plans on taking 18 hours per semester until graduation because she’s eager to get out and teach. In the meantime, she’s absorbing what she can from a department and professors that she has learned to love.

“For some reason, all my education teachers love me, and I really don’t know why,” she says. “They’re all so super nice.”

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  1. David Laubach
    July 12, 19:52 Reply
    What an inspiring story! I am so glad that Ms. Stockinger wants to be a teacher, but I hope she slows down and enjoys the present opportunity she has to be a student in a small, residential, academic community.
  2. Joshua Otis
    October 28, 03:53 Reply
    You should take some religion courses. I'm not a religion major but I'm taking some anyways. I am enjoying taking christian courses at SWAU. There is so much to learn about God and the Bible. The teachers at SWAU are very knowledgeable. I'm glad that you are able to attend this school. God Bless

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