Allyson Huffman '22
Allyson Huffman ’22 wants to make a difference in the classroom and beyond.
The education major graduated with a job teaching kindergarten and first-grade special education in Winchester.
"The reason I went into teaching is to make a difference — and I just love being around the kids. I have multiple paths to choose from, but I see myself getting a master's degree, and maybe a doctorate, to go into education reform. There are a lot of areas of education that need to be fixed, especially in elementary school, which would be my focus."
Allyson chose Illinois College based on the education program’s excellent reputation and its early hands-on classroom placement. IC’s opportunities both on and off campus, like BreakAways, and the small community and close connections with faculty were also important to her. She described the education department as close knit and said the faculty were always involved, helpful, energetic and motivating.
"Going into the classroom my first year and my sophomore year gave me the confidence in what I had chosen to do and that I'll be able to do it. I'd have a stressful day and I'd have to go spend two hours in the classroom, and it made everything else worth it."
A Golden Apple Scholar, Allyson also sought out experiences outside of the classroom. She went to Scandinavia for a BreakAway exploring the education systems in Sweden and Denmark. She was also an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and owns a cookie business she launched in high school and continued to operate during her time at IC — hence her minor in entrepreneurship.
When deciding on a college, Allyson found IC to be more affordable while offering more than other options.
“With the scholarships that I had I was able to focus more on my education and the experiences at Illinois College while I was there. Because I didn't have to go straight from class to work all the time, it opened a lot of opportunities that were extracurricular."