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“It sparked something!"

 Samantha Traphanagan at Redland Oaks Elementary  Samantha Traphanagan helps a student at Redland Oaks Elementary

“I wanted to be a forensic scientist in the FBI.”

That was Samantha Traphanagan’s plan growing up.

But when she got to MacArthur High School, she heard about a program called MACUP.

It’s a magnet program designed for students interested in becoming educators.

“When I first went, I didn’t even know I wanted to be a teacher. I just saw that I could get college credit. I was like, ‘wow.’ And then the more I learned, it sparked something.”

MACUP students can earn up to 58 college credit hours. But for Samantha, that just turned out to be a bonus because she found her passion. MACUP students learn about a career in education - how it works and how to help students. It reminded her of how her teachers helped her when she needed them the most.

“When I started learning about diversity within education and how there are great schools and great communities, but then you also have to think about how there are a bunch of schools where they don’t have that community, where they don’t have the giving parents. And sometimes, parents aren’t around. So there is something to learn from that, I guess, and for me, my parents were around, but my parents got divorced when I was in second grade, so my teachers were always a constant positive. My teachers were just always a positive adult figure in my life, and I was very close with Miss D’Ambrosio. She was one of the closest people I had at the time.”

Miss D’Ambrosio was Samantha’s teacher when she attended Redland Oaks Elementary School.

She was there for her then, and she’s there for her now.

Thanks to Samantha’s head start from MACUP, she’s now a teaching assistant at Redland Oaks, and that constant positive adult in her life is now a colleague.

Samantha is currently attending UTSA and taking full advantage of the partnership UTSA has with the MACUP program. When she graduates, she hopes to teach History at the high school level. And she really hopes there’s an opening at her alma mater when the time comes. Until then, she will focus on being a constant positive adult for the kids she’s helping teach every day.

“There’s just something about a good teacher that helps. You just see the kids, and their eyes light up at certain things. Oh my gosh, it makes you smile, and they’re so funny. I really like my job. Oh, I love the kids.”

To learn more about the MACUP program, click here.

The deadline to apply to any NEISD magnet program is Monday, Feb 7. Click here to apply.

Posted by Evan Henson
Posted on 2-7-22