Kristen Forgotch

Kristen Forgotch

Education, 2011

First-grade teacher at St. Bonaventure School in Thoreau, N.M.

St. Bonaventure Indian School is a private, Catholic school located at the southeastern edge of the Navajo Nation in Thoreau, N. M. Almost all of my students are of Navajo descent, from low-income homes. I love working here because I get to interact with and learn the local Navajo culture.

The kids on the reservation come from a very high level of poverty that no one really knows about. Some of the kids also do not have running water, so books and education are not a priority for families. For most of my students, the nearest public library is at least a 30-minute drive. The nearest true bookstore is about a two-hour drive away and the only other place to buy books close by is Wal-Mart, which also is a 30-minute drive. In April 2013, Lycoming College held a book drive in which 2,500 books were collected and donated to the St. Bonaventure School.

The Lycoming education department put me in an excellent placement for student teaching, which made me fall in love with teaching first grade, no matter what location. Also, many of my Lycoming professors wrote me amazing letters of recommendation, which helped me secure my current position.