Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Optimism is sometimes hard to stumble upon as we are consumed by the stress that comes with busy schedules and contemplating life choices. However, senior early education major Paige Baierl’s optimistic personality helps her shine within her major and extracuricular activities here at Westminster.
Baierl came to Westminster as a math major with a secondary education minor. As she progressed through the program, she realized that she was being called down a different path.
“I was really excited when I switched to early education because I think God always had a calling for it,” Baierl said. “I’d be in front of children, and I just felt so at home there when I’d go volunteer at Sunday school.”
Baierl originally planned become a high school math teacher. As her view on her studies evolved, her view of herself molded with the changes.
“I’ve started to accept challenges more and accept change,” she said. “I really hated change, but since college, I’ve developed into a more approachable person and more of a person who is reaching out and more outgoing.”
As a woman who will mentor young adults as her career, Baierl exemplifies the essence of a person who lives her life for others. She helped kindergarteners in the classroom during practicum at Mercer Elementary School last year. There, she taught lessons in each content area, assisted the teacher and students and conducted morning meetings.
She will continue to develop her skills this year as she completes another practicum at George Washington Elementary School and her student teaching position in the spring. She also volunteers at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church as a youth group leader for middle school girls.
Baierl is a member of the cross country and track and field teams, was a resident assistant for two years, volunteered in the preschool lab and is an advisee mentor for the early education department. Therefore, she does not limit herself in the number of people she touches.
“I love meeting new people, and I’ve broken out of my shell in college to the point where I can just be approachable,” she said. “Everyone has a different point of view, so it’s fun to get immersed in different groups to find the different kinds of people at Westminster. It’s so cool to go in each group and know that there are so many similarities, too.”
Baierl graduates this spring, and the thought of the unknown excites her rather than cripples her. Her future may be uncertain, but Westminster helped Baierl realize that life isn’t necessarily about having everything figured out.
“I love that I have no idea what I’m going to do in the future,” she said. “I know my career path, but God can really use me anywhere. It’s out of my hands, I’m excited to see where I end up, and then I just go from there.”