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Passion for Education

By Lizzie Kibler ('16) | Photography provided | Published May 2020
Cheyenne Combs

Meet Cheyenne Combs and Shelby Diener, two Middle Grades Education majors at Northern Kentucky University who found a passion for education and decided to follow their dreams of becoming teachers.

Cheyenne knew NKU was the university for her during the first half of her tour on campus.

“I haven’t regretted that decision once, in all my four years at NKU,” she says. “Northern Kentucky University has met every single need that I have ever had. It has provided me with friendships, a thorough education and an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the return of all my paid tuition.”

Cheyenne says she is studying the art of teaching with a focus in English and mathematics. Teaching is much more than what people think, according to her.

“Middle school students can face a lot of emotional, developmental and intellectual difficulties within their adolescent lifetime,” she says. “My program has prepared me, to not only teach to those difficulties, but embrace them in my future classroom.”

When Cheyenne started at NKU, her major was undeclared. However, after taking a career development class through the Office of Career Services, she found where she belonged.

“This class allowed me to take personality assessments, as well as develop an understanding of what I needed in a future career, as it pertained to my life,” Cheyenne says. “After this class, I decided on Education, and haven’t looked back since. I highly recommend this class to anyone who might not be sure what path is right for them.”


Shelby Diener

Shelby followed a different path to NKU. She was originally a student at the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College but was able to easily transfer credits to Highland Heights. 

Shelby luckily knows her biggest passion is teaching. She believes that education is incredibly valuable because all kids need someone to help them learn. But she also understands that not all college students will have the same experience.

“I would tell a first-year student that it's OK to not be sure of what you want to do for a career the second that you start college,” she says. “If you need to figure out what you want to do, you can take some time to figure it out while you are completing your General Education courses. Just stick with it, and find something that you can see yourself doing as a career.”

After graduation, Shelby will be certified to teach science and/or social studies from fifth grade to ninth grade, but she would love to teach sixth grade social studies at the middle school where she is currently completing her student teaching experience.

“Truthfully, the program that I am in is what kept me at NKU,” Shelby says. “The Middle Grades Education program is amazing, and I think that it has prepared me for what teaching is really going to be like.”