Alyssa Doelger

The Future Teachers Association (FTA) has been an important organization on campus for many years now. Currently, the FTA is advised by Jodie Riek and Taylor Walkky-Byington.

Riek, an assistant professor of teacher education, has been a co-advisor of the FTA for about a year and a half. Walkky-Byington, a student advisor, has been a co-advisor since her first semester at UWS in 2015.

Riek and Walkky-Byington also take care of paperwork, budgeting, and the logistical side of events.

The two advisors’ main drive for participating in the organization is the way it allows them to connect with students.

Walkky-Byington especially enjoys collaborating with the students and hearing about their experiences, and Riek is passionate about building future leaders in the field.

The FTA offers many opportunities to students. Through the organization, students can realize their potential through their countless opportunities to build leadership skills.

The FTA also strives to bring out the individual in each student, as Riek explained, “each individual has an innate purpose within themselves and they have the ability to be the best they can be in different contexts.”

Education provides students with the tools to bring out their individual strengths from within, overall preparing students to guide future generations and improve societies.

Students in the FTA are further able to engage with professionals outside of the university, and work with kids in different modes outside of the classroom. There are many informal events, such as meet and greets and study-a-thons.

One popular activity the FTA hosts is a reading event, Buzzing into Superior Stories, which also impacts the community.

Buzzing is an online event that allows not only the local community, but also students across the state, to hear different stories and have a rich literature experience.

Both advisors of the FTA are very passionate about and committed to the students in the club.

Walkky-Byington stresses the importance of education as she stated, “without teachers we would have nothing else, (they are) the backbone of everything else in society.”

The FTA currently has about 30 members, but the number of students in the organization often fluctuates as students do not have to commit to participating in the FTA regularly.

This is an organization that may be worth checking out to any education students.
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