By BRITTANY DUNCAN
Although Allison Bartkoski, a bright-eyed 23-year-old from Camdenton, Mo., comes from a family of teachers, she didn’t always know what she wanted to do. Her mother taught primarily first and fourth grade for 32 years and her father was a band director for 30 years.
It wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she decided she wanted to become a teacher.
“In Spanish [class] I got to work with kindergartners two times a week and just fell in love,” Bartkoski said. “It’s my favorite age.”
Bartkoski graduated from Missouri State University in May with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
“I’m qualified to teach from birth to third grade,” she said with a smile.
In July, Allison married Scott Bartkoski, a medical student in his second year at the University of Missouri-Columbia. They have plans to stay in Columbia after Scott finishes his three-year residency at the university.
“We like the atmosphere,” she said. “Columbia isn’t too big of a city, but just big enough that there’s a lot to do.”
Bartkoski also plans to continue teaching kindergarten.
“They’re at an age where they are learning so much and are excited,” she said. “Not only am I their teacher, but I get to play mommy for the day.”
When not in the classroom, Bartkoski is likely to still be working. “Honestly, teaching kind of consumes my life right now,” she said.
And though it’s only been four weeks, she’s already feeling at home.
“I think this school’s environment is the best I’ve been around,” she said. “Everyone is really looking out for the kids.”