EFCTS | June 1, 2022
It’s a special moment for a school district when a student commits to a career in teaching. Wanting to give back to others in a similar way they were supported through their primary and secondary educational experience is a unique ambition.
Even as a child, Mary Kate Gebhart, a recent graduate of Gahanna Lincoln High School and Eastland Fairfield Career and Technical School (EFCTS) in the Teaching Professions program, knew she wanted to enter special education.
Gebhart attended the Gahanna Special Olympics swim meet as a middle school student and noticed “how patient and kind people with disabilities were.” She credits Gahanna Middle School East educators, Mrs. Waits and Mrs. McKee, with giving her insight on what it takes to be a special education teacher. Since then, she has passionately followed that pursuit and has recently been given two prestigious distinctions.
In early April, Mary Kate was presented with the 2022 Red Ranger Scholarship, which was created by a family in Gahanna whose Power Ranger-loving son benefits from the work of those in the special education field. The scholarship is awarded to a Gahanna-Jefferson Public School (GJPS) graduate who has shown commitment to special education. Qualifications include volunteering in special education classrooms in Gahanna-Jefferson's elementary, middle, and high schools for at least two semesters while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Mary Kate has shown dedication to the career field of special education, volunteering at all levels through the GJPS district. For her work, she is being awarded a $10,000 academic scholarship in its inaugural year.
A surprise celebration to congratulate her was hosted by the scholarship’s founding family, with Power Rangers present, and overflowed with smiles, tears of gratitude, and embraces from students, peers and staff.
“Honestly I’m just so grateful and honored to be the first-awarded Red Ranger,” Mary Kate said. “This is something that I will truly never forget.”
Soon after that celebration, Mary Kate also learned that she was named a national officer for Educators Rising, a career-technical organization for those pursuing a career in education that provides intra-curriculum support integrated with existing training. Serving first as the public relations secretary for Educators Rising Ohio, Mary Kate will soon become one of four national officers, serving alongside students from Alaska, Louisiana and Arkansas. Her specific position will be determined when all officers convene in June at the Educators Rising national conference.
Mary Kate has chosen her next E to be additional education. She will continue her path toward becoming an intervention specialist in the fall when she attends nearby Capital University.
“I’m looking forward to turning my chapter,” Mary Kate said. “I can’t wait to be involved in what Capital has to offer.”
For more information about Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools and the Teaching Professions
program, please visit EastlandFairfield.com.