Student Set to Graduate 100 Years After Great-Grandmother

As we celebrate Homecoming Week, we look back through years of students who pursued various degrees and went on to lead inspiring lives with fulfilling careers- some of which went on to become educators. Since the inception of Kent State’s Normal School in 1910, thousands of students have been trained in pedagogy and curriculum to become future teachers. Upon graduation, these educators have been sent into schools with the mission to educate and support the future generations of learners. 

Bailey McKarns Headshot
Integrated Language Arts Education major, Bailey Verona McKarns, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher at Kent State: “I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher [and] Kent State was my dream school. I was brought to Kent’s campus all the time by my parents, and I loved the energy that I felt when I was here.”
Photo of Verona McKarns

McKarns’ dream of becoming a teacher can be attributed to her great-grandmother, Verona McKarns (né Oakes), who graduated from Kent State Normal School in 1922- exactly 100 years before what will be Bailey’s graduation from the same program in 2022 (earning her bachelor's degree in education). McKarns recalls, “My great-grandmother, Verona, decided to save up money, live with her uncle, and she would drive to campus every day. She and I both grew up in a small farm-town in southern Ohio, [and] we both always knew we wanted to be teachers. We [both] believed education is so important.” 

While a century is composed of periods of change and transformation, one thing has remained the same: Kent State’s dedication to educating future generations of professionals. Upon graduation, McKarns hopes to become an English teacher who will teach “for the kids” like her great-grandmother, Verona, did.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 1:51pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 12:24pm
WRITTEN BY:
Daniela Munoz & Kedron Trapp