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Andrea Johnson/DND MSU senior Madelyn Severson will cross the stage during Minot State University’s commencement ceremony on Friday at the MSU Dome.

Three Minot State University graduates say the university has prepared them well for the future.

Madelyn Severson, from Leeds, will actually be graduating after completing her education at her former school in Leeds next autumn. However, Severson and his elementary school classmates will still be able to cross the stage Friday at the Minot State University Dome.

“I remember that even when I was little, I always played at school with my sisters and I was always the teacher”, said Severson, who also works as a part-time nanny when she’s not at school. “They never wanted to be the teacher. Then when I was in high school, we had a teacher’s aide program and I was a teacher’s aide for the first year. My favorite time of day was to go there and help with the kids. I just knew it was something I would wake up to and love to do every day.

Severson has just completed his internships at Sunnyside Elementary in Minot.

She worked with fifth graders and enjoyed it more than she thought, but she would especially like to work with the first graders.

Andrea Johnson/DND MSU senior Brooke Nelson will cross the stage during Minot State University’s commencement ceremony Friday at the MSU Dome.

“I think my favorite age group would be first or second grade,” Severson said. “They still love you everyday but they’re not quite sassy yet…(well, maybe) they’re a little bit sassy!”

Severson comes from a family of teachers. Both of her grandmothers were teachers and her older sister is a teacher in Minto. Her mother is a social worker and also enjoys working with children.

Severson said she would like to eventually have her own family and raise them in a small town. One of the benefits of student teaching in Leeds is that she will be working with some of the teachers she got to know growing up who can offer valuable advice.

Severson, an outgoing, said she found it easy to make friends at Minot State, where there’s always a lot going on, and every teacher she’s had has been extremely supportive.

“You’re not just another name on their notebook,” she says. “They know you.”

Andrea Johnson/DND MSU senior Darice Burdick will cross the stage during Minot State University’s commencement ceremony on Friday at the MSU Dome.

Darice Burdick, who is also in the elementary education program, returned to school after 25 years as a stay-at-home mom, many of them as a military spouse. Her husband, Erik, is now retired from the US Air Force.

“We are empty nested,” said Burdick, who has three children and a grandchild. “It was time for me to do what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

Burdick has just completed his internships at Nedrose, working with third year students.

“Third graders are great kids, but they’re a bit young for me” she says.

Burdick will be teaching his students this fall at Erik Ramstad Middle School as a sixth-grade math teacher.

“I would love to teach middle school math, somewhere between fifth and eighth grade,” said Burdick.

Burdick said being a military wife and mother and grandmother gives her a lot of valuable experience that she says will translate well in a classroom setting. She knows how to work with children who may be going through something difficult at home.

Children can learn best when they “really know they have someone in their life who supports and loves them,” she says.

Burdick, a 1995 Minot High School graduate whose mother and grandparents also live in Minot, said she also made some good friends through the elementary education program.

Her family was a huge help as she pursued her college goals.

“I don’t think you can do this without the support of your family,” said Burdick.

Another graduate, Brooke Nelson, is looking forward to starting her nursing career at Trinity Health.

Nelson has always been interested in the medical field and said some of the courses she took at Minot High School also pointed her in that direction. Minot State’s nursing program prepared her well.

“It’s a great place to go to school” she says.

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