Maricela Guzman found herself in the situation every college student fears: she entered
Midland College (MC) as a business administration major; however, after taking only
a few business classes, she started receiving mediocre grades and realized she was
“Business was just not for me,” Guzman said.
Guzman received the Legacy Scholarship, which covers tuition and fees up to $1,050
for fall and spring terms renewable for a total of two years. All Legacy scholars
complete 40 hours of community service each year for the award. Guzman completed her
volunteer hours at a Midland school and thought she might like teaching. Turns out,
her second choice major was the charm.
“When I volunteered for my Legacy Scholarship hours, I graded kids’ assignments and
read to them,” Guzman said. “That experience is when I started enjoying teaching.
So my then-advisor and Students in Philanthropy coordinator Julia Vickery helped me
get into Education 1301, and I knew instantly I liked teaching. As soon as I started
taking education classes my grades went up as well.”
“Maricela’s impact on the future of our children under her care is assured,” Vickery,
now vice president of Student Services said. “As she moved through her academics and
philanthropic requirements at MC, I saw the characteristics of passion, service, dedication
and kindness personified in her actions. I was thrilled when she found her calling
to teach. I thought then, as I think now, how lucky her students will be!”
Education 1301, Introduction to Teaching, allows MC students to dive right into teaching.
It includes 16 hours of field experience in a Midland Independent School District
“I took Education 1301 with Denise McKown,” Guzman said. “I still remember my first
assignment: teaching second grade at Pease Communications & Technology Academy with
Miss Dominguez. I still keep in contact with her to this day. I had a bag full of
lessons, and it was my job to study the plans and teach the students.”
“Maricela has been passionate about children and learning from day one in my class,”
McKown said. “She jumped right in and has capitalized on every opportunity she had
for hands-on learning in her field observations. Her ability to relate to children
and make learning fun for them will be an asset for the students, campus and district.”
Guzman received an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree from MC in May 2017. She stayed
an extra semester because it was more economical to continue taking transferable classes
at MC, rather than at a university. She then transferred to the University of Texas
Permian Basin (UTPB). With all her MC credits, she only had to take three semesters
at UTPB. Guzman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in
“Coming to MC was the best decision; I saved so much money,” Guzman said. “I did not
have to take out students loans. I am debt free now. I am ready to start my life.
I am also glad I came somewhere small like MC to start because I was able to create
close relationships with my professors. Professor McKown has been there since my first
education class, and she has helped me through passing my certification exams when
I was no longer technically a student of hers. We have each other’s cell phone numbers.
If I ever had any questions while I was studying, I just sent her a text, and she
responded immediately. I would not be where I am today without her and Julia Vickery’s
Guzman is now teaching fourth grade math at Bowie Fine Arts Academy.
“I know from my student teaching days that education is the most rewarding job,” Guzman
said. “There is a certain sense of accomplishment and excitement when you see a light
bulb go off in a student’s mind, and they finally understand a concept you taught
them. Teaching is a hard job, but it is so worth it.”