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Scharmann will teach low-income in Las Vegas

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POSTED June 12, 2013 1:50 a.m.

Here’s a hunch: Bet on Heather Scharmann.

The Sierra High and Fresno State graduate is bound for Las Vegas, where she’ll teach at a low-income middle school as a member of Teach for America.

“I’m really excited to go from being Heather to Miss Scharmann. It’s surreal,” she said in a telephone interview with The Bulletin. Scharmann, who recently graduated with honors from Fresno State, is currently attending a month-long training seminar in Phoenix.

“I’m excited. This is such a great program. There is visible impact that teachers have had on their students, and that can be me. I’ve seen the things they’ve done and how inspiring it is.”

Scharmann has shown herself to be an ideal candidate to champion Teach for America’s campaign.

Teach for America is a non-profit organization that enlists “individuals who show leadership potential and have other traits that are found in our most successful teachers,” according to its website.

Scharmann fits the bill.

She earned nine varsity letters in high school in volleyball, basketball and softball and served as Sierra High’s student body vice president and president as an upperclassman.

In the classroom, Scharmann has never known anything but an “A.” She was a straight-A student upon graduating Sierra High in 2009 and continued down that path of excellence at Fresno State.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 grade-point average, and was a President’s Scholar from the Smittcamp Family Honors College. The Smittcamp Family Honors College stresses scholarship, service and studying abroad.

Her next adventure takes her to Clark County, where she’ll pursue her master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas while teaching in a low-income community.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. … This program makes teaching more meaningful. We’re working in areas where they really need teachers,” she said. “I read up on the program and was really inspired. I imagined myself in that position.”

Scharmann has committed two years of service to the Teach for America program, which has made “a deep commitment to solving educational inequity.” She’ll work closely with children who don’t have access to the same resources and education as their wealthier peers.

She’s predictably excited about entering the classroom as teacher not student, but dizzy from the transition. Her first summer as a college graduate is being spent in training seminars in Phoenix. Soon, her class will transition to summer school classrooms.

“It’s been a whirlwind. I graduated and then I left 10 days later,” she said. “Between finals, graduation and moving, I didn’t have much time. Honestly, it felt similar to high school; I can’t believe it went so fast.

“I can’t believe I’m jumping into my career.”

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