Alumnus Randy Ebright ’09 entered college unsure of a field of study but knew that after graduating from a large high school he wanted a small setting to help guide his higher education journey. During high school, he started volunteering with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and continued his outreach while in college.
“It was through my experiences of working with teenagers through this program that I was able to not only recognize a need in my community for educators and positive role models, but I also discovered a desire within myself to serve in such a role,” notes Ebright.
After graduation from Holy Cross College, he dove into a vocation of education and completed the Transition-to-Teaching program offered at Indiana University at South Bend.
“Upon completion of the program, I started my teaching career at John Adams High School in South Bend in 2010 where I taught English/Language Arts for ten years, being recognized as Teacher of the Year twice as well as South Bend Community School Corporation Teacher of the Year runner up in 2019,” said Ebright who transferred to Mishawaka High School in 2020.
Holy Cross College affect
“Due to the small class sizes at Holy Cross College, as well as their diverse liberal studies program, I decided to attend Holy Cross in hopes that I would find a passion to pursue as a profession. The enthusiasm and rigor of many professors’ classes ignited a desire in me to completely immerse myself in my studies, taking as many classes as possible. I think I took over twenty credit hours a semester a few semesters,” recalls Ebright. “I experienced a sincere interest in inquiry, especially in my literature courses. I rediscovered my passion for storytelling in large part due to the exposure to literature and discussion, especially in Dr. John Raymer’s Shakespeare courses and Dr. Justin Watson’s American Literature classes. These impactful learning experiences helped to guide me on a path toward English/Language Arts in the teaching profession.”
Being a Saint offered an academic and personal influence on his student life.
“Holy Cross College impacted me personally by allowing me opportunities to serve not just our community, but those outside our community as well. At the conclusion of my freshmen year, I traveled with Professor Michael Griffin and several other students to Lima, Peru. We worked with many people within impoverished communities, including teaching some classes and interacting with families at Yancana Huasy. We even helped put in a cement floor for a local church in the community. These experiences allowed me to witness the global needs of others as well as the responsibility, and ability, I have to help positively contribute to the lives of others,” said Ebright.
“I have many memorable experiences at Holy Cross College, but I will choose the most humbling. My first college essay was for Brother John Tryon’s Composition I class. It was a two-page description/introduction of ourselves. Upon submitting the assignment, Brother John made transparencies of a few examples (removing the student’s names) and displayed them to the class. Mine was the first one. I bragged to the students next to me when he first put it on the overhead, but then quickly sunk down in my seat when he tore it apart,” recalls Ebright. “Reflecting on the quality of the work, I realize now that he probably was a little too lenient, but at the time, I remember feeling a bit discouraged and also motivated to improve and show him what I was capable of. I still struggled to meet his high expectations, but his guidance and feedback only encouraged me to continue to try. At the end of the semester, he asked if I could tutor in the writing center, which was a unique situation since, at the time, mostly upperclassmen were given such opportunities. This experience humbled me and gave me an opportunity to respond to adversity which, looking back, I do so in a way that makes me proud.”
“My plans for the future are to continue teaching at Mishawaka High School. I plan to take on new and different opportunities and courses to teach, including our Summer Bridge program where we work with preparing freshmen and sophomore students for the course rigor in our Early College Program, including taking them on college visits. This past summer, I was able to take several of my classes to Holy Cross College where I was able to run into several professors and admin personnel, including Jodie Badman, who were so kind and influential during my time as a student. Being able to walk the hallways again with my own students made me feel as though I had come full circle in pursuing my passion in education and vocation to help positively impact the lives of others,” said Ebright.
Photo provided by alumnus Randy Ebright ’09.