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Great Starts: Mallory Fritsch ’23
Portrait of student Mallory Fritsch

Great Starts: Mallory Fritsch ’23

From time to time, we like to showcase a new SNC grad who’s entered the workplace or grad school. Success stories like these are pretty common. In fact, 95 percent of SNC's Class of 2022 alumni who responded to a survey said they were employed, in grad school or doing service work within nine months of graduating.

Hometown: Green Bay, Wis.
Degree program
: Bachelor of Arts in elementary education
Plans after graduation: Mallory is a first-grade teacher at Wrightstown Elementary School in Wisconsin.

What were your first impressions of St. Norbert College?

I loved how welcoming everyone was on campus. I was walking past all these people waving and smiling, and I thought, “I don’t know anyone on this campus, this is really interesting.” It was kind of like its own little city block, and I instantly connected with the community and that’s what prompted me to be there.

I knew I wanted to work with children, so education was the natural path at the time. St. Norbert allowed me to be in the classroom almost right away, working with kids all four years, as a first-year, sophomore, junior and senior. So that played a big role in my decision to come here. And I had a few St. Norbert student teachers throughout my own primary education in the Green Bay School District, so I had seen how wonderful they were.

What will you take away from your teacher education at SNC?

I had wonderful student teaching experiences. In my first year I helped with an after-school program. My sophomore year was our Covid year, so I was in a 4K classroom online. My junior year I had a placement tutoring one-on-one in reading, and I was also doing almost like an internship at the Children’s Center on campus. And then for my student-teaching semester, I was at Wrightstown Elementary with first graders. It was nice to have the freedom to be in the classroom and experiment with the group of kids but then come back to St. Norbert and talk through things that were happening in the classroom and get feedback from our professors.

How did the personal connections you made help you develop as a teacher and a person?

I really connected with Dr. Andria Moon, and Dr. Stephanie Shedrow. They are both big into developing reading and writing skills, which were two things I was kind of nervous to teach, so they were welcomed mentors. Dr. Shedrow taught a children's literature class that was all about picking the right read-aloud books in your classroom, and what to do when you’re reading them. I found a lot of the books that I will be using in my classroom from that class. She also taught us a lot of practical skills like reading intervention, where you may have a kid who’s a little behind in reading and how to work with them in a smaller group setting.

My experience with Wishmakers on campus was incredibly helpful as well, because they are working with kids who have different critical illnesses. I learned about students who are having a different experience than what you might think a typical child might have. So, it allowed me to kind of expand my thinking a little bit more and be more inclusive in my own classroom.

I loved it at St. Norbert. I can't speak highly enough about the people who are there. It’s so nice to be in a little community like that and to be able to walk into the caf, and even if I’m going alone, I know I won't be sitting alone because there’s got to be someone in there that I know. It was more than I could have ever asked for in the college experience.

What are you most looking forward to in your first year of teaching?

I’m excited to build deeper relationships with students when I get them in my own class. It’ll be nice to use all the things that I’ve learned and put it into practice in my own space. 

And one thing I cherished from student teaching was seeing the students start to catch on to things and get excited about learning and exploring. It’s those tiny little things like pictures they draw for you where you know you’re making an impact in their life, not just as someone who’s giving them knowledge but someone who is also there as a person that they respect and who cares for them.