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Making the Grade and the Team

News Story

Secondary Education student and cheerleader Lindsey Soto ’16 gets ahead of the curve with SOE’s five-year program.

While choosing a career path can be a daunting task for some, Secondary Education student Lindsey Soto ’16 has been ahead of the curve since day one. “I’ve wanted to teach since I was a kid and my friends and I would play pretend school. As I got older, my teachers were amazing and inspiring. That’s why I want to teach,” she says.

Growing up with teachers in her family, education has been a big part of Soto’s life. She describes her schooling as hands-on and personal, with teachers that made an effort to get to know her and her interests, such as cheerleading. Soto recalls one teacher in particular who encouraged her to incorporate cheerleading into a math project on linear equations and graphs. “We did motions and stunts to find out how graphs fit into them. I was so excited, it was one of the best projects I’ve done in math,” says Soto, who now cheers at Pace.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of those who have inspired her, Soto is thankful to have found Pace to get her there. As a sophomore in the School of Education, she’s already had first-hand experiences in schools. “Pace sends you to classrooms your freshman year and that caught my eye. I love how they put you in the classroom so early, in case you realize that this wasn’t for you,” she says. In addition to her classroom observations, Soto has also volunteered at the Jacob Burns Film Center as part of her curriculum, helping third graders build their story-telling abilities.

But what Soto says attracted her to Pace the most—aside from Westchester’s beautiful campus—was the School of Education’s five-year program that allows her to graduate with a master’s degree. “Most other schools don’t do a five-year program. I saw some schools, but Pace was so much better. You could see that students got jobs after they graduated from Pace,” says Soto.

And with this head start on her career, Soto plans to double major in history so she can one day teach high school freshman and juniors history. Her favorite subject growing up was junior-year American history and discussing the lessons afterward with her father, who served in the Navy, and watching the History Channel together. She says she would also like to teach global history to freshmen as another option. “I know some students have trouble with global history, so if I’m able to help them their freshman year, then they’ll be able to do well sophomore year,” she says.

But until then, Soto applies the education lessons she’s learning in the classroom to her passion for cheerleading, which she’d like to coach someday at a high school. She maintains a close connection to her former high school squad and has even returned to help current freshmen with little to no experience in the sport. “You learn routines, you learn cheers, you learn dances—it’s all about learning in cheerleading, and it’s all about how it’s broken down in order for someone to understand it,” she says.

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