With a 'passion for helping others' UW-Casper student earns excellence award

(Casper, Wyo.)- Devon Shew, a senior in the elementary education program through the University of Wyoming at Casper (UW-Casper), was recently presented the Sue Jorgensen Excellent Student in Education award. The twentieth recipient of the honor, Shew received scholarship funding from John Jorgensen, husband of the late educator whom the award memorializes, which was matched by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). Jorgensen created the award in 1996, honoring UW-Casper education students who earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average, exhibit professional disposition toward mentors and peers, contribute to the education field through leadership and community service, and display a positive attitude to promote excitement and curiosity about learning. Shew was nominated and selected by UW-Casper’s education faculty and staff. “Devon is amazing,” praised UW-Casper assistant professor of elementary education Jennifer Forrester. “In his residency, he would use sign language to communicate with a special needs student, and then he began teaching the class how to use sign language, too. He is the epitome of a lifelong learner; he never stops pushing himself or others around him. He has a big heart that will take him wherever he wants to go.” Shew definitely knows where he wants to go. “I have a passion for helping others that started when I used to help my brothers with their homework at the kitchen table,” said Shew. “But I really learned that I wanted to teach in high school. I mostly enjoy the little moments with students, when you are not ready for them but they make you chuckle.” Natrona County School District teacher and Shew’s mentor Cassie Holt believes that the little moments made Shew an effective role model for their kindergarten/first grade class. “Devon is a positive, strong male influence for kids,” she said. “He is filled with joy, love, and passion for kids in unique situations. He is thorough and prepared. He will be a good teacher; he is a good person.” This award is one of the branch campus’ highest honors bestowed upon prospective teachers. It was established by Jorgensen to pay tribute to the memory of his wife and the first coordinator of the teacher education program through UW-Casper, Sue Jorgensen. “Sue was a tremendous advocate for students who wanted to get an education,” recalled Jorgensen at the recent award ceremony. “Some students thought they could sign a tuition check and get a degree, but she made them work.” Delivering University of Wyoming programs in Casper since 1976, Shew will graduate from UW-Casper with a bachelor’s degree in May, and is hoping to teach in the Natrona County School District. Feature Photo: Devon Shew, a senior in the elementary education degree program through UW-Casper, receives the Sue Jorgensen Excellent Student in Education award at a recent reception. Presenting him with the award is associate dean and interim director of UW-Casper Scott Seville, award founder and patron John Jorgensen, and the BOCES vice-chairperson Dana Howie. h/t UW-Casper/Pitchengine Communities #oilcity #news