Winter Commencement 2023 - Kayla Witt, College of Education and Human Development

Kayla Witt

Kayla Witt knew she was destined to teach.

Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia, Witt first realized the impact she could make while watching her mother, a teacher herself, change students’ lives with her care and instruction.

“Seeing her love for her job every single day when she would come home from school … I think that really drew me in,” Witt said.

Witt will graduate from Radford University this month with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Witt says her older brother’s positive experience studying education at Radford inspired her to attend the university, where she was able to receive the quality education she wanted at a rate that was affordable.

“I am paying for school myself, so that always comes with a little bit of a barrier or financial strain,” Witt said, “but I knew that my passion for teaching was strong, and this was really what I wanted to pursue in my life and do as a career, so Radford really was the best choice for me.”

Witt says that her time at Radford has helped her develop her teaching skills and approach to accessibility. In Witt’s classroom, all students are included in lessons, and she focuses on making sure that the needs of each individual are met.

Faculty members at Radford University have also played a strong role in influencing Witt’s work. Witt says that the influence of Professor Holly Robbins and Associate Professor Gaston Dembelehave guided the way she teaches.

“I’ve had amazing professors throughout my time at Radford. Dr. Robbins has really shaped the way that I lesson-plan and the way that I try to reach my students,” Witt said. “Dr. Dembele as well has been an amazing mentor to me in the way that I need to include all of my students and have an open door for the differences they are able to bring to the classroom, [so] we can really celebrate those differences and create a community.”

Witt kicked off her teaching career as a student teacher at Round Hill Elementary School in her hometown of Roanoke in August 2023. After graduation, she will begin a full-time position at the school teaching first grade.

Looking forward to the long term, Witt envisions pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership and potentially studying to be an elementary school administrator to help improve accessibility for all students.

For Witt, the reason to teach was clear.

“I care about each student in my classroom on a personal level, not just academics, Witt said. “You truly do make an impact on each student’s life.”

Dec 11, 2023
Lauren Papp
(540) 831-7749