Bronco Spotlight: Noreen Heikes

Photo of Noreen Heikes with an elephant

Master of Arts in teaching, 2017

Current Job Title:

Agrisciences teacher 

Current Employer:

Vicksburg Community Schools 

Describe your current job:

I teach veterinary science, animal technology, wildlife and natural resources and horticulture, and advise 2 FFA and one HOSA chapters. Most of my classes are open to students from anywhere in Kalamazoo County through the KRESA Education for Employment program. These courses are hands-on and students participate in real-life experiences such as providing veterinary care to petting zoo animals, planning and establishing a food forest, testing and monitoring local surface water, and running a cat foster program. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to see students become engaged learners, and gain skills and confidence. I also love that my students tend to stay in touch, so I usually know the long-term outcomes for them. The most challenging part of my job is simply getting everything done! There is always far more planning, grading and paperwork than I can pack into a day! 

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path? 

I am a practicing veterinarian and have also always loved teaching. This career has allowed me to have both! 

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college? 

Find what you are passionate about, then figure out how to do something related to make a living. Try out several things, early on if possible; the more you have experienced, the better you will know what you like and dislike. 

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