Q&A with Madison Ickes: 2024 A Gift for Teaching Scholarship Recipient

June 13, 2024

Bianca Stakes

Marketing Content and Communications Specialist

Meet Madison Ickes, recipient of an ACE master’s degree scholarship which we were proud to offer through our nonprofit partner, A Gift for Teaching. Ickes teaches middle school band and orchestra and is enrolled in the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program. It was great getting to know her better.

ACE: Congratulations on receiving the A Gift for Teaching scholarship! What does this mean to you?

Madison Ickes (MI): This scholarship means the world to me. I have been interested in continuing my education for a couple of years, but the financing was a roadblock. Thanks to A Gift for Teaching, I am able to do what I love and further my education. I am so grateful for the partnership between ACE and AGFT.

ACE: How long have you been an educator and why are you passionate about education?

MI: I have been teaching since 2014. I am passionate about teaching because I love helping my students learn something new. I get to keep my students for all three years of middle school, so I get to see them grow into wonderful musicians and people. I love coming up with new ideas for my classroom and creative ways for students to engage with material and stay motivated to learn. More than teaching my students content, I want them to want to learn and continue learning outside of school.

ACE: You’re enrolled in the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program. Why did you choose this program, and how do you see this scholarship helping you achieve your academic and career goals?

MI: Unsurprisingly, school has always been one of my favorite places. I can reflect now and see the impact that school leadership has had on my entire time in education, even as a student. I was fortunate to go to schools with wonderful principals who visibly supported their teachers. I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best leaders in Orange County, who have helped mold me into the educator I am today. This scholarship helps me to be the leader I want to be.

ACE: We’re proud that A Gift for Teaching is one of our nonprofit partners. How long have you been shopping there and how have they made an impact on your life?

MI: I have been a fan of A Gift for Teaching since I started teaching. I go several times a school year – some years I go every month – and they have furnished many of my class projects. Something new teachers should know is all of those supplies add up over the year. I started my first year with ten pairs of scissors after going to AFGT once a month, and now I have enough for a full class set. A great treat for my students is to play brain break games with the prize being something like a Disney autograph book or an oversized pencil.

ACE: What advice would you give to a new teacher or someone wanting to begin an education career?

MI: My advice to new teachers would be to remember that teaching, like all things, takes time. Your classroom and lessons will not be the same as a colleague who has been teaching for longer. You will gain experience and lessons as time goes on. Teaching gets easier and more intuitive the more you do it.  Never be afraid to ask for help and be open and willing to take advice. Find a mentor you trust to see you through those first years. And most importantly, remember to leave work at work and enjoy your time off!

Learn more about the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at American College of Education.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Bianca Stakes
Bianca Stakes, Marketing Content and Communications Specialist

Bianca Stakes received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from LSU Shreveport in 2017 upon an Associate of Applied Science in Communication Media. Her areas of expertise include email marketing, copywriting, copyediting and project management. Outside of marketing, Stakes enjoys advocating for individuals with disabilities, gardening, Hallmark movies and church.

Read all articles
Share this:
  • X
  • LinkedIn
Close Chat