Lainey Goolsby ՚21 to teach middle school in Illinois

Hometown: Ottawa, Illinois

B.A. in secondary education and English

Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length. 

What are your short and long-term plans after Cornell? I have already accepted a teaching position for next year at Northlawn Junior High in Streator, IL. I plan to go back to school in a few years for my master’s in educational administration.

How has Cornell prepared you for your future? I think Cornell’s education program does the most to prepare you for life inside your own classroom. We have practicums and student teaching that help us tap into our teaching potential and immerse us in the classroom.

Can you identify people you considered to be mentors at Cornell? Above all, Professor of Education Jill Heinrich has been a huge mentor to me throughout my time at Cornell. I visited Cornell as a sophomore and was able to sit in on one of her classes, and when I transferred as a junior she was the first person to reach out to me. Ever since then she has been my go-to person and advisor for all things. Without her support and guidance, my time at Cornell would have been very different, and I am grateful to have been able to know her.

What is the coolest topic you studied for an 18-day block? What made this block stand out to you? One of the coolest topics I studied was in a course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Katie Sagal called Queering the Restoration. We were able to examine the construction and disruption of gender during Restoration England. We traveled to Iowa City to look at books in the special collections room.

If you could share with your high school self some words of wisdom that you’ve since learned since being at Cornell, what would it be?

Always be resilient. The path is full of twists and turns but you have to learn how to maneuver them.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a Cornellian? My proudest moment at Cornell would be completing student teaching. It was a great experience that was both challenging and rewarding.

Favorite spot on campus: My favorite spot on campus is College Hall where most of the education classes take place. It is a place where I started and ended my journey at Cornell.

Favorite food served at the Hilltop or Zamora’s: Zamora’s mozzarella sticks are the best.

What you’ll miss the most: I will miss the people I’ve met and the relationships that I’ve formed with students and staff.