To our community with gratitude

While we are grateful for all of our alumni, we wanted to take time to specifically recognize the EDYS alumni in our community – those who came to Beloit for an education but have committed to giving back to this community beyond their years on campus.

Education and Youth Studies students have a longstanding tradition of gaining a variety of hands-on experiences in the field throughout their four years on campus.  This community is equipped with great models and willing mentors for what our students aim to be. Over the years, this has cultivated a unique bond between the college and the community.  More and more alumni are choosing to stay after graduation and plant their roots long term in the Beloit area. We often showcase alumni far and wide doing amazing work in their new locations, but we wanted to express our deepest gratitude to those who have thanklessly committed to educating and giving back to this great community.

Below are their stories. 


Kati McQueen

Kati McQueen

What first drew you to Beloit College?

 I am from Beloit and liked the idea of staying close to home. I also knew I wanted to teach in Beloit after graduation and wanted to stay close for that reason.

Why did you choose to stay and work in the Beloit community?

I grew up in this community and really value the diversity. I knew this was the place I wanted to raise my children. I feel it is such an advantage to grow up alongside people who look different and have different lifestyles.

What is your why?

My students at Beloit Memorial are an inspiration to me. So many of them carry burdens we do not see. I am inspired by how resilient they are.


Danielle Lavariega Danielle Lavariega

What first drew you to Beloit College?

I wanted a small school with a good sense of community. I also liked the TESL program that was offered at the time.

Why did you choose to stay and work in the Beloit community?

I completed my student teaching at Beloit Memorial High School and chose to apply for a teaching job there after graduation because I made some great connections with my cooperating teacher and other colleagues.

What is your why?

Sylvia Lopez inspired me while I was a Beloit College student. As a teacher for the School District of Beloit, I work with some amazing colleagues who continue to inspire me, including Julie Horvath, Becky Paulsen and Carol Durán. I’d have to say that my students are a huge inspiration as well. Teaching is hard, and it gets more difficult every year, but it is important for me to create a warm, welcoming, and safe space for our newcomer EL students who are entering school in the United States as high schoolers. Adolescence is difficult enough, but watching my students navigate high school in a new country and a new language, sometimes without their parents, is part of what keeps me going.


Adri Cofoid

Adri Cofoid 

What first drew you to Beloit College?

I actually transferred to Beloit my sophomore year from a community college. A friend of mine had also transferred to Beloit, and when I went to visit her, I fell in love with the people I met and the atmosphere of campus. It’s still one of my favorite places to be.

Why did you choose to stay and work in the Beloit community?

I student taught at Memorial with an amazing cooperating teacher who encourages and inspires me. She had confidence in me that I didn’t even have in myself. She pushed me to apply for a job that was opening at Memorial that started the day after my student teaching ended, and I went for it. I got the job and found myself feeling at home here, so I decided to stick around!

What is your why?

My dream has always been to be a teacher. I love connecting with students and helping them grow and learn. That may sound cliché, but that’s the truth! Also, the friends I’ve made here at Memorial have kept me going even when things get tough.


Alumni Hannah Curran  in 2011 as a in Panama participating in Kathy Green's service learning ...

Hannah Curran

What first drew you to Beloit College?

The small community and inclusive atmosphere. The campus felt like a place where I could challenge myself and grow personally and academically.

Why did you choose to stay and work in the Beloit community?

We moved from northern Wisconsin to Freeport, Illinois in 2018. I started a job teaching third grade at FSD 145 that has allowed me to continue to grow professionally and become a teacher leader. My kids deserve the opportunity, if they so choose, to attend a high quality college or vocational education program. They need the patience and preparation in order to do so. Teaching is about building relationships and helping students grow by knowing their strengths, passions, and “hooks” in learning. I’ve chosen to stay because they have an opportunity to shape their community by becoming informed, responsible, and passionate community members.

What is your why?

One of my favorite motivational speakers said, “Everyone needs a champion.” I had somebody who was a champion for me and I hope that I can be that for the students that come into my life. Once kids know that you’re on their team, they will reach their goals and rigorous expectations. Kids (and adults) can do hard and courageous things, they just need the proper support and knowledge that they have somebody on their team - even on the not-so-good days.

November 04, 2022

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