Milton Hershey School Senior Models after Catherine Hershey
By Brianna Kapel, MHS Senior
Did you know that the creation of Milton Hershey School was Catherine Hershey’s idea? So often this piece of history is forgotten. Mrs. Hershey played an important role in MHS growing to what it is today, which is why it’s so fitting that Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) was named in her honor.
When I think of Catherine Hershey—co-founder of MHS and trailblazer—words that come to mind are selfless, smart, creative, influential, and kind. I look to these characteristics as a model of the type of person I try to be every day.
As a future educator and current student in the MHS Education and Human Services Career and Technical Education pathway, I am passionate about helping children thrive, just like Mrs. Hershey. On March 24, my classmates and I had the opportunity to attend the Early Childhood Education Leaders Summit hosted by CHS right here in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This experience made me even more passionate about the way we can enhance and develop new measures in early learning classrooms to ensure that every child has the skills and resources they need to succeed.
From attending a panel discussion to getting a chance to interact with educators in the field, I have taken so much from this experience that I can apply to my future career. Dr. Junlei Li and Dr. Walter Gilliam described teaching as a ‘helping profession’ and shared their excitement for the future of early childhood education because me and my classmates are the next generation of teachers.
I am grateful for the ability to learn from experts in hands-on ways during opportunities like this one. At MHS, my classmates and I have every opportunity to grow in any direction we want to take our careers through the school’s CTE curriculum. Many high school students who want to pursue a career in teaching do not enter college with knowledge and tangible skills in the field of education—but I will. From the robust learning experiences to the teachers and houseparents who care deeply about our success, I’ve learned that education is much more than what can be taught on a whiteboard.
My second grade teacher at MHS, Mrs. Galloway, had an everlasting impact on my life. She showed me the of the kind of teacher I want to be and that has stuck with me. She inspired a spark inside me to help the next generation find their passions. To continuously wake up to new experiences, while creatively helping children grow in their education and life excites me.
I hope to really make a difference in someone’s life just like my teachers, houseparents, and peers at MHS have in mine. I am so lucky to have so many positive female role models who have shaped my career interests and the woman I hope to be. Even though I never met Mrs. Hershey, I know that she would be proud of the young women who have had the opportunity to attend MHS and all we have and are yet to accomplish.