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Jimmy Houle '23

Senior Spotlight Jimmy Houle 23

Dec 12, 2023

Meet Jimmy Houle '23, an elementary education major and  soon-to-be graduate of Florida Southern College, whose journey from student to professional is nothing short of inspiring, Jimmy was named an Emerging PDS Leader by the National Association for Professional Development Schools this past spring.

Having recently accepted a teaching position through the partnership between Florida Southern College and the Polk County Public Schools, Jimmy is already making a significant impact as a full-time third-grade math and science teacher. His journey at FSC reflects academic success and the profound influence his time on campus has had on shaping his career path -- instilling a passion for education.

Q&A with Jimmy Houle:

As you approach graduation, share your plans and how your time at FSC has influenced them.
Absolutely. I've accepted a teaching position at Spessard L. Holland Elementary School! After student teaching, they opened up a spot for me to step in and become a full-time teacher, where I'm now teaching third-grade math and science.

How has Florida Southern College influenced your decision to become a teacher?
I came to Florida Southern knowing I wanted to be an elementary education major; FSC provided so many hands-on learning opportunities, such as field studies and work at Roberts Academy, reinforcing my passion for teaching. The support from the faculty and staff has had a huge influence. Dr. Lori Rakes, my academic advisor here in the School of Education, and my supervisor, Leah Locklear, both supported me while pushing me to excel.

What key lesson have you learned through your internship opportunities and time in the classroom?
Teaching is not easy; that's my lesson. It comes with challenges like time constraints, behavioral issues, and external factors you can't manage. But I've learned that every action I take makes an impact. At FSC, the motto is that we can learn to make a positive and consequential impact on society. I genuinely believe that through my experiences here. Through my classes and all of the different opportunities I've had on campus, I realize I can be a person who makes a difference, specifically in the society of my third-grade class in Bartow, Florida.

You've been actively involved on campus. How have your organizational affiliations enriched your FSC experience?
What you give to FSC comes back to you. Whether being a member of Student Government Association, volunteering, presenting at conferences, or holding positions like director of leadership for FSC's Southern Ambassadors, these roles have pushed me to develop public speaking skills and other competencies. All of these experiences -- all the connections I made -- the relationships I've built, have rounded me out. Because at the end of the day, you are just one person. It's the people who support you are what makes you able to have a larger impact. 

What will you miss the most about your time at FSC?
I'll miss the memories—moments like midnight wiffle ball games, interactions in the cafeteria, and the connections with people that made FSC feel like home.

If you could give advice to your first-year self, what would it be?
Be yourself, give 100 percent, and appreciate the moments. I'd tell my first-year self to "be where your feet are" and not rush experiences, always appreciating the journey.

Any final thoughts or memories you'd like to share about your time at FSC?
FSC has been amazing, and I'm grateful for the opportunities and support that have shaped me. I'm excited for the next chapter but will always cherish the memories and impact I've had at Florida Southern College.