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stephanie montenaro throwing softball
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Hall of Famer Stephanie (Orr) Montenaro

What class year and degree earned at Tiffin University?

Class of 2007, Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Why did you choose Tiffin University?

Small campus, opportunity to play softball, the criminal justice program was so strong. It was wonderful to have professors that have been out in the real world and that could share life experiences related to my coursework. It was helpful to get an understanding of what opportunities awaited me post-college.

What activities were you involved in while attending TU?

Softball (2004-2007), Student Athletic Advisory Committee

Where are you employed and what is your job title and responsibilities?

I am a second grade teacher in Union County, North Carolina, which is about 30 minutes south of Charlotte.

What do you like most about your job/career?

I love building a classroom community with my students and getting to know them as real people, not just as students. It is very challenging at times, but being a small part of supporting our next generation is really special to me.

What advice would you give a student looking into your career?

I didn’t know I wanted to become a teacher when I attended TU. It was only after a few internships and failure to gain employment after college that I stumbled into the education world. I moved to North Carolina and landed a job as a teaching assistant. I was still on the lookout for that perfect job in the criminal justice field. After being in an elementary school for four years, I knew this is where I belonged. I went back to school and received my teaching credentials, along with a Master of Arts in Teaching. My advice for anyone would be find something you love to do and are passionate about. If education is that thing, then go for it. Pursue your passion.

Are you involved in any community/volunteer clubs?

I have been an active part of my church for almost 10 years. I’ve volunteered with ushering, baptisms and greeting guests in the church. I’m also a part of the Good News Club at my school, which is an after school Bible club that teaches about the good news of Jesus. It is the most popular club in our school.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment/what are you most proud of?

My greatest and proudest accomplishment has been becoming a mom to three beautiful children. They’ve really changed my perspective on life. I’ve been so blessed with this great responsibility of raising my son and two daughters to be world-changers in their generation.