Katie TerBush is the first to acknowledge that her educational and career path hasn’t exactly followed a straight line.
“I have a lot of interests — which can sometimes be a problem,” she says with a laugh.
As an undergraduate at New York University, TerBush majored in Psychology and Public Health and planned to apply her education to environmental causes. Instead, she more or less fell into an after-school program in Harlem and “discovered that I really liked teaching,” she recalls.
But her formative years in suburban Maryland also spurred a longstanding interest: politics.
“I grew up near D.C. and the government was always around,” TerBush says. In high school, she took Advanced Placement courses on governance and at NYU volunteered on behalf of a congressional candidate.
There are a lot of different ways to approach policy issues. I’d love to teach for a while, but I’m also interested in implementing educational policy through the political arena.
— Katie TerBush
For TerBush, TC’s program in Elementary Inclusive Education has offered a unique opportunity to combine her interests in policy and teaching. She values the esprit de corps of the community that greeted her at Admitted Students Day, and the College’s emphasis on political activism and social justice have inspired her to serve as Parliamentarian of the TC Student Senate.
Scheduled to graduate in 2021, TerBush has yet to decide whether her future lies in the policy arena or classroom.
TerBush wants to seek election to a school board or municipal office “early rather than waiting until I’m older, because getting involved in local-level politics is very important to understanding education and families.”
“There are a lot of different ways to approach policy issues,” she says. “I’d love to teach for a while, but I’m also interested in implementing educational policy through the political arena.”
During the past year, TerBush has worked as Programming Lead for The Community of Volunteer Educators (COVE), a volunteer-run public service organization dedicated to providing tutoring services and educational enrichment experiences to communities in need across New York City. She also did volunteer work this past fall with TC Director of Governmental Relations Matthew Camp and the ad hoc group Advocacy Academy, assisting TC students in writing to members of Congress to ask them to protect graduate student aid. The experience convinced her to seek election to a school board or municipal office “early rather than waiting until I’m older, because getting involved in local-level politics is very important to understanding education and families.”