Thank you Dr. Vermette
Doctor Paul Vermette is a professor in the Education Department at Niagara University. Doctor Sheeran said it best, “Dr. Vermette is the most unique individual that one could ever encounter”. Those who know him, love him, it’s as simple as that. I had the privilege of taking a few of Dr. Vermette’s education courses at Niagara. Not only was he my professor, he was my advisor, mentor, and most importantly my biggest supporter on campus. Vermette, as his students call him, is a true inspiration to those around him. He is an expert of education, no doubt about that. Vermette concentrates on the idea of collaborative and cooperative learning. He enforces this approach on his students, that teaching is not about the, “I say you learn”, it is about learning together, side by side, as teacher and student. During lectures, he engages his students with his passion, enthusiasm, and intelligence. If any student, professor, or even dean had a chance to be in his classroom, one would take advantage of it. I loved every single one of his classes. Most of his lectures would turn into lessons on life. He would take the book or article we were assigned to read and relate it to our lives or an inspirational story. While Vermette wastes a TON of paper!!! …he will never waste your time! Vermette is always there to help and will NEVER let you down. He received the Leadership Niagara’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2017, for that exact reason.
As I could go on and on about Vermette and how great he is, I want to share how he has impacted my life. Most collegiate student-athletes would agree with me that, there are some very high times during your career, but there also can be low times. During these tough times, these young adults need someone to inject confidence and positivity into their life to remind them, life is for us to enjoy the good times not to sulk about the bad times. Dr. Vermette was that someone for me. Vermette has been a great influence on my life. He gave me the confidence in my teaching and playing abilities, reminding me why I am where I am. I always knew I loved education. Whether it would be teaching or coaching, I knew I wanted to inspire the youth but I never knew if I would be good at it. My classmates would definitely agree with me on this, Vermette would make you feel like you are the best teacher in the world. Vermette is the definitely the best ‘hype man’ anyone could have.
After graduating in December in 2017, I was fortunate enough to have been offered a full-time teaching position during my second semester, at Dr. Vermette’s old school, Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School. I was familiar with the students I was teaching, since I had taught them during my student-teaching placement, but I was terrified of becoming their full time teacher. During my second semester I was taking three graduate classes (one being Vermette’s) and teaching 7th and 8th graders English and Religion. I decided to implement everything I learned from Vermette into my classroom. The day Dr. Vermette came to visit me during school was remarkable. I had staff members and his former students visit my classroom, during the one day just to see HIM! He is a legend anywhere he goes. As I sit here writing about Vermette I tear up a bit, because of how grateful I am of this individual.
As a victory scholar I am working with kids every single day, impacting and trying to change their lives. I try to instill that same passion, enthusiasm, and goofiness for these kids that Vermette did with me. The most important lesson that I have learned from Vermette, through an education perspective, is that the youth learns best when you (adult) engage with them on a person-to-person level, not on an adult-to-child level. Life is about collaborative learning, working together and learning from each other, no matter who you are. I learn from the kids I work with every day just as I hope they learn from me. Whether a teacher or a coach, these professions involve helping kids grow into well-rounded adults who can then impact and change lives for the next generation. It is a constant cycle that will forever be powerful.
Thank you Vermette for impacting… changing my life. I will never forget how you have helped me grow into the young woman I am today.