Adrien Richburg was already dressed for practice as a middle hitter on the Baylor women’s volleyball team when she left Midway High School and stopped in at the Learning Resource Center in the School of Education (SOE). It was a typical, multi-tasking day for the SOE senior as she serves her yearlong student-teaching internship. She works Monday through Thursday as a full-time teacher of freshman biology with mentor teacher Julie Beth Moore, a Baylor alumna and master’s graduate of Baylor SOE.
While juggling the schedule of an education major with that of an NCAA athlete is challenging, Richburg wouldn’t have it any other way. “The biggest challenge I’ve faced is having to balance my time between student teaching, practice, weights and games,” she said. “That can be tough, but it’s worth it.”
And she is finding success on both fronts — in November, she was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team on the first team. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.0 GPA and participated in 60 percent of games. Richburg was one of only eight Big 12 student-athletes who were three-time first-team honorees.
Richburg said a career in education has always been on her mind. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I’ve kind of grown up around schools, and I just love mentoring kids whether it’s teaching or coaching them.”
Both of Richburg’s parents are educators; her mom recently retired from Sachse High School in Rowlett, where Richburg attended, and her dad teaches high school and coaches football.
“I’d love to teach freshman biology, but I’ll be certified for life sciences for grades 7-12, so I can go anywhere,” Richburg said, talking about her major in Secondary Education Life Sciences.
Richburg also wants to combine coaching and teaching, much like her father. She’s coached kids ranging from fifth grade to high school seniors at several volleyball camps. “This past summer I helped out with the Midway High School volleyball camp. I’m a student teacher at Midway now, so that was cool! I got to see some of the girls I have in class,” she said.
Richburg said her experience on the court is useful in the classroom. “I use a lot of the stuff that coaches do during practice to get my kids’ attention when they’re distracted,” she said with a laugh. “I just say ‘eyeballs!’ and everyone has to look at me. It works every time.”
Richburg said she is considering staying in Waco after graduation or returning to the Dallas area. “I love the kids here,” she said of her current students. “Every day after a game, they always ask me if I won and how it went. We’re really building relationships. I didn’t expect that, but it’s really cool.”
—By Kayleigh Lovvorn
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