My name is Kellye McDowell and I am a post baccalaureate student at MTSU. I graduated with my B.A. in English in 2005 after a long college career and several moves between Tennessee and Florida. I first graduated from White County High School in Sparta, TN in 1994. Although I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, I thought I would search out other options in effort to find a career where I could perhaps earn more money and respect:-) I also had no idea what I would teach if I chose that route. I dabbled in nursing, criminal justice and came very close to earning my degree in psychology before ultimately coming to terms with my desire to teach. On this road to teaching, I have lived in seven cities and attended four colleges while following my husband as he got his software development career off the ground. We were married in August of 1998 and moved to Sarasota, FL that October. We spent four fun years in Florida and I earned my A.A. with a concentration in psychology from Manatee Community College while down there. We moved back to Tennessee 2002 where I began school at MTSU.
In 2004, we welcomed our first baby girl into the world, Kathryn Faith. Afterall, we had been married for six years and were ready to start our family. When "Katie" was 10 months old, I returned to MTSU to complete my degree, which I did in August 2005. In 2006, we welcome our second daughter, Abigail Grace. I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for a while before completing my teaching certification. It turned out to be the best for our family for many reasons.
When Abigail was five days old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Phenylketonuria (PKU). Her body failed to make an enzyme necessary to breakdown the amino acid phenylalanine in protein. I was shocked and devastated, but not without hope for my baby girl. When Abigail was 8 months old, my husband and I founded the Tennessee PKU Foundation to provide support and encouragment to other families affected by PKU. Since our founding date in February 2007, we have raised more than $40,000 for PKU research and have held many support events for affected families. Although life's events have put my career goal on hold, I would not change a thing. I could have never started this organization otherwise.
I returned to MTSU this July to finally complete my goal of becoming a teacher. I have had 4 1/2 wonderful years as a stay-at-home mom, started a non-profit organization, and just recently celebrated ten years of marriage. I am so excited about finally being a teacher and about making English class a fun environment for my students. English class doesn't have to be boring and full of lectures about grammar usage and literature. My students will be encourages talk and share their thoughts and interpretations. My class will be a safe environment where students can express themselves and experiment with their creativity. I can't wait to begin building my future as an effective teacher.