University of North Florida makes it easy for students to be life-long
Bua can attest to that.
2007 graduate from the College of Education and Human Services, Bua continued
on with the University for her master’s degree. Now, she’s teaching
kindergarten students at a brand new Jacksonville elementary school while
courting the possibility of pursuing her doctorate in education leadership.
University has been a big part of my life,” Bua said. “The support of my
professors and fellow students was huge in me being able to get through the
master’s program while juggling my own students. And I want to continue along
that path with UNF by going for my doctoral degree. I’m definitely a life-long
learner, and UNF helped make that possible.”
addition to being a UNF campus fixture, Bua is a rising star in the city’s
public-school system. Her work in the classroom and her background in
educational leadership have put Bua on the fast track for multiple awards. She
even made it to the semi-final round of voting for this year’s EDDY Awards,
which recognizes the best teachers in the Duval County Public School System.
words of her boss at the time, Woodland Acres
Elementary School Principal Marianne Simon, on her award nomination accurately
sum up Bua’s dedication to her craft.
"As a teacher, Ms. Bua exhibits many leadership skills,” Simon wrote. “She
serves as grade-level chair where she is responsible for disseminating
important information to her peers as well as overseeing successful
implementation of district-wide initiatives. She has stepped up to serve as the
Magnet Lead Teacher for the new Medical Magnet program at our school. Sabrena
is a leader at our school and can always be counted on to work towards the
betterment of the entire school."
For this school year, both Bua and Simon relocated to
the newest Duval County Public School System institution, Waterleaf Elementary
School on the city’s Southside.
Bua said she’s already had some challenges — namely
transitioning from teaching third-grade students at her previous school, Woodland Acres
Elementary School, to teaching kindergarteners.
she said her UNF training, especially the instruction she received from Dr.
Katrina Hall in the Department of Childhood Education, has been a positive and
guiding force for her as she learns to adapt to the changing classroom model.
Hall said Bua comes from a long line of UNF education
graduates who have stayed in Jacksonville to teach and influence other
generations of life-long learners.
“We are lucky that we have quite a few graduates come back
for a master’s degree,” she said. “Teaching is one of those fields where the
research constantly adds to our body of knowledge, so there is always something
to learn. We encourage our students to return for a master’s degree so that
they can increase their knowledge of theory, research, and best practices for
instruction and assessment. We also love to have our master’s graduates teach
for us as adjuncts — their combination of experience and knowledge make them
wonderful resources for our undergraduate students.”
as Bua continues along in her field and builds her teaching experience, she
said UNF will remain an integral part of her development as a teacher.
UNF, they prepared us for everything,” she said. “When I first graduated, I
wanted to teach kindergarten and ended up with third grade. After getting used
to third grade, I’m moving back to kindergarten. But that’s my passion, and I
know I’m prepared for anything that gets thrown my way because of my time at