Bay College sophomore Hailey Derocher has big plans for the future, and she believes her experiences at Bay will play a key role in helping her achieve her goals. She aims to be a high school English teacher, a career path she has pursued in both her college classes and her extracurricular activities.
Hailey graduated from Mid-Peninsula High School in 2020. She started taking Bay classes as a full-time student when the fall 2020 semester began.
“My dad works here, so it’s been pretty much predetermined,” she said, jokingly referring to her father Robert Derocher’s role in Bay’s maintenance and groundskeeping department.
Before she officially became a Bay student, Hailey had been dual-enrolled at the college. Hailey’s dual enrollment began in her sophomore year of high school.
“By the time I graduated, I had completed 21 credits,” she said.
Her experiences in high school also cemented her interest in becoming an educator before she started taking full-time college classes.
“I want to teach high school English – I loved the subject in school. But maybe one of the biggest factors was my own high school English teacher. Following in his footsteps kind of felt right,” Hailey said, noting that this teacher was a “very important person” in her life.
In addition to her classes, Hailey has been heavily involved in the Bay College chapter of Aspiring Educators of Michigan. As the chapter’s current co-president, she said the group has made “a lot of great progress” in 2021. Being involved in the club has made it easier for Hailey to prepare for an education career, too.
“I’ve met so many other educators who have helped me along my path,” she said.
Hailey expects to graduate from Bay at the end of the fall 2021 semester, thanks to the head start provided by her dual enrollment. Next year, she will transfer to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI and start taking classes in that college’s education program, which she has already been accepted into.
However, she will not be leaving Bay behind entirely just yet.
“I’m going to be commuting this first semester, because I’m also working on Serendipity here at Bay,” Hailey said.
Earlier this winter, Hailey was hired as the student editor for Serendipity. This annual publication collects art and writing created by Bay College students.
Hailey hopes to graduate from NMU at the end of the winter 2024 semester and begin teaching high school English shortly after graduation. While she has not decided what schools she would like to teach at, her ultimate goal is to find employment near the Wetmore, MI area.
“I also plan on taking over my grandparents’ resort, Kenbuck Resort, so I’d like to work somewhere close to there,” she said.
No matter what happens, Hailey said her time at Bay has helped her prepare for the rest of her life.
“I’ve grown a lot as a student. I’ve made a lot of good friends, and I’ve had teachers who have helped me grow in my education and other aspects,” she said.