August 17, 2020
Bailey Pendergrass is the new Student Government Association president for the 2020-21 academic year. Pendergrass is already familiar with SGA, having served last semester on the Public Relations, Student Activities and Election committees and she participated in the Student Leadership Experience.
Pendergrass was elected by fellow students earlier this year, but due to the Covid-19 health crisis, she was finally able to take the oath of office this summer from former SGA president Matthew Sparks using Zoom technology.
During her freshman year, Pendergrass was encouraged to join the SGA by friends. “SGA helped me ‘get my feet on the ground’ and provided a chance to get to know other students,” said Pendergrass. “SGA also provided a way to get more involved and experience college life. It is a great organization, which gives students a voice and representation in the college decision-making process.”
Pendergrass, originally from Pittsburg, KS, has lived and traveled to several areas across the country due to her dad’s job with Entergy. She and her parents and younger brother moved back to Jacksonville from Houston, TX when she was 15 years old, later graduating from Education Alliance homeschool organization.
“I chose ASU-Beebe because it is close to home and an affordable option,” said Pendergrass. “When I was in high school, I attended Vanguard Day and began thinking of enrolling. Everyone was friendly and it was big enough but yet had a home environment. It has been a great place to be.”
Pendergrass, a sophomore, is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in Education and has already registered for a couple of on-campus and several online classes this fall. After she earns an associate degree, she plans to transfer to A-State and study Early Childhood Education toward a career as a teacher in kindergarten through sixth grade. She also said she would like to pursue a master’s degree in education so that she could qualify for a career as a childcare facility director or principal.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher,” said Pendergrass, whose mother and grandmother are teacher role models. She also teaches Sunday School at her church and works part-time as a daycare teacher for toddlers. “Sometimes I have questioned my career choice, though, when other students would drop out or I would feel overwhelmed or not do as well on a test. But family and friends would encourage and help affirm my career path. My family has been my inspiration and support.”
As an education major, Pendergrass spoke briefly about the future of our education system: “With the continuing pandemic climate, schools are adjusting and offering more flexible options to students and their families. I hope the outcome will be more educational opportunities and a stronger partnership between parents and teachers.”
At ASU-Beebe, Pendergrass said her favorite classes have been mathematics, especially Math for Teachers. “I learned a lot about algebra, which will help me when I teach math to my students,” said Pendergrass.
When not studying or participating in SGA, Pendergrass said she loves to bake and cook for the family. She also likes crafts and feels it is ‘practice for teaching.’ She enjoys the outdoors, hiking and fishing with family and friends, and of course she likes to travel. “My favorite trip was a 10-day mission trip with church to Hong Kong in 2018. I learned so much about other cultures, foods, and people.”
Pendergrass offered advice to other students, saying: “Be intentional about your education. Take one step at a time. Practice time management every day. Tackle small goals and then larger goals. And celebrate each test, class, and achievement.”
Life as a Vanguard is a social media series produced by the ASUB Office of Marketing and Public Relations. These are ‘get to know’ articles of interest about students, faculty, and staff within the Vanguard campus community.