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Alumna Katelyn Chism finds success in field of education

Alumna Katelyn Chism finds success in field of education

Holmes Community College alumna Katelyn Hardy Chism ('14) is putting her early education degree to good use and paying it forward.

"Several years ago I had a student here on the Ridgeland Campus, Katelyn Hardy, and since she was a Phi Theta Kappa officer, we worked closely together for over a year," said Holmes psychology instructor Laura McMahon. "I had the opportunity to mentor Katelyn and now, Katelyn teaches my son."

Upon graduation from Holmes, Katelyn went on to Delta State University on the full tuition scholarship with Phi Theta Kappa. She completed her degree in early childhood education in 2016 and returned to Madison to serve as a K-4 preschool teacher at St. Matthews United Methodist Church Preschool.

"St. Mathews Preschool is where our paths intersected again," McMahon said. "My middle child Cade had trouble entering preschool and was at three facilities in the span of four months. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 4 and struggled with integrating into the classroom.

"One of the greatest blessings of my life has been seeing my former student Katelyn create a caring and structured learning environment for her students. She herself was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age which led her to be super creative and intentional about helping her special need students experience success. Cade has come so far socially and academically under her care. I had no idea when I was investing in her as her teacher and adviser here at Holmes that I would be one of the very ones to benefit from her training and education. Her passion for young children and the tireless effort she puts into them is something very special," McMahon said.

"The funny thing is, Holmes was not my choice, but rather somewhat forced upon me by my parents," Katelyn said. "I grew up as a huge Mississippi State fan and had planned to go straight to MSU from high school. I think one of the main reasons my parents wanted me to go to Holmes first is because my dad was leaving for Afghanistan that fall of 2012 when I would have been leaving for college. With my mom working full-time, I think they needed my help with my younger sister who couldn't drive at the time.

"It all ended up working out for the best, though. I ended up loving Holmes more than high school and Delta State! I did really well academically and my scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa gave me a full-ride to Delta State. I really loved going to convention in Disney World with Phi Theta Kappa too! I made a lot of friends and did a lot of things I never thought I'd do. I was an Ambassador under the leadership of Mrs. Amanda Lindsey (love her!) and part of Dr. Don Burnham's Honors Symposium course he led my freshman year. He was always such a nice man! I just loved the faculty and stayed really involved on campus."

Katelyn is continuing her education through Arkansas State's online program while teaching full-time. She will graduate this year with her master's degree in early childhood education and hopes to use that degree to teach on the college level one day.

"My mother is director of St. Matthew's Preschool and I would love to step up to that position one day," Katelyn said. "I also have a desire, if it might ever be a possibility, to start a daycare at Holmes one day. That way, Holmes students with children would have a place to bring their kids while they went to class and the education students would have an opportunity to work with children as a practicum for their early childhood education classes: a win-win! Even if my idea never happens, I do love Holmes and would love to work for the college one day."

In May, Katelyn married her high school sweetheart, Curt Chism, who has been hired by the Madison Police Department.

For more information about Holmes' educational programs, contact Educational Programs Coordinator Wendy Grace at or (662) 472.9072.


IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is Holmes alumna Katelyn Hardy Chism who now teaches at St. Matthew's Preschool in Madison.

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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