Molly McIntire (right) with her Take Stock in Children Mentee.
By Stephanie McMillen
When she is not working with Valencia students as the director of the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI), Molly McIntire spends time mentoring a Wekiva High School student, Jamisha, through the Take Stock in Children program.
Take Stock in Children rewards students who successfully complete a mentoring program from seventh grade through high school graduation with a 2+2 Florida pre-paid scholarship. Students can then attend a two-year community college and state university of their choice.
“This program not only benefits students, but it has enriched my life beyond measures,” Molly said. “Jamisha has touched my life in such a way that she will always be a part of my family, and the relationship of mentor to mentee will go beyond high school graduation in years to come. I can only hope that I have positively impacted her life, the way she has positively impacted my life.”
When asked what attracted her to a career at Valencia, Molly shared her deep connection with the college mission. “Valencia is truly a place that is centered on its students,” she said, “I love that aspect of the college.”
Molly’s own education has driven her toward a career focused on teaching and learning. After earning a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alabama, she taught 6th grade math and science for seven years in Central Florida.
She then went on to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with hopes of pursuing a career in higher education. “After teaching high school for two additional years, I made the transition to higher education and began my career at Valencia in 2003 as the manager for health science advising,” Molly shared.
Spending time with Valencia students solidified Molly’s desire to focus her career in higher education. She went back to school in 2007 and earned a doctorate degree in 2011 from the University of Florida in higher education administration.
In 2009, she was offered the position of director for EPI. “Because this position took me back to my roots working in K-12, I eagerly accepted [it],” Molly said. Currently she is serving as both the director for EPI and as interim dean for the business, behavioral and social sciences division on the West Campus.
Molly’s passion for student success was recently reaffirmed when she was hospitalized for over a month. “When the hospital staff heard I’m employed at Valencia, I had to re-assume my advisor role,” Molly said. “I had nurses coming to me tell me of their successes after Valencia graduation, I had staff seeking advice who wanted to further their career, and I had parents of current students wanting advice for course selection and registration.”
Despite needing bed rest, Molly found herself handing out business cards and connecting potential students, former students, and parents to the college that she sees as “a place of opportunity, ambition, and learning experiences for all students, not a selected a few.”
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