Do you work in public secondary education or know someone who does? Current senior Casey Ridpath wants to make a difference inside the classroom one student at a time, after graduation this May. She would love your advice about the best schools to work for and any other insights that you may want to offer her.

Casey is a current history major with a concentration in secondary education licensure and a minor in political science. Her dream job is to teach sixth or seventh grade history in the Tri-City area near Richmond, where she can combine her passion for the age group and her love for U.S. content, and create a lasting impact on students. And while middle school students are often the second choice, they aren’t for Casey; “I love the age group because they are so impressionable.”

Casey was drawn to Longwood for a handful of reasons, the first of which is that she is a third-generation Lancer, whose parents attended Longwood, as did her grandmother, two great aunts, and now, her little sister. Her family loves the university and she says that Longwood was always a “family school,” which mixed with the tight-knit bond she has with her parents, grandma, and sister, helped Casey to realize that the place she grew up visiting as a child, was exactly where she needed to be. Aside from her Longwood legacy, Casey also cited the small community feel where she knows everyone and everyone knows her, and the small class sizes, as driving factors in choosing to study here. She said that knowing her professors was important because she wanted them to be able to hold her accountable and push her to achieve her best.


She said that knowing her professors was important because she wanted them to be able to hold her accountable and push her to achieve her best.

Casey Ridpath ‘20

In addition to her academic schedule, Casey is also involved in a myriad of clubs and organizations. She is a sister of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, a former member of Conduct Board, has served as a Peer Mentor for three years, is an initiate of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, and has studied abroad in Spain and right here in the U.S. at Yellowstone as a part of the Brock Experience program. Casey is also a member of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars and works in the Institutional Advancement Office as a constituent records intern.

If Casey could thank one person from her time at Longwood, she would send a huge thank you to Dr. Geraghty in the History, Political Science, and Philosophy Department because “even before I had him in class, I knew I could go by his office and ask him any question and he wouldn’t judge me… he always had the answers and I knew he could provide me with the specific advice I would need as a student and future educator.” And her favorite class, you ask? That would be Dr. Geraghty’s course: HIST300: Teaching History and the Social Sciences in the Secondary Classroom. “It took everything I had gotten from my history classes and my education classes, and brought it all together and it made me realize that I was in the right place and the right major.”

Growing up, everyone thought Casey wanted to be a teacher because she wanted to follow in her dad’s footsteps, but it was a high school history teacher that really inspired Casey to want to make a difference in the lives of students, and in turn, that teacher also inspired a passion for studying the past in Casey. The driving force behind all of Casey’s hard work and involvement has been her long-lasting desire to make a difference in someone's life. “I am an educator first and a historian second, and my job is to change a student’s life, a least one student’s life and if I achieve that, then I know I will have been successful. I just want to be happy and make a difference.”

Consider connecting with Casey on LinkedIn and share your advice and any job opportunities that could be available to her after graduation.


About the Author

Dustyn Hall '18

Dustyn Hall is the Director of Young Alumni & Student Giving in the Office of Institutional Advancement, and has served in that role since July 2019. Before his current service at Longwood began, Dustyn worked for Phi Mu Delta National Fraternity & Educational Foundation as the Director of Advancement, where he oversaw the development, communications, and alumni engagement sectors of their operations.

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