Lessons from Ripon College contribute to life’s work for Leah Hover-Preiss ’08

In addition to finding a home away from home, Leah Hover-Preiss ’08 of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin also wanted to find a small school with many organizations and activities she could get involved with. “When I toured Ripon, it just felt like home, and I knew it was the right place for me,” she says.

Hover-Preiss majored in history and minored in educational studies and mathematics. She now is a high school math teacher at Poynette High School in Poynette, Wisconsin. She teaches algebra, geometry and the school’s support courses for needs-specific students. She also coaches the school’s math team, advises the Link Crew freshman transition program and is the co-founder and co-adviser of the school’s literary arts council.

In January, Hover-Preiss graduated with her doctorate in education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and hopes to transition to working in a college or adult-education setting. Her dissertation focused on the impacts of the Link Crew freshman transition program on graduation rates. Thanks to her dissertation, she also presents at education and literacy conferences and workshops and leads workshops at other schools about Poynette School District’s Grading for Learning system.

“I feel that education is the most important career there is,” Hover-Preiss says. “Without quality teachers at all levels, there would not be good doctors, lawyers, engineers and so on. Society needs educators who want to make the world a better place, and I have always wanted to do so.”

As an educator, she wants her students to know that “while they may never use some of the formulas or mathematical properties taught to them in their everyday lives, they will use the perseverance, resiliency, collaboration and problem-solving strategies that they developed in the courses. “With those qualities, they can do anything that they want to,” she adds.

Hover-Preiss finds her desire for her students reflected in her own time at Ripon, saying “the well-rounded liberal arts education I received at Ripon has been very beneficial in my career. My Ripon education taught me more than the facts or formulas I would need to teach math. It helped me to develop my problem-solving abilities. These skills are essential in the work I do.”

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin


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