Payton Ball
Payton Ball

August 9, 2017

Payton Ball describes herself as a big kid at heart, someone that can relate to them more than she can adults. For this very reason, Ball selected a career where she is surrounded by kids.

Ball will begin her first year of teaching this fall at Glidden-Ralston, her alma mater.

Ball graduated in May with bachelor of science degree in education with an emphasis in reading and special education from Drake University. When she first started at Drake, Ball was unsure what she wanted to do. By chance, her sister, Maddie, who she was living with at the time, started working at Kindercare­— a day care in Des Moines. Ball applied and got the job working with the prekindergarten kids, and as she put it, just fell in love.

“I made my decision and picked elementary,” she said. “The first class you take in education at Drake, you have a 40-hour practicum in the classroom. Throughout the whole program I was in and out of every classroom. I had a really good experience in student teaching. I meshed so well with the first teacher I worked with. The way she teaches is the way I want to teach.”

Many have asked why she didn’t stay to teach in Des Moines, but she wanted to return to a small community where her heart is, she said.

“I interviewed with a couple of places around Glidden, and my ultimate goal was to be at Glidden,” Ball said. “They just have such a homey feel. They are just genuine, caring people.”

Returning home this fall, Ball is antsy to work among some of her past teachers, but is also excited to meet some of the new teachers Glidden-Ralston has hired this year.

As a new teacher at her old school, Ball believes brings a fresh perspective to Glidden-Ralston along with new ideas.

She enjoys working with younger students who have a lot of energy and still love their teacher, she said.

Ball looks forward to building relationships with her students this fall.

“I try to influence them to be the best people they can be,” she said. “I guide them to be genuine, good human beings that make good decisions.”