Crystal Plowinske ’18
B.S. Special Education/ Elementary Education
Hometown: Colonie, New York
Up next: Pursuing position as elementary school special education teacher

Crystal Plowinske, an aspiring teacher, started at Saint Rose in 2010 as a transfer student from Hudson Valley Community College. She left the following year when her mother died of cancer, and she unable to student teach. She wasn’t sure she’d ever return.

“One of my favorite quotes from that time in my life is ‘You don’t know what strength is until being strong is all you have,’” Plowinske recalls.

She did come back in 2017 – at age 33 and as a new mother. This time, she was ready to put in the hours to become a teacher. Today, she is excited by the opportunity to tackle the work-life balance, once she is in the classroom full time. Plowinske believes being an older student helped her appreciate the opportunity more – even if her toddler son wasn’t always thrilled that she had to go to college.

“When I found out that she had reenrolled, I was incredibly excited because I knew that she has overcome great obstacles and challenges in order to finish her degree. She is marching out into the classroom just as we hoped she would,” – Theresa Ward, acting associate dean, Thelma P. Lally School of Education