Right place, right opportunities to build a future in education

Right place, right opportunities to build a future in education

September 23, 2021

“I was one of those kids who was perceived to just get it, smart, but I had test taking anxiety through the roof, so I was looking for a way to continue my education and not take my SAT or ACT,” shared Dave Blanchard ‘07 reflecting on what initially brought him to Anoka-Ramsey Community College. “I put it off and learned I could go to a two-year college and save money taking classes as a I worked to get into education.”

Dave found Anoka-Ramsey’s Cambridge Campus through his connections in the community. When he started, it was simply to avoid a test but, during his time at the college, Dave built a network, a community and even met his wife.

“It was more than just a generic two-year community college experience. I don't think that was all just because I wanted it to be something else. I think it truly was the right people, the right time, the right opportunities.”

The experience at Anoka-Ramsey wasn’t what most people imagine as a traditional college experience, but by getting involved, Dave didn’t feel like he missed out on anything. Quite the opposite actually. Through involvement with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Dave was exposed to travel, leadership opportunities and a network that he’s still connected to today.

“I joined PTK and it has been a huge influence in my life. A lot of the work that I did through that and student leadership opportunities. Being a part of PTK opened some incredible opportunities for me to travel the nation and do that through student leadership opportunities with that organization. I learned a lot and I was able to bring the skills and network I created to service projects across campuses and the region.”

Dave completed an associates degree in 2007 and transferred to St. Cloud State University (SCSU). He graduated  from SCSU in 2010 with his bachelor’s degree and began teaching elementary education in the Cambridge-Isanti School District.

Recently Dave took a shift, while still working within the field of public education, and accepted a position at SCSU in teacher development. He is also in a doctoral program for curriculum development and instruction at Winona State University.

To say Dave is passionate about education would be an understatement. Even with exposure to a wide variety of educational settings and experiences, Dave’s experience at Anoka-Ramsey still stands out to him.

“I got work with people who are passionate, excited and energized. That mentality is what really kept me at Anoka-Ramsey,” Dave said. “To this day I have not had that experience anywhere else. I’m now just going back to doctoral school and still in comparison, some of the hardest-working, most rigorous, most passionate people I've ever taken classes from were at Anoka-Ramsey.”

Supplementary Information