Rachel Lonas, '06

Major              Secondary English 

Career            High School English Teacher, Stay-at-home Mom 

   

Looking for a college that “unashamedly weaved faith and knowledge together,” Rachel Lonas, ’06, visited Bryan. Attracted to the campus’ intimate size, she knew “I wanted to be there the minute I started walking around.”

During her time at Bryan, she was not disappointed by her original impressions. The unique academic environment of intellectual excellence and the faculty’s genuine interest in their students both challenged and encouraged Rachel as she prepared for her own career as an English teacher.

“I had professors who were highly educated, Christian, and personable, which was a combination that really influenced how I approached my own teaching career,” she said. “Seeing literature through that kind of worldview lens is invaluable to your understanding of your subject and the world around you.”

To this day, Rachel values the continuing relationship with her professors, particularly Dr. Whit Jones in the English department and Dr. Steve DeGeorge in the Education department. Both men served to enrich her college experience with their wisdom.

“Dr. Jones is probably one of the most insightful, brilliant, and sincere persons I know. He elucidated so many poems and novels that I would have never understood clearly on my own. Dr. DeGeorge was always ready to give the class a good laugh and genuine encouragement when we came back discouraged from student teaching. I knew his office was (and still is) always open for advice and wisdom,” said Rachel.

Rachel’s years as a Bryan Lion also hold many memories outside the classroom. Some of her favorite experiences happened during her junior year, when her class grew increasingly close due to its small size. She served on SGA with many close friends, planning events for her class. Perhaps most memorable, she started dating her now-husband – Justin Lonas, ’06.

As she began her career as a high school English teacher following graduation, Rachel planned to teach in the public schools for years to come. However, after three years of teaching, her first daughter was born. Since that time, her time and energies have been dedicated to raising her family and homeschooling her two girls. Rachel considers both teaching in the public schools and raising a family equally challenging and rewarding.

“Truly investing in people is a tough and messy business to commit yourself! There are major highs and lows, all of which should point us to our Savior’s love,” she said.

Rachel and Justin live in East Ridge, TN, with their two girls. She blogs on the side about the nature of education here.