Grace Blum returned to College of Saint Mary’s campus this fall, not to take classes, but to serve as an assistant cross-country coach. The 2022 graduate learned about the opportunity to rejoin the Flames from her former teammates.
“I’ve wanted to coach. I really enjoyed cross country, and I think it’s fun. This was just an opportunity that happened,” Grace said after joining Coach Derek Fey on the sidelines. “I’ve learned how to build a runner, and I enjoy being at the meets to cheer them on.”
Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude from CSM with degrees in elementary and special education. She received the Spirit of Saint Mary Award, the highest achievement bestowed on a CSM graduate. She is now in her second year of teaching second grade for Millard Public Schools.
As a high school student, Grace learned about CSM from her classmates and teammates at Papillion La Vista South High School. A campus visit confirmed her decision to attend the University.
“I liked the small class sizes and that everyone was really close,” Grace said. “All of the professors and people seemed supportive.”
Prior to starting classes at CSM, Grace attended Leadership Leap, a pre-freshman experience
A job at a daycare led to Grace’s determination to become a teacher. She enjoyed working with children and wanted to pursue a degree in elementary education.
“Then, once I got here, I branched out into special education, and I minored in fine arts,” she said. “The professors are very supportive, and they wanted to give me opportunities. They are good at finding potential in students and building on that.”
CSM prepared Grace for her own classroom.
“What I learned was super helpful as a base understanding and having strategies I could use,” she said.