A non-traditional student embraces tradition


Trista Sobeck

Bobbi Doherty is not your typical ASU graduate. She was in her 40s when she decided to switch her career path and turn to education. In addition to her roles of wife and mother, Doherty has managed to complete her coursework, student teaching and the necessary Arizona educator certifications. Most recently, she secured a job at a local school district while maintaining a GPA to qualify her to graduate summa cum laude.

Doherty’s journey to earn her degree started at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. In 2016, she was at the top of her class and was awarded Promising Educator of the Year – Secondary Education 2016. Bobbi transferred to ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College as a junior. A first-generation college graduate, she had never thought of higher education as an option. Doherty credits higher education for helping her earn the skills and confidence necessary to go into her own classroom and teach the future of Arizona.

Bobbi Doherty

Major: Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education – History

What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

I have always wanted to be a teacher, but the moment I knew I was in the right field of study was recently in my student teaching. When a student told me I was the best teacher they ever had and that I helped her understand history. She said that I make learning fun.

What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

That people do not understand the full scope of an educator’s role in the school and in our society. I can honestly say teaching is the most important profession, without teachers, there would not be other professions.

Why did you choose ASU?

ASU has one of the best teaching programs in the country! In my opinion, the best that Arizona has to offer! I am proud to be a graduate of Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College at Arizona State University.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

Four years may seem like a long time but it comes fast. Work hard but have fun too!

What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

My home-base is the courtyard in the Farmer Building; it's peaceful and it's my ASU home.

What are your plans after graduation?

I have signed my first contract to teach 7th and 8th-grade social studies in the Florence Unified School District

If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

Of course, improving the state of education and it would start at home here in Arizona.