Meet Our Incoming Students: Welcome Five of Our Future Educators from Apex

Meet Our Incoming Students

This is part of a summer “Meet Our Incoming Students” series in which the College of Education will introduce some of its first-year, transfer and graduate students who will join us this fall.

The majority of the NC State College of Education’s newest undergraduate and graduate students reside in North Carolina, and many will be joining the college from the Triangle. Meet five of them who all hail from around the corner in Apex, North Carolina, and graduated from Apex High School.

Hear why these undergraduate students chose the NC State College of Education, why they chose their major and why they chose education.

Olivia LaRusso

Olivia LaRusso

Apex, North Carolina
Apex High School
Elementary Education

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education? To become the best teacher I can be by getting the best training possible.

What attracted you to your major? Teaching young kids is such an honorable profession because you are giving them the foundation for all their future knowledge.

Why did you choose education? I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and I think enabling youth with knowledge to change the world is such an honorable job.


Star Muehlbauer

Star Muehlbauer

Apex, North Carolina
Apex High School
Middle Grades English Language Arts and Social Studies Education

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education? The NC State University environment and specifically that of the College of Education appears to be a great fit for my interests as a student and a peer. My favorite teachers have graduated from this college, and I am proud to follow in their footsteps to become the best I can be.

What attracted you to your major? I have always had a love for school, just being there and learning every day, so I wanted to provide that experience to others, especially during middle school, the most formative years of teenagers. Language arts and social studies are subjects that interest me and I feel are necessary to comprehend in order to continue a student’s career.

Why did you choose education? I always had a hard time telling people what I wanted to be when I was older. In my junior year of high school, my history teacher made the comment that “drama kids make the best educators” and it stuck with me and inspired me to combine my love for public speaking, entertainment and language arts and use it to educate the next generations.


Demaree Persson

Demaree Persson

Apex, North Carolina
Apex High School
Elementary Education

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education? I knew that the NC State College of Education would prepare me to be a successful teacher. The faculty and staff were interested in me and I felt that they would work hard to help me learn the material. Comparing NC State to other schools, State had a rigorous student teaching program, which intrigued me too. I also liked the smallness of the College of Education and I knew I would be able to work closely with my advisors, teachers and mentors. The special education and ESL licensures and variety of education majors interested me too.

What attracted you to your major? I’m majoring in elementary education because I want to encourage elementary schoolers like my teachers once did for me. I love helping others and being around kids, so I think elementary education is a good fit for me! I’m doing the special education licensure too because I’m passionate about seeing kids succeed, even if it requires some extra work.

Why did you choose education? I chose education because I want to help people and use my communication and leadership skills. It’s exciting to me that I have the opportunity to work with kids every day, helping them to be the best students they can be!


Kaitlyn Rosen

Kaitlyn Rosen

Apex, North Carolina
Apex High School
Elementary Education

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education? I love the sense of community this college has and I’m excited to be a part of this awesome family.

What attracted you to your major? I have been working with children and nannying was my main job since I was about 12 years old. I love doing it, and working with kids and watching them grow is my passion.

Why did you choose education? I want to watch children grow and prosper as young people and create relationships with them as an educator.


Ben Rutledge

Benjamin Rutledge

Apex, North Carolina
Apex High School
Education Undeclared

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education? Because I have a passion for interacting with kids and influencing them in a positive way to help better their futures and strengthen themselves.

What attracted you to your major? My job at the trampoline park helped strengthen my bond with kids that came in to jump and just interacting with them made me feel like I was making a positive impact on their lives.

Why did you choose education? My mom is a teacher and she has been the biggest influence in me wanting to become a teacher and help brighten kids’ futures.