Back to where it all started

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On March 21, 2024

Tanner Beistel is student teaching at Rolla Middle School, a school he attended as a native of Rolla, MO. In this afternoon lab, he is teaching about Newtonian fluids by helping students make oobleck from corn starch and water. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

Tanner Beistel remembers that as far back as kindergarten, he tried to hurry up and finish his work so he could go help other kids with their schoolwork. By the time he was in fifth grade, he knew that he wanted to be a teacher. Now he is realizing that dream as a student teacher at Rolla Middle School, where he teaches science and social studies.

By coincidence, his past fifth grade teacher is now a colleague at the school. Beistel had Logan MacCash as a teacher then, and now asks him for teaching advice when student teaching in his classroom. MacCash is also a former Missouri S&T student.

“I see Logan as a combination of teacher and peer, to be honest,” says Beistel, a senior in education from Rolla, Missouri. “I see him as a teacher in the aspect that he is still teaching me how to be a teacher, but as a friend now. He recognized me right away when I returned and was really excited for me to be his student teacher.”

Beistel teaching in a lab. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

Beistel says he looks forward to the teaching profession ahead of him and has some lofty goals to go with it – including eyeing a “teacher of the year” award that he knows would be tough to achieve as a beginning teacher. He also hopes to earn a master’s degree in the future.

“What makes me passionate about my program is my love for teaching,” says Beistel. “I have absolutely loved my field experience classes and my classes teaching me how to teach different subjects. I’m certified to teach first through sixth grade, but I am leaning towards the older elementary grades.”

Beistel met many friends and future coworkers through the education program, but he says his most special connection is the one he made with his fiancé, Sydney Hulbert, in one of his first classes at S&T. Hulbert, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 2023 from S&T, is currently a kindergarten teacher for the Newburg School District in Newburg, Missouri.

“Something I really enjoyed about S&T’s education program is how caring all of the staff and teachers were to me,” says Beistel. “I have personal friendships that I hope to keep with them after I graduate. They have all been super helpful and made me feel right at home. I wasn’t sure how it would be transferring in from another college, but I was surprised by how nice everyone was and how they all accepted me.”

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

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