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School of Education Student Gracie LaBlance Fulfills Dream of Being a Teacher


What is your passion? For many, this question is a mystery, and the answer is found through lifelong experience and personal drive. Gracie LaBlance has known the answer to this question since she was in the first grade.

LaBlance is a SLU junior, working hard to balance classes, her social life, and practicums while being a driving force in the community of SLU’s School of Education. Her story, like many others, is one that is rooted in her relentless pursuit of her true passion in life — becoming a teacher.

Gracie LaBlance
Gracie LaBlance drives the "school bus" during the 2023 Homecoming and Family Weekend parade.

Ever since LaBlance was a baby, she has been a regular visitor to SLU's campus. Originally from Belleville, Illinois, her family frequently traveled to campus to attend SLU events, with her favorite being Homecoming and Family Weekend. 

Fast forward to the time LaBlance was applying for admission to universities.

“I was lucky that I never had to wonder where I was going to college,” she said, laughing. “I always knew I was going to SLU.”

The choice to become an education major was similarly simple. Since she was a child herself, LaBlance’s decision to become a teacher was set in stone. She even created a classroom in her basement to simulate what she wanted her future classroom to look like and spent her free time pretending to teach.

Now, LaBlance attends to her responsibilities on campus with the same dedication. As a scholar for the Grow Your Own Teacher program, she gets to talk to prospective students, including those from her previous high school, about what the School of Education offers. As part of the ambassador program, she also helps manage social media, plan events and help ideas come to life. Without a doubt, she is “the SOE’s biggest cheerleader.”

LaBlance is amazed at how far she has come. As a child, she looked up to SOE students at the homecoming parade; this year, she was part of the team that decorated the golf cart in the likeness of a school bus. Materials and decorations from her pretend childhood classroom now wait in boxes as she plans to use them in her future classroom. Her family, all alumni from SLU, are proud as she follows in their footsteps to attend the university.

Beginning in her childhood years to becoming a college student, LaBlance's path in life led her to SLU.

“Every time I walk into Fitzgerald Hall, I know that I could ask anyone anything, and they would have my back,” LaBlance said as she looked forward to the future. “To me, it honestly feels like home.”

For more information about Saint Louis University’s School of Education, visit our website or call 314-977-3292.