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Braylon's High-Speed Journey into Education‚Äč

Braylon Lane used the Pathways at District 191 to kickstart his career, dive headfirst into college classes, and set his course at a young age.

Other than a few years living in Michigan, Braylon has spent all of his time in school in District 191, and he knew long ago that teaching was something he would pursue. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher at age six,” said Braylon. “I used to love pretending with smart boards and taking over the class any chance that I got.” This passion for teaching was always there, but his dedication to his school work didn’t always match. “During my freshman year, I wasn’t all that focused on school and then COVID hit which made school even harder with remote learning,” said Braylon. “Thankfully the Pathways program is available to everyone, because deciding to take an Introduction to Education course was a turning point for me.”

Though he didn’t know it at first, the course he had selected was a dual enrollment course through the Burnsville High School (BHS) partnership with Normandale Community College, and was worth four college credit hours. Braylon immediately felt he was in the right place with the Education Pathway. He took summer courses at Normandale at a discounted rate since he was still in high school, and then used the Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) to complete as many courses as he could throughout his 11th grade year while expanding his knowledge of education and serving as a student volunteer teacher as part of a work study course. 

Braylon was alerted to an open position at Hidden Valley Elementary School for a Behavioral Support Assistant and he jumped at the chance and now works full time at the school. He took and passed the Paraprofessional Test, and now serves as a teaching assistant for third grade classrooms half of the day and as the behavioral support assistant the other part of the day. He works with school counselors and social workers and assists in de-escalating emotional behavioral issues, equipping students with the best learning environments for them. 

Braylon graduated from BHS with his classmates in June of 2022, and then, just two months later, walked across the stage at Normandale Community College with an associate degree. He plans to complete his bachelor degree utilizing hybrid courses at the University of Minnesota, and will pursue his master’s via online classes at Howard University where he will focus on Teaching English and Acting.  “My goal is to be a fully licensed teacher by the 2023-24 school year and I know I want to continue to work with kids and to serve this school district and this community,” said Braylon. “I don’t know where I would be had I not taken that initial education course, but the Pathways at BHS have really allowed me to work towards my goals.”

The Pathways program at BHS set the tone for my life and really inspired me to work as an educator. I have gotten such great support throughout high school and this program really set the course for me to work towards my goals. It got me this job where I get to work with great students, and it allowed me to save thousands of dollars on college courses."Braylon

Selfie of teacher smiling in mirror

Age 6

Braylon knows he wants to be a teacher someday.

9th Grade

Braylon starts at BHS, but school isn’t a top priority for him yet. 

10th Grade

With distance learning as the only option, Braylon decides to try something new and opts to try out some of the Education Pathway course options. His first class is also a dual enrollment course that will result in four college credits. Braylon takes to it immediately. 

12th Grade

Braylon starts working at Hidden Valley Elementary School while continuing to use asynchronous classes to earn 16 college credits, meet his qualifications for high school graduation, and be able to have his associate degree by August 2022. 


Braylon graduates from BHS with his classmates in June of 2022, and then, just two months later, walks across the stage at Normandale Community College with an associate degree.

The Future

Braylon hopes to be a fully licensed teacher by the 2023-24 school year with the goal of continuing to serve students in District 191.

Selfie of teacher smiling in mirror