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News: Roane State student says college 'has given me a great start'

News: Roane State student says college 'has given me a great start'

Ailene G. Treadway

Dec. 7, 2016

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

When it came to mastering the Southern version of the English language, Ailene G. Treadway says the accent and slang were the biggest challenges.

Then there’s the fast-paced life throughout America that also took some adjustment, the native of the Philippines said. “People here are always super-busy – go, go, go!”

After 11 years in the states, Treadway has become used to what she says at first was culture shock. After obtaining an associate degree in early childhood education last May from Roane State Community College, she’s become one of the college’s biggest cheerleaders.

Roane State “has always been a great blessing to me and has given me a great start,” said the 38-year-old Treadway. She called the guidance she’s received from Roane State faculty “truly inspiring…and helped me achieve my success.”

She racked up a 3.95 grade point average and a summa cum laude accolade on her way to last May’s graduation.


Roane State student Ailene Treadway graduated summa cum laude in May. She’s back at Roane State working on a second associate degree and plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

Now, she’s back at Roane State, receiving tutoring at the Learning Center on the Harriman campus in the afternoons after work at the Head Start Center’s preschool program in the Midtown Education Center in Roane County.

She’s now pursuing another associate degree. She plans to start the 2+2 program, where Tennessee Tech teachers on the Roane State campus will be her instructors, and she’ll be working toward a bachelor’s degree.

Treadway said she’d like to teach — perhaps part-time at Roane State — while still working with very young children with special needs.

​There’s a personal reason for that career goal. Her daughter Erica has epilepsy and had some initial cognitive delays. Erica is now 22 and doing fine, living in Harriman with Treadway and her husband, Shawn Treadway.

Ailene Treadway (center) with daughter Erica and husband Shawn

The road to the couple’s romance and marriage started on the Internet, where they met. Shawn traveled to the Philippines, they married there in the spring of 2004, and the couple moved to America in the summer of 2005.

Even before they relocated, Treadway’s passion for early childhood education was in place. She worked at a daycare center in the Philippines, then at The Henry Center in Harriman and the Goddard School in Knoxville before landing the job at the Head Start in Roane County as a preschool teacher.

She said the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) was an invaluable help in helping to pay for her initial Roane State degree. TECTA provides tuition assistance for students pursuing early childhood education degrees.

Now, Treadway said, the Roane State Foundation is assisting with half of her tuition and fees.

Treadway’s efforts have caught officials’ attention. “I came to know Ailene, not only as a hard-working and focused student but also as a remarkable young woman with a huge drive to succeed and a big heart for children and their families,” Roane State Vice President Karen Brunner wrote in a letter of recommendation.

“Ailene has clearly found an educational and career path that is a perfect match for her talents, her skills, and her passion.”

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