Gregory Rakes - Secondary Social Science
Gregory Rakes really dug history when he hit Southeastern's campus in the 1980s. He was on his way to majoring in the subject until former Southeastern history instructor Don Eudy persuaded him to major in social studies education. Eudy told Rakes that social studies would open more professional doors for him. More than seven positions later-in both teaching and ministry-Rakes is grateful for Eudy's advice and other blessings he received at Southeastern.
Rakes, who now teaches social studies at Rochelle School of the Arts in Lakeland, Florida, enjoyed his content classes at Southeastern. Courses in U.S. and world history were his favorites. Rakes now taps his knowledge of world history in the classroom and tries to spark a similar love for social studies in his students. In a recent assignment, Rakes divided students into groups and assigned them Asian and Middle Eastern countries to investigate. Students researched the government, economy, people and housing of the countries and prepared foods from the nations. Students also created posters about the countries. Rakes arranged the groups in a science fair setup that permitted parents to browse the student displays before a parents' night at the school. Some students came dressed in traditional garments from the nations they studied at this show that Rakes dubbed the Asian Expo.
In addition to teaching skills, Rakes gained knowledge at Southeastern that he'd later use coaching. Rakes played on Southeastern's baseball team and on an intramural volleyball team. He also played trumpet in the school orchestra. Rakes said these activities enabled him to coach baseball, softball and volleyball and interact with parents and students in less formal settings.
Southeastern prepared Rakes spiritually as well as for his work as a teacher and coach. A sermon that Eudy preached about how without a vision the people perish, inspired Rakes to begin to dream and plan. Many of Rakes' dreams already have materialized. In 1987-the year he graduated-Rakes married Lori Cowfer, who also graduated from Southeastern and now teaches fifth-grade at an elementary school in Lakeland. The couple is rearing four sons who range in age from 4 to 15. In addition to teaching, Greg has served in pastoral and other ministerial roles at First Assembly of God in Frostproof, Florida, at Apopka Assembly of God in Apopka, Florida, and at Holly Heights Assembly of God in Holly Hill, Florida. Rakes currently serves in music and Christian education ministries at Southside Assembly of God in Lakeland. Rakes' future goals include becoming a nationally certified teacher, pursuing administrative opportunities and serving in ministry as needed.
Rakes enjoys his career as a social studies teacher because it allows him to interpret history and share that interpretation with the next generation. Although Rakes doesn't preach to his students, as a Christian teacher he does share Godly wisdom and counsels them when they need it. "It is impossible to live for God and serve him and not take him to work," Rakes said.