I am an instructional coach for grades K-12 at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC. Our school is the only school designed to serve visually impaired students from across our state. My role is designed to take school improvement measures that I have implemented and engaged in at a school level in other locations and focus them more intently on building teacher capacity and academic rigor at GMS. I work closely with teachers both inside and outside of the classroom setting in a variety of ways. My role is actually the best of both worlds when it comes to teaching and leading. Part of my role is to co-teach/model/observe/collaborate in teachers' classrooms. Another part of my role is to work directly with students in small group or whole group settings. One of the most important pieces of my role is to be a mentor and leader in identifying teacher and student strengths/areas for improvement and advancement. This part of my role helps them to think reflectively about how to remove barriers and improve student learning and growth through solid research driven instructional practices and data analysis. This role also helps develop teachers and strengthen the profession through reflective coaching conversations and individual goal setting practices. We are improving the overall growth, proficiency, and efficacy of both staff and students and are propelling our school forward each and every day.
I absolutely love my position. It definitely has struggles and can sometimes be extremely demanding emotionally, mentally, and physically, but the growth and progress I've witnessed has been invigorating and encouraging to keep moving forward. Experience the success along with our students and staff as they move forward, progress, and feel accomplished is exactly what I need to keep pushing myself forward in professional growth and progress.
At the time I received this award, I was a 4th grade teacher at Corinth-Holders Elementary School in Zebulon, North Carolina. In addition to my teaching, I was the mentor coordinator liaison for Corinth- Holders Elementary and Johnston County Schools. I worked directly with county officials in supporting/training the initially licensed teachers (ILT's) at my school. I loved helping other teachers to be successful in their classrooms and instruction. At the time of the award I was also the Vice President of the Parent-Teacher Organization at our local school, a member of the County Improvement Team, and the fourth grade representative on our School Improvement Team. In July of 2010, I accepted a position at East Carolina University as a coordinator in the College of Education. I now help advise, guide, and support nearly all of our Elementary Education majors throughout their years at our institution. Although I learned many things about the realm of higher education, I found that I truly missed being with the students and teachers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at East Carolina University; however, I quickly realized where my heart was. It was back in the schools! In 2012, I accepted a position back in Johnston County as a curriculum coordinator at South Smithfield Elementary. As a result of this change, I found my desire to return to school. I graduated in December of 2019 with my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. My dissertation focused on school transformation. I have immensely enjoyed the journey. In addition to the wonderful opportunities in which I have engaged as a result of my career paths, I was also a member of the Teacher Advisory Council with Dr. June Atkinson for the state of NC from 2008-2010. I received my National Board Certification in November of 2010. Recently, I have been afforded the opportunity to participate in district-wide professional development sessions and curriculum writing. I have also been an active part of the leadership team with NCAE (North Carolina Association of Educators) in providing state-wide professional development and support for NBCT candidates, other opportunities for advocacy and professional development such as SEL/trauma informed practices, and racial and social justice. I also serve as a facilitator with NEA (National Education Association) with a national cohort of educators focusing on building advocacy and providing professional development focused on racial and social justice.
I feel so privileged and honored to be a part of such a wonderful family of amazing educators! Every time I see a notification or view the shadowbox of my own experience, I relive the dream once again. Receiving the Milken Family Foundation Award was truly a dream come true. I never thought, in a million years, how this might positively affect my life and career, but it has opened doors that I thought were impossible to open. Receiving this award has fanned the flame within myself to become more of an educational leader in coaching teachers to realize their potential and impact. It has also given me the drive I needed to help pursue further individual growth and development to ensure that students ultimately have the means necessary to continue their educational growth. This experience has given me the courage to pursue a lifelong dream of receiving my doctoral degree. The world is a much better place because of all of the work all of our amazing educators do each and every day. Knowing that there are educators out there who are dedicated to the profession gives me hope for the future. I cannot thank this amazing foundation enough. I am the educator I am today due in large to the passion you helped instill. From the bottom of my heart, "Thank you!"
2020 National Board Teacher Certification Renewal (Early/Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading-Language Arts)
2016 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, MSA in School Administration
2010 National Board Teacher Certification (Early/Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading-Language Arts)
2010 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction
2007 East Carolina University, MAEd. in Reading
2001 East Carolina University, B.S. in Business and Marketing Education