Teaching Assistant Gives Back and Wins Award

Teaching Assistant Gives Back and Wins Award

What does it mean to be a successful teacher? For Rebecca Clark, it means addressing the whole person and not just her area of education. It means getting to know her students, seeking their opinions and interests, and listening to their stories. Because of this philosophy, Clark won the UNC Wilmington 2017-18 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. The Graduate Teaching Assistant Award is presented by the Graduate School to four outstanding graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate exceptional competence in teaching and mentoring of undergraduates.

As an educator, Clark is giving back. For her, it was the teachers who integrated skills such as cooperation, honesty and integrity within the content they taught that impacted and empowered her the most.

“They nurtured within in me self-worth and the mindset that I could achieve anything,” Clark said. “I, too, believe this is an important part of my role.” 

Clark, originally from Hallsboro, N.C., earned her Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education from Winston-Salem State University in 1981. She began teaching in 1985 as a second grade teacher’s assistant at Lansdowne Elementary in Charlotte. In 1987, she secured her first teaching job, working at D.C. Virgo Jr. High and Lake Forest Jr. High, teaching health and physical education. Clark taught for 28 years and retired in 2015. Now, she is a graduate teaching assistant for UNCW; serves as the chair on the D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy Advisory Board; and volunteers at the academy.

Clark has been selected as Teacher of the Year multiple times throughout her career, which only further confirms that her methods of teaching are making a difference.  

“I view the education of our youth as a perpetual investment to our society, with long-term benefits not yet seen,” she said. “I strive to make the classroom experience applicable and student-centered.”

Clark will participate in the partnership between UNCW (Watson College of Education and College of Health and Human Services), New Hanover Regional and the Cape Fear Clinic to plan and implement the all new D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, which will be Wilmington’s only K-8 year-round public school.