Emilee Higdon ’18 Named North Carolina Beginning Teacher of the Year

Monday, April 26, 2021

Emilee Curtis Higdon ’18, a high school English teacher at Union Academy in Macon County Schools, has been named the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching 2021 Prudential NC Beginning Teacher of the Year. The award was presented in a special ceremony on the campus of Western Carolina University on April 15.

Higdon is the second recipient of the award, introduced by NCCAT to honor beginning teachers and retain teachers who show promise as excellent teachers and education leaders in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools.

“I am thrilled to see Emilee receive this recognition,” said Denise Ousley-Exum, coordinator of the secondary education program at UNCW’s Watson College of Education. “She is passionate about teaching, deeply dedicated to relationships and invitational in her leadership style. Emilee is an extraordinary educator and I am so pleased others have recognized the strengths we saw in her early on.”

Higdon chose to become a teacher because she “wanted to make a difference and see the difference,” she said, and UNCW’s secondary education program provided strong preparation for her career.

Read the full article here.