Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

PDS Supports 1,015 Teachers through the First Years of Teaching Support Program

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Watson College of Education supports its graduates in the first three years of their teaching career through the First Years of Teaching Support Program. The program, managed by WCE Professional Development System assistant director Jenn Hatch Knight, provides online resources and face to face support for teachers and administrators. The college also hosts a series of professional learning days for beginning teachers each school year.

The First Years of Teaching Program provided support for 1,015 teachers in the region during the 2016-17 academic year.

Ninety-four teachers participated in a final professional development day for beginning teachers held at the Watson College on May 11. Phillip Riggs, music educator at North Carolina School of Science & Math and 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the Year, was keynote speaker. His presentation, titled “Just Sing a Little Song,” focused on the importance of the arts in school and ways to use the arts as a tool to teach across the curriculum.

The event featured presentations by Promise of Leadership Award recipients and special performances by students from Murray Middle School Jazz Ensemble, the Snipes Academy of Arts and Design Chorus and Dance Company and Snipes Academy Dribblers.

In addition to working with a Master Teacher and delivering professional development for beginning teachers, POLs also participated in a book study this year. Questions raised in the book, The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence were a great way for the teachers to reflect on their teaching and classroom climate to better meet the needs of their students, Knight said.  

Promise of Leadership Awards Program

The Promise of Leadership group is comprised of new teachers who show leadership and innovation in the classroom. Teachers are nominated by their school system and formally recognized by WCE’s Professional Development System office for their commitment and expertise with the Promise of Leadership Award. These teachers also have an opportunity to work with a WCE Master Teacher and provide professional development to other beginning teachers during spring workshop sessions at the Beginning Teacher Professional Development Day.

2016-17 Promise of Leadership Award recipients are:

  • Courtney Malahias - Snipes Academy of Arts and Design, New Hanover County
  • Alexandra Cieckiewicz-Gray - Maysville Elementary, Jones County
  • April Kincaid - Ashley High School, New Hanover County
  • Jennifer LaFleur - Cape Fear Center for Inquiry, Charter
  • Kayla Kowalski - Topsail High School, Pender County
  • Nicole Ottaway - Hoggard High School, New Hanover County
  • Mitchell Harper - North Duplin Junior/Senior High School, Duplin County
  • Lauren Mariano - Rocky Point Elementary School, Pender County
  • Dorothy Crooks - Rocky Point Elementary School, Pender County
  • Amanda Outlaw - Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary School, Duplin County (not pictured)

View presentations by Promise of Leadership Award recipients here.