Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

WCE’s PDS Hosts Dinner for Regional Teacher Leaders

Thursday, April 04, 2019

North Carolina Teacher of the Year Freebird McKinney and Western Region Teacher of the Year Julie Pittman joined 40 teacher leaders, faculty members and students at a dinner at the Watson College on February 21. WCE’s Professional Development System Office hosted the event, which featured a discussion of teacher recruitment and retention through the lens of teacher leadership.

The issues of teacher recruitment and retention are a core component of this year’s Teacher of the Year platform. McKinney and Pittman shared information about their work with key recruitment and retention initiatives including Future Teachers of North Carolina, BT Institutes, Teacher Education programs at colleges and universities, Teacher Symposiums and Teaching Fellows programs.

McKinney was especially enthusiastic about the Teacher Leadership Academy model, which has been adopted by a few districts in the western part of the state as a pathway to teacher recruitment and retention. The model connects teachers to community partners where they learn about the community agency and make connections for the classrooms and students.

In addition to teacher recruitment and retention, goals in the Teacher of the Year platform include:

  • Energizing teachers to build bridges in the broader community
  • Ensuring that public education provides access for all students
  • Global education and cultural emersion for all teachers and students

“It was great to bring district leaders, local teachers of the year, the new southeast regional teacher of the year, PDS Master Teachers and Promise of Leadership Award recipients together with Watson College faculty and students to discuss these important issues,” said Somer Lewis, director of WCE’s Professional Development. “Freebird and Julie are always inspirational, and we all enjoyed learning more about the great work they are doing across the state.”