Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

PDS Hosts Partnership Teacher Celebration

Monday, May 02, 2022

During the spring semester, 184 Watson College students successfully completed internships in area schools.  On May 3, more than 160 partnership teachers, student interns and faculty attended a dinner hosted by WCE’s PDS office to celebrate the college’s collaborative work with partnership schools, teachers and interns.

Watson College Dean Van Dempsey joined PDS Director Somer Lewis in welcoming the educators and expressing appreciation to WCE’s school partners. PDS Master Teachers were recognized at the event and Amanda Matthews, a kindergarten teacher at Cape Fear Elementary School,  was honored with WCE’s spring 2022 Roy E. Harkin Teacher Recognition Award.

University Supervisor Selina Riley-Gurganus nominated Matthews for the award. In her nomination she wrote:

“Ms. Matthews has demonstrated her commitment to growing future educators through perseverance, attention to powerful teaching and learning, and setting high expectations. Through steady attention, coaching and motivation she forms relationships with her interns that lead to planning, organizing and thinking about powerful teaching and learning. Ms. Matthews encourages interns to think outside the box and use innovative ideas to make learning fun and relevant for students. She is eager and always willing to collaborate and provide feedback to make support cohesive and meaningful for our UNCW students.”

In recognition of her accomplishments, Matthews received a plaque and a small stipend, and her name will be added to a plaque that is displayed in the Education building.  

About the Roy E. Harkin Award

The Roy E. Harkin award is designed to recognize a public school teacher who has contributed to the preparation of future teachers by demonstrating excellence as a partnership teacher and/or site coordinator. The award was established in 2008 in memory of Dr. Harkin, who served as chair of the Education Department at UNCW from 1976 to 1979 and as dean of the School of Education until 1991. This award is funded by the family and friends of Dr. Harkin in recognition of his commitment to partnerships with public schools and his appreciation for the contributions of public school educators to the preparation of prospective teachers. Nominations for the award are accepted from WCE’S 12 PDS partnership districts and charter schools.