Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

125 Students Participate in Future Teacher Conference at Watson

Sunday, December 04, 2022

On October 28, Associate Dean Angela Housand joined WCE Recruiter Dean Heath in welcoming 125 high school and community college students to a Future Teacher Conference at the Watson College. Future Teacher events, held each semester, give students an opportunity to visit campus and learn more about education programs at Watson.

“This was our largest Future Teacher conference ever,” Heath said. “We were thrilled to welcome students from 18 high schools and community colleges to the event this fall.”

The full-day conference featured a series of workshops and presentations, a student panel discussion and a complimentary lunch at Wagoner Hall.

Dennis Kubasko (secondary education), Shelby Morge (middle grades education), Alex Chambers (special education), Maggie Guggenheimer (mathematics) and Jes Cardenas and Hengameh Kermani (early childhood education) spoke about the range of programs offered for aspiring teachers from Preschool through high school, with many specializations.

In additional sessions, Dean Heath provided an overview of opportunities at the Watson College, Chris Furr encouraged students to explore the question, “why teach?”, Courtney Townsend introduced students to WCE’s Education Lab, Kathryn Batten and Tonya McKoy shared the benefits of creating a makerspace environment in the classroom, Amber Colon discussed effective use of technology, Somer Lewis encouraged students to ‘know their strengths,’ Candace Thompson and Cindy Wiseman engaged students in an exploration of the importance of teachers of color in the classroom, and Grace Burmester and Tonnia Rodriguez discussed on-campus clubs, field experiences and other ways to get involved and stay connected.

Watson Student Leaders Rebekah Martin, Sydney McGee, Meredith Howson, Sandy Schneider and Madeleine Ellis participated in the student panel discussion.

“Our session was fun,” said Candace Thompson, Interim Associate Dean of Watson’s Office of Engagement, Professional Learning, and Scholarship. “We challenged and motivated the high school students to think about teaching and leadership as a future career path, and stressed why representation is so very important in the classroom. The students were actively engaged in thinking about characteristics of their favorite teachers and discussing the important teacher behaviors they see and appreciate. The students in our group were great artistic storytellers!”

Clinton High School’s Dark Horse Fellows were among the program participants. The Dark Horse Fellows program is for successful juniors and seniors that are interested in becoming educators and returning to Clinton City Schools to teach. The students were featured in a story in The Sampson Independent on November 5: Fellows attend teachers conference.

Future Teacher Conference events are held each semester. High schools, community colleges and home school groups that would like to bring students to UNCW’s Watson College to learn about education as a career are invited to contact Dean Heath at heatht@uncw.edu.

The Watson College also hosts two Preview Day events on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters, The events, designed for high school and transfer students interested in becoming a teacher, feature a welcome from the Dean’s office, presentations, a student panel discussion and a tour of the Education Building. Parents are welcome too! For more information, please visit the Preview Day website.