2013 CFA Recipient Profiles


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    BETH JOYNER
    4th Grade, Kestrel Heights, Public Charter School in Durham
    • 8 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education, UNC-Chapel Hill

     

    “I love learning and I love to share my learning with others. I get inspired when I am able to share a little piece of my learning with my students and see them grow from it. I am also inspired when I am able to be a part of educator collaboration where all ideas are acknowledged and considered.”


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    BRIANNE STARIN
    K-3 AIG, E.K. Powe, Durham Public Schools
    • 5 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Psychology, UNC-Chapel Hill; M.A.T., East Carolina University

     

    “I believe that coming back to teaching and continuing to learn and grow as a teacher is my biggest professional accomplishment.”

     

    What inspires you as a teacher? “Life and experiences.”


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    CARMEN CASTANET
    1st Grade Dual Language, Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe School, CHCCS
    • 2 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education and Spanish, UNC-Chapel Hill; Enrolled in M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction w/ K-12 Reading Certification at North Carolina State University

     

    What inspires you as a teacher? “Students who feel empowered to be successful and create change.”


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    CHELSEY MCELWEE
    4th Grade, McDougle, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
    • 2 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education, Elon University; North Carolina Teaching Fellow

     

    “So many students come in feeling defeated or unable to respond to challenges because of a variety of factors. I love being able to support and encourage a student to become confident and excited about learning. When other students in my room pick up on that and help one another, I am even more inspired.”


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    JENNIFER JONES
    K-2 Instructional Resource and Literacy Intervention, Lake Myra, WCPSS
    • 19 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in English, California Polytechnic State University, Master’s in Reading Education, East Carolina University; K-12 Reading Certification

    • Hello Literacy Blogger

     

    “Teaching in the 21st century means teaching students to work and communicate together, to be problem-solvers and critical thinkers. First and foremost, it means turning control over to students to empower them to take charge of their learning. Today's students want to be engaged and in control of their learning and it's my job to support that and guide those students who have yet to find their learning identities. “


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    JENNIFER TUITE
    2nd Grade, Northside, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
    • 6 years of teaching experience

    • A.B. in Elementary Education (Arts Concentration), UNC-Chapel Hill; M.S. in Language Education w/ Reading/Literacy Endorsement, Indiana University-Bloomington

     

    “I love learning and finding new techniques and strategies to help my students be successful. Also, I find the connection that I make with my students and their families to be very enriching in my life. I also enjoy finding creative ways to help children learn material in a fun, hands-on and engaging way.”


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    KATHY MCCULLEN
    K-5 Library Media Coordinator, Parkwood, Durham Public Schools
    • 10 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education, UNC-Chapel Hill; M.S. in Library Science, North Carolina Central University; NC Teaching Fellow; National Board Certified Teacher

    • Wrote and received $10,000 grant from State Library of NC for Parkwood library

     

    "Elementary children bring such positive energy to a space, and I love being a part of helping them add to their skills and knowledge. Through teaching in the library, I am able to watch the students grow as readers and researchers during their entire 6 years of elementary school, and that is an amazing thing to witness." 


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    LAURA CHATTERTON
    2nd Grade, Lake Myra, Wake County Public School System
    • 5 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education w/ Language Arts Endorsement, Oakland University;

    • Currently earning Master’s in Early Childhood Education

     

    “I am constantly evolving, my practices change daily, for I am always reflecting and trying to create a better way to fit my students’ needs.  I am in a position to make a difference, and I want to do just that! I want to inspire all of my students to be ambitious and to become life-long learners.”


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    LEIGH STRATTON
    3-5 System Level 3 Teacher, McDougle, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
    • 2 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Adapted Curriculum in Special Education, Appalachian State University (Summa Cum Laude)

     

    “What inspires me as a teacher is watching my students take steps, large or small, towards independence. When I watch my students engage actively in lessons and their education, it drives me to push them further, raise my expectations for what they can do, and share their successes within our school community. I'm inspired to do my best to design instruction to meet the needs of all of my students.”


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    MALLORY MBALIA
    Kindergarten, Powell, Wake County Public School System
    • 7 years of teaching experience

    • B.S. in Human Development (Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development), Howard University; Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction, University of Phoenix; AIG Licensure

    • PBS LearningMedia Teacher Core Member

     

    “All children, every single one has a gift! It is my job/ honor to celebrate, encourage and integrate those gifts into my lessons/ teaching approach to enhance my students' success. I have the amazing opportunity to see children's talents sparkle, dazzle and shine!”


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    LENA DESKINS
    K-5 AIG Facilitator, Holt, Durham Public Schools
    • 5 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and M.S. in Reading Instruction, Radford University. AIG license; Duke University (2009 Advocacy Award Recipient); National Board Certified Teacher

     

    “Working with gifted students, they are used to having an easy time in the classroom. When they come through my door, I consider it my job to slow them down and make them think. They can feel as though they are not being successful because they are having to put forth effort to understand. In hindsight, though, they begin to see the payoff for what they have truly accomplished. It is in this challenge that I find joy and inspiration!”


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    MELANIE MCCORD
    3rd Grade, Kestrel Heights, Public Charter in Durham
    • 5 years of teaching experience

    • B.S. in Elementary Education, University of Dayton; EC Licensure, Central State University; Currently enrolled in Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction w/ concentration on Louisa Moats Literacy Instruction at American College of Education

     

    “If I can change the trajectory of students’ futures by teaching them skills to navigate social situations, as well as giving them the academic foundation they need, I have served them well. In the midst of this, I must accept my limitations, but also expand my capacity by continuing to develop myself professionally. This is a huge calling, and the challenge to reach it inspires me to continue learning and growing as a teacher.”

     

     


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    MILES RECK
    4th Grade, Hillandale, Durham Public Schools
    • 38 years of teaching experience

    • B.A., University of South Florida, M.Ed., University of North Florida, Advanced Certification, UNC-Chapel Hill

    • Educational consultant in 32 states, Canada, and the Dominican Rebublic

     

    “I am most inspired by the minds of my students. I am also inspired knowing that I have the opportunity to impact the world by supporting my students in their journey to become citizens of the world.”


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    ROBIN SECHRIST
    4th Grade, Easley, Durham Public Schools
    • 9 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Elementary Education, UNC-Greensboro (Honors); AIG K-8 Teaching License; Enrolled in Master’s Degree Program in Curriculum & Instruction

     

    “I teach to reach the next generation and to be inspired by young people. It is important to not only inspire to be inspired! I am inspired by the potential that each child has to reach for the stars and become their best. ”


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    SARAH DELAMARTER
    4th Grade, Eastway, Durham Public Schools
    • 8 years of teaching experience

    • B.S. in Elementary Education, University of Maine

    • Received $100,000 grant from Ellen DeGeneres and Target

     

    “My students inspire me. Seeing a child really "get it" is what keeps me coming back for more. I love watching students grow academically, emotionally, and socially, and being able to be a role model in the short time I get to share in their lives.”


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    TOMIKA ALTMAN-LEWIS
    K-5 AIG Facilitator, Burton, Durham Public Schools
    • 9 years of teaching experience

    • B.A. in Sociology; B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences; M.Ed. in Specialized Education; Certifications: Reading Specialist, AIG, ESL, Special Education, Elementary Education, Family and Consumer Sciences

    • Kenan Fellow; NC Science Leadership Association Fellow

     

    “What inspires me is knowing that every child has a gift or talent to share with the world, regardless if they are categorized as being gifted or not. As an educator it is my job as well as other educators’ job to help students recognize and further develop their gifts and talents.”