08/22/10 — EWHS grad participates in Teach For America

View Archive

EWHS grad participates in Teach For America

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 22, 2010 1:50 AM

Catie Miller of Goldsboro will spend her first year of teaching in Bertie County.

She was one of 4,500 new teachers selected from a record 46,000 applicants to work with Teach for America, the national corps of college graduates committed to teaching two years in urban and rural public schools in low-income communities.

"I've lived in eastern North Carolina and attended public schools my entire life," she said. "This is my way to give back to a great community and make a difference in the state."

Ms. Miller graduated from Eastern Wayne High School in 2006 and recently from UNC-Chapel Hill.

It was while in college that she learned of this opportunity, she said.

"Teach for America recruits at college campuses," she said. "One of my friends had applied for it."

Teach for America recruits on more than 350 college campuses, seeking students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, perseverance and leadership. This fall, more than 8,200 first- and second-year educators will serve in 39 urban and rural regions around the country.

Ms. Miller said she did some research of her own and was impressed with its ideology.

"Teach for America has this huge mission to close the achievement gap and make sure all kids get the same education no matter where they live, where they're coming from," she said. "I really believe in that movement. That's why I applied.

"They provide you with intense training. I feel so prepared. I feel like Teach for America taught me so much more to be prepared to go into the classroom."

At the outset, she said her preference was to work in eastern North Carolina.

When the assignments were announced, she had been placed as a first-grade teacher at Colerain Elementary School.

School there starts Aug. 25, said Ms. Miller, who has already begun setting up her new classroom.

There is a two-year commitment to the program, which she said was not a problem.

"I'm planning on staying for two years, plus I plan on staying in the classroom after the recommendation is over, whether it's in Bertie County or somewhere else in North Carolina," she said.

Not that the first-year teacher is without a few back-to-school jitters of her own.

"It's kind of like a roller coaster," she said. "Some days I'm really excited about meeting all my kids and starting a career but at the same time, I have so much to do. It's overwhelming.

"But I guess that's how everyone feels starting this job. Once I get the hang of it, I will be fine."