08/12/14 — New teachers gather to celebrate next step

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New teachers gather to celebrate next step

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on August 12, 2014 1:46 PM

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Kristan Gupusan smiles after winning a prize during the new teacher appreciation breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at Lane Tree Golf Club Monday morning.

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Victoria Sutton listens to a presentation during the new teacher appreciation breakfast.

Wayne County will have nearly 100 new teachers in class this fall, and they received an early welcome Monday morning at a teacher appreciation breakfast sponsored by the county Chamber of Commerce and school administrators at the Lane Tree Golf Club.

"We do this to show them that we take care of our own," said Marvin McCoy, assistant superintendent of human resources.

Incoming teachers come from varying backgrounds, said Debbie Durham, director of human resources, professional development and health and physical education. Some are military spouses, some have professional experience in fields outside of education and others are freshly graduated from college. Some are from as far away as Brazil and El Salvador.

Victoria Sutton, a recent graduate of Campbell University, received her degree in education and will be teaching at Grantham School.

"I love kids," Ms. Sutton said. "I baby-sat when I was younger. I was originally going into nursing but after being exposed to working with kids I switched to education."

Nicolle Robbins, former children's librarian at Wayne County Public Library, is moving into teaching in order to follow her passion for science. She will be a science teacher at Eastern Wayne Middle School.

"I started in February, and it's the best choice I've ever made," Ms. Robbins said. "It's a big shift from being a librarian to becoming a teacher, because as a teacher you have to work directly with children as opposed to working with them and their parents."

Both Sutton and Robbins are nervous about the discipline aspect of teaching and keeping order in the classroom.

Kristina Wellington-Boseman has a background in banking and retail, but after working with children in the Boys and Girls Club she is choosing to bring her professional experience into the classroom, teaching business courses at Mount Olive Middle School.

"I think the most about not failing the children," she said. "I love the excitement and the thrill of working with children."

Catina Thomason, a Goldsboro native, took an unconventional route to the classroom setting. After being a science teacher at Goldsboro High School from 1999 to 2000, she transitioned to working in Human Services.

"After I worked my way up to being a case manager, the job became more about the paperwork," Thomason said. "I missed working with the kids."

She went through Wayne County's lateral entry program to re-enter the classroom setting, and is now changing from being an instructional assistant to a teacher for grades 5 through 8 at Brogden Middle School.

The teachers were applauded for their decision to enter the classroom and reminded of the importance of their jobs.

"I get upset every time I see the news, because they don't pay y'all enough," said Ed Wilson of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. "I'm not trying to pick on any one group, but there are football players making millions and something just ain't right there. Y'all are much more important to our nation than they are."