The North Carolina Association for Colleges and Teacher Educators (NCACTE) has named recent UNC Charlotte alumna Makayla Church the 2018 Student Teacher of the Year. Church received the award on October 4th at the 36th Annual North Carolina Teacher Education Forum, "Celebrating Our Professional Identity: Shared Knowledge and Advocacy" held in Raleigh. The award includes a stipend of $2,500.
“Student teaching under the mentorship of my university supervisor and clinical educator has not only shaped who I am as a teacher, but who I am as a person. I have gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge about what it means to be a teacher,” Church said.
Church was one of ten finalists from across the state. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, concentrating in K-12 dance education, and student teaching in the dance department at Northwest School of the Arts.
“Makayla takes the time to get to know the students and staff, creating a positive environment in the classroom and sending positive vibes wherever she goes. She drums up conversations as simple as complimenting someone on their shoes to inquiring about something someone said about their loved one a week prior. It shows that she cares,” said Chandra-McCloud Glover, Church’s clinical educator at Northwest School of the Arts.
While a student at UNC Charlotte, Church served as a Charlotte Research Scholar and in 2017 presented her research, "Breaking with Tradition: Critical Approaches to Ballet Pedagogy," at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium at Campbell University. She also volunteered at The John Crosland School, a local school dedicated to the education of children with learning and attention differences, and worked at the Robinson Hall Box Office as a Patron Services Representative.
On October 6th, Church also presented her research at the national conference of the National Dance Education Organization in San Diego.
Church, who is from West Jefferson, N.C., is now the dance teacher at Flat Rock Middle School and East Henderson High School, both in Henderson County, NC.