Morgan Jones discovered her passion for teaching while serving as a youth coordinator with the afterschool program at the Pembroke Housing Authority.
Jones loved engaging with students and aiding in their personal growth and development. Ultimately, it was knowing she was making a difference in their lives that inspired her to pursue a career in the classroom.
Jones enrolled in the elementary education program at UNC Pembroke four years ago and excelled with the theory and classroom concepts, but her student teaching experience solidified her decision. Jones impressed Sasha Fulmer, her clinical instructor at Prospect Elementary, her field supervisor, and other faculty members in the School of Education.
Last week, Jones was selected UNCP’s Student Teacher of the Year and is currently in the running for the 2023 North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Award of the Year. One teacher candidate from the NCACTE member institutions will be recognized as the Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year in North Carolina.
“Morgan was a phenomenal student teacher,” Fulmer said.
Dr. Jennifer Whittington, assistant professor and coordinator of the elementary education undergraduate program, agreed to say, “Her desire and love for becoming a teacher are evident in all she does.”
Jones was a member of the First Americans’ Teacher Education program and was the first participant to graduate and complete all licensure exam requirements.
“My student teaching experience was tough because of the new curriculum being introduced, but, overall, what made it amazing was watching the students grow in the classroom,” she said.
Jones graduated on Saturday, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and has been offered a teaching job at Prospect School.
“I’m very thankful to be chosen for this award, and I hope to inspire my students and continue to learn and one day further my education in the master’s program at UNCP.”