Wednesday, April 18, 2012

UNCW Alumni Deliver Quality Education During Tough Economy

During the past few years, we have all been forced to see the bright side in an economic recession. Few have done this as well as two of our Watson School of Education alumni, Julie Sartorius ’08,’10M and Sarah Payne ’08. These passionate educators have been able to maintain a positive attitude and love for teaching even during the tough times of an economic downturn.

Both educators are currently in Wilmington. Julie works at Cape Fear Center for Inquiry (CFCI) as a third grade teacher. Sarah works at Wrightsville Beach Elementary as a first, fourth and fifth grade pull-out teacher who helps struggling students through working in small groups.

Julie with the founders of KIPP, a group of
charter schools that empowers students
to go to and through college. 
Julie advocates for providing quality education by sharing. She states that instead of viewing education as a competition, “it’s about a shared understanding,” and that all teachers should work together to share resources. Julie adds, "I saw it in undergrad when we would create a lesson or unit plan and the professors would put them on blackboard or discs for everyone in the class to utilize and benefit. I saw it at KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) when they created an online web sharing database for teachers at their 100 schools and I see it now at CFCI."

Throughout the challenges in her career she has continued to stay positive. “One of my favorite things about teaching is the smiles on the faces of the children when they walk in the door in the morning, eager to seek what they day has to offer.”

Sarah with some of her students.
Sarah has dreamed of becoming a teacher since she was in third grade, when she presented a mini lesson to her class. She still loves being an educator and recommends that new teachers stay organized, track receipts and find the benefits in tutoring struggling students. Sarah works hard to create a bond with students and states, “I love to take a concept that’s difficult and find a way to make my students understand it. I love that ‘light bulb’ moment when you can see that the concept final clicks in their minds.”

Just a few weeks away is the WSE Alumni Chapter Spring Dinner where guest speaker, Dr. Cathy Barlow, will address “Providing a Quality Education During Challenging Economic Times.” Alumni will have an opportunity to mingle with friends and fellow educators while enjoying dinner and the presentation. "I loved my time at UNCW. Thinking about college, I remember all the fun I had with friends." said Sarah. "I look forward to events like these to share with alumni who have similar experiences in their careers."

UNCW Alumni Relations/ Tori Hamed

No comments: