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Meet Our NC State Education Scholars

Cohort III (Currently Teaching)

Kelsey DouglasKelsey Douglas
Sanford, North Carolina
Elementary Education: STEM Concentration
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus

“I am beyond excited to be able to say that through NC State’s Education Scholars program, I have the privilege of teaching in Cabarrus County schools in a STEM-based elementary school. My passion for working with students and helping them develop a lifelong love of learning began in my community outreach education programs during high school. Coming from the small town of Lee County, I feel as though Cabarrus County is a home away from home and that I am able to connect with my students through shared experiences. Growing up on a family farm, I learned many things through experience and I know the power of learning hands-on and the benefits of a tight-knit community. I enjoy playing musical instruments, camping in the mountains, hiking and traveling with my pets to different states! Furthermore, I believe that North Carolina needs passionate educators who are there to be flexible and reach students where they are and challenge them. Therefore, I cannot wait to be there for my students holistically and act in any caliber that would most benefit my students and Cabarrus County.”

Hannah EhmannHannah Ehmann
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Secondary Science Education: Biology Concentration
NC State Education Scholars District: Onslow

“Through NC State Education Scholars, I am able to return to the county I grew up in to teach at White Oak High School. This unique opportunity to work in Onslow County, following my graduation from their school system, allows me to have both a teacher and student view of what my best steps as an educator should look like. I am truly looking forward to influencing growth in my students and I am grateful for this program for assisting me through this transitional time period.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, painting and getting lost in the imaginary worlds of books and TV. I have recently picked up rollerblading as well. I have desired to make education my future for as long as I can remember. This, along with my love of science, makes me excited to reach students from all backgrounds in my classroom. Onslow County is home to a diverse population of students and my passion is advocating for them, all while showing them the power of science!”

Treasure GnashTreasure Gnash
Morehead City, North Carolina
Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Lenoir

“As a resident of Eastern North Carolina, I am so excited to be a part of Lenoir County’s partnership with NC State’s Education Scholars Program! Rural county schools have so much to offer, and their student populations deserve amazing teachers that show them that they matter. I am absolutely humbled to have the opportunity to learn from, and with, the students, staff and administration within Lenoir County Public Schools. I feel that this wonderful opportunity will allow me to grow as a student and a future educator, while feeling supported and cared for by everyone involved in the Ed Scholars program. I am so lucky to have the chance to live and learn in the same community as the students and staff in Lenoir County!

When I’m not in class, I enjoy reading, painting, drawing and anything to do with the arts. I feel that artistic expression is so important for students and their identity, and is something I would love to weave throughout my curriculum in the future. I have been active within NC State’s color guard and winter guard programs since high school, and this positively impacted my public school experience. Through my later involvement with the Power Sound of the South at NC State, we have traveled all over the country, and even performed internationally in France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. My involvement in the arts through my education has given me amazing opportunities to do things I had never imagined possible. It is imperative that we as teachers emphasize the importance of supporting activities for students within public schools. These extracurriculars help them learn and grow not only as students, but also as people.

While I have a long way to go before I have graduated and am teaching, I am so honored to have the privilege of learning and growing within Lenoir County Public Schools. This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!”

Josh HawkinsJoshua Hawkins
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Lenoir

“When we think about education, the first thing that comes to mind is teaching and making a difference in the lives of students. As a teacher, you serve as both an educator and a mentor. Many students in rural areas are living in poverty and therefore not privileged as many students in urban areas. As a result, these students are not afforded many opportunities due to lack of financial assets and other resources. Many are economically disadvantaged, suffering from housing and food insecurities as well as low literacy and academic performance. I want to make a difference in each student’s life and let them know that anything is possible and to know that they are not defined by their circumstances. I also believe it is important for students who look like me to have me as a teacher, encouraging them that no matter your background, that gaining an education can definitely help you do great things and be and make a positive difference in the world.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, friends, playing the drums at church, working out, watching sports and reading. What really inspired me to pursue education is my passion working with youth. I love seeing students beam with smiles as they excel while learning. I am very excited for my journey to come in Lenoir County after graduation. I hope to make a difference as I touch the hearts of many students and help students inculcate a passion of learning new information!”

Gio HernandezGiovanny Hernandez
Greensboro, North Carolina
Secondary Mathematics Education
NC State Education Scholars County: Lenoir

“Serving others and assisting those in need are two reasons why I have signed up for the NC State Education Scholars Program. I hope to meet new educators and administrators who may assist me in becoming a very effective teacher for my future students. I hope to give the students, in Lenoir County, the best educational experience that I can possibly give them. This will be such an enriching experience and I am extremely excited to do my student teaching there along with full-time teaching post graduation.

I feel that I am a compassionate and understanding individual before I am an educator, which is the reason I believe education is important, but a student should always come first. I love dedicating my free time to spending it playing video games with friends, spending time with my family and my girlfriend, and spending my time to help anyone in need. Education has been lacking leaders who are seeing it as paving a path for the future rather than showing that you can produce good grades from your students. This is the reason I want to be a leader for those students, so they know they matter and that school is worth attending with my time spent in Lenoir County.”

Elise HerringElise Herring
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
Middle Grades Mathematics and Science Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus

“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to teach in Cabarrus County through the NC State Education Scholars Program. I have always wanted to give back to the state of North Carolina and I am passionate about making mathematics and science accessible to all students. This experience will allow me to learn more about the communities in Cabarrus County, build relationships with teachers and students, and continue to learn and reflect as an educator before I begin teaching full-time.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, coaching youth volleyball and spending time with my family and friends. My commitment to being a lifelong learner and my drive to build connections with students in the tough middle years are what continue to inspire me to be an educator. I believe that all students deserve a teacher who will love and care for them while pushing them to be the best that they can be. I am so excited to be able to learn from experienced teachers and share my passion for STEM in Cabarrus County Public Schools!”

Michelle KoopMichelle Koop
Clayton, North Carolina
Secondary Mathematics Education
English as a Second Language
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus

“As an NC State Education Scholar, I am so fortunate to be given this wonderful opportunity in Cabarrus County. Throughout my early education, I remember harboring a great deal of malice toward mathematics; however, my teachers not only altered my mindset toward the subject, but they provided support through deeply personal times. I hope to emulate the empathy and stellar teaching I received from my previous educators within my practicum and career.”

Cohort II (Currently Teaching)

Jessica Montgomery

Jessica Montgomery ‘20
Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Lenoir
Woodington Middle School
7th Grade ELA

“Ed Scholars has pushed me out of my comfort zone for sure. I am living in a new city which has both advantages and challenges. It hasn’t been easy, but I have learned to rely on my new found friends and colleagues to help me grow and adapt to my new living environment and classroom. I am learning more about myself and the profession everyday. Without the Ed scholars I would not have been able to experience this journey of being a first-year teacher in a pandemic quite the same. The close-knit school community I am in has assured me in many ways as we all work through new difficulties this year. I am appreciative to the scholars program as well for continuing to be a lifeline when needed because I know I will always be a part of the Pack no matter how far I go. Dr. White continually provides guidance and has become a treasured friend. I always look forward to when my cohort is able to meet and share our experiences.”

Cassandra RocknessCassandra Rockness ‘20
Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus
H.E. Winkler Middle School
7th Grade ELA

“I am a first-year 7th grade English teacher in Cabarrus County and a proud member of the Ed Scholars program at NC State. My junior year of college, I was drawn to the Ed Scholars Program’s mission to serving students in rural communities outside of Raleigh and equipping beginning teachers with well-trained mentors. Upon joining the Ed Scholars Program, I was immediately embraced by my cohort and supported by staff from the College of Education. During the semester of my student-teaching, I had the privilege to teach in the same county as other Ed Scholars in my program and receive guidance from Dr. White, a former K-12 educator and seasoned supervisor at NC State. Even though I taught and lived two hours away from NC State, the Ed Scholars Program helped me stay connected to the NC State community and gave me the opportunity to form lasting friendships with other educators within the program. Toward the end of our student-teaching experience (2020), my colleagues and I were all sought out by public schools within our counties and secured jobs fairly quickly. I am forever grateful for the Ed Scholars Program as it both challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and gave me the support to confidently enter the field of education. I learned to lean on my colleagues for advice, innovative ideas and encouragement. No man should become an island in the field of education, and the Ed Scholars Program provides you with a built-in community of educators who are ready to support you every step of your journey!”

Jessie TaylorJessie Taylor ‘20
Technology, Engineering and Design Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus
Northwest Cabarrus High School

“Of course, we all know education looked drastically different this year. No one was prepared to tackle this year the way we had to. Numerous times I heard, ‘we are all first-year teachers this year.’ But this left me with one question. What if you actually were a first-year teacher this year? For myself, and many other educators, that was the case this year. To say that this year has been overwhelming is an understatement. We all struggled to meet the needs of our students, execute seamless lesson plans that worked for in-person learning, virtual learning, and a mix of both, meet the expectations of administration and parents, and try to find a moment of rest every once in a while — but we all did it! Making it through this year successfully was not easy, but it would have been impossible without the support and connections I have through the NC State Education Scholars Program. Knowing that I can always reach out to the program coordinator and other members of the program is the extra support I have needed this year — and the financial support is helpful, too! Whether your first year of teaching is during a pandemic or not, you will need something or someone to lean on when you need help, and the NC State Education Scholars Program provides just that.”

Meghan ThomasMeghan Thomas ‘20
Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus
J.N. Fries Middle School
6th Grade ELA/SS

“My time teaching so far has been memorable and joyful. Despite our circumstances, the students have tenacity and a positive attitude, which encourages me to do the same. NC Education Scholars has given me an invaluable experience, allowing me to student teach in the community where I now teach. Additionally, with NC Education Scholars, I am a part of a network of beginning teachers who can give advice from their experiences. Being part of these communities, both in Cabarrus County and NC Education Scholars, provides me with the support I need in my first year teaching. I feel truly lucky to work in such a caring school, and I know that even with this ever-changing year, being a teacher is the path I was meant to follow.”

Cohort I (Currently Teaching)

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman ‘19
Science Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Johnston
The Innovation Academy
7th Grade Science

“I absolutely love my school and kids. One of the things I love about my school is our ability to adapt to all of the many changes that have occurred throughout 2020 and 2021. Our students have shown resilience throughout all of the difficulties of the years and have shown up each day ready and excited to learn even in such adverse circumstances. Our team has continued to collaborate and create innovative and relevant opportunities for our students and put our students first in all that we do. I am very thankful to be a part of the team at Innovation Academy!”

Meredith Glover ‘19
Ed Scholar District: Mathematics Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Onslow
Swansboro High School

Glover majored in Secondary Mathematics Education at NC State and teaches in Onslow County. While at NC State, Meredith was an active member of the student chapter of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM). The daughter of two educators, Meredith is proud to follow in her parents footsteps as she enters the teaching profession. Her passion for education extends beyond the content, but includes creating safe environments for all students to learn without exception.

Madison Miller

Madison Miller ’18MAT
Special Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Johnston
Swift Creek Middle School
7th Grade Inclusion

“I love that I got to ‘move up’ with my students since I taught them all in sixth grade last year. I have loved watching them all grow over the last year and a half both academically and emotionally. I was so happy to already know their personalities and their strengths/ needs from the beginning of the new school year. It made virtual learning a bit easier. I have been so proud watching them all conquer the trials of online learning, but I can’t wait to be able to see their faces in real life again.”

Alyssa McNeary

Alyssa McNeary ‘19
Mathematics Education
NC State Education Scholars District: Cabarrus
Hickory Ridge High School
Math 3

“I love working with my coworkers because they are always there with a laugh, smile or advice when I need it! I also love getting to know my students. They inspire and teach me things all the time!”