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Alumna Naomi De Guzman Nominated For Diane Kent-Parker Award

A photo of the NC State Memorial Belltower

Naomi De Guzman is a 2015 elementary education graduate and a third-grade teacher at Yates Mill Elementary. She was recently nominated for the Diane Kent-Parker award for outstanding first year teachers.

Read on to hear more about this honor and Naomi’s first year of teaching.


Tell us about your recent nomination.

Naomi De Guzman: I was recently nominated by my principal, Mr. Richburg, for the Diane Kent-Parker award that recognizes the outstanding efforts of first year teachers. The Diane Kent-Parker first year teacher award is named in honor of the former Senior Director of Retention and Recruitment who tragically passed away a few years ago. She dedicated her career to recruiting top notch new teachers to our district, therefore her colleagues wanted to establish an award in her honor.

There will be three winners: one from elementary level, one from secondary level, and one from special education.  Nominees have to complete an essay on WCPSS’ strategic plan, go through interviews, and a classroom observation.

How did the College of Education prepare you for your first year of teaching?

Naomi De Guzman: The College of Education helped prepare me with the skills and tools necessary to be successful in the classroom.  Specifically, my methods courses provided the foundation for research-based instructional practices that I use in the classroom.

My involvement in extra-curricular clubs in the College of Education also provided various leadership and networking skills that I use every day as I teach and work with my coworkers.  The student teaching and early classroom experience gained through the College of Education also prepared me to teach and observe before I graduated from NC State.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in teaching thus far?

Naomi De Guzman: Seeing growth with my students for the first time as well as being nominated for this award.  We recently received our Case 21 and middle-of-the-year assessments data.  Seeing how my first set of students have grown from the beginning of the year is very rewarding since being a first year teacher is a lot of hard work and dedication!