Tomorrow’s Learning Leaders – It’s All Elementary

Diane Hunter

The next installment in our “Tomorrow’s Learning Leaders” series focuses on Diane Hunter, who now holds two degrees from NC State. Hunter received her master’s in elementary education at commencement on May 7.

We talked to Hunter about her experience at NC State, and why she plans on sticking around for a while.

Why did you choose to come to NC State? When did you begin your studies?

I came to NC State in 2009 for my undergraduate degree. I returned in the summer of 2014 for to pursue my master’s. I chose NC State because I knew that I was going to be getting a quality education. I originally decided to come here because I went to an engineering camp in high school and fell in love with the campus atmosphere and the philosophies the university holds.

What is the greatest challenge you had to overcome during your time here?

So far, it has been all about creating balance. I needed to make sure that I was doing quality work as a teacher and a student, while getting enough sleep and “me time.” Making sure to take time for myself helped make the quality teacher and student pieces fall into place.

What has been your best NC State memory?

The camaraderie with my cohort has been amazing. We all supported one another and were able to learn. It’s hard to pin down one conversation, but if I had to choose one, it would be from our first class together. We were talking about one of our readings and the buzz of excitement from all of us was apparent.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I will be starting my Ph.D. in elementary learning sciences in the fall. My time at NC State will continue!

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the College of Education?

Children are the reason for everything you do, and your efforts should be focused on them.

Has there been a particular faculty or staff member that has greatly influenced your education?

Jimmy Scherrer had the biggest impact during my master’s program. He helped me feel like I was able to make a difference and inspired me to continue to become a better teacher.

How do you think the College of Education has prepared you for a career after graduation?

The college has given me tools to continue my education and be ready to work through anything that comes my way. I am prepared to ask questions and continue to grow as an educator and student.

What advice would you give students considering pursuing a degree in education?

Like I said before, make sure that you find a balance. Within education, having a positive attitude and taking care of your needs (food, exercise, sleep, etc.) will help immensely when going into a classroom of students who are looking to you for guidance. They watch how you act and what you do beyond the academics that are on the schedule.

Do you have any additional thoughts on graduating?

It’s amazing to think that graduation is almost here. I feel like I just started the journey. At the same time, the journey is something that has provided me with so much growth and so many memories that I feel honored to have had incredibly positive experiences at NC State.