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Melissa Goto ’17: A Pathway to A-Ha Moments (And a Job)

Melissa GotoMelissa Goto ’17 chose to attend the College of Education because of the practical experience the college provides inside and outside the classroom. One such experience became a pathway to a job even before she graduated. There were a few a-ha moments along the way, too, though the one thing she never questioned: She wanted to be an elementary school teacher. 

Name: Melissa Goto ’17

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Major: Elementary Education, STEM Concentration

Activities: University Honors Program, Chancellor’s Aides, Education Council President, Club Swim Team President, College of Education Student Ambassador, Passport to Success

What’s next: Currently a 3rd grade intervention specialist at Underwood Gifted & Talented Magnet School and will remain a K-6 teacher in Wake County

Why I Chose the College of Education: Because of the strong support and student engagement opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, the Elementary Education program had a unique and thorough field placement program for students to gain practical experience. I have always wanted to be an elementary school teacher.

Activity That Had the Biggest Impact on Me: My 5th grade student teaching experience. Not only did it reaffirm my desire to teach, but I was able to make leaps and bounds in my progress to become an educator. I worked with diverse students, including refugees and ELLs, and was able to take on a long term substitute position following my student teaching experience at the same school.

A Faculty Member Who Made a Big Impression: Dr. Valerie Faulkner [teaching assistant professor of mathematics education] taught me to question things. Are students really just good or bad at math? Are there issues within the teacher community? She has led me to many a-ha! moments.

My Favorite College of Education Memory: Attending graduation each year as a Student Ambassador. It is a time when I have gotten to see student leaders celebrate their achievements with people who supported them along the way. This year, it will be my turn.