NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year Leanne Stoltzfus Rose ’16: ‘I Strongly Believe That Education is a Powerful Way to Mold, Change and Guide Children’

Leanne Stoltzfus Rose

Leanne and her husband, Austin, a 2015 graduate of NC State's College of Engineering

For Leanne Stoltzfus Rose ’16, being a teacher is in her blood. She comes from a family of teachers — her mother, father, aunt, uncle, sister-in-law, grandmother and great grandfather.

“Growing up, we discussed student situations, some heartbreaking home lives and teaching practices,” Rose said. “This encouraged me to think about how I could make an impact on our world. I strongly believe that education is a powerful way to mold, change and guide children.”

About Leanne Stoltzfus Rose

Hometown: Mooresville, N.C.

Role: Second Grade Teacher, Park View Elementary School

Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, NC State College of Education

A Lesson Learned from the NC State College of Education: “Don’t make assumptions or judgments concerning students. Whether from previous teachers’ opinions, from their home life or from their actions and attitudes in the classroom. They pushed me to look deeper into an individual student’s psyche.”

Her Advice to Beginning Teachers: “Mindfully connect and empathize with students to gain their respect, show them they are valued and affirm their social-emotional skills and academic growth.”

Why She Chose Education: “I have always wanted to do something that helps people. I believe that education is the single best way to help the future generation, one student at a time. I love being able to teach them about the world around them, give them academic skills to help them be problem solvers and to guide them to emotionally regulate themselves.”

And she’s made an impact in the lives of her second grade students at Park View Elementary School in the Mooresville Graded School District. She was named the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Beginning Teacher of the Year.

“This award has pushed me to reflect on what makes great teachers great, and I am convinced it takes a village or a tribe,” she said. “I am so grateful for so many people helping me along the way — sharing, mentoring and encouraging me.”

Park View, which is a Title I elementary school, is the perfect fit for Rose, who has always aimed at working with that demographic. She wants to help all children be academically, emotionally and socially prepared for life, she says.

“I had a challenging childhood and feel like these traumas have inspired me to make sure each of my student’s psychological and physiological needs are being met,” Rose said. “I am passionate about helping students that are in lower socioeconomic positions and have had adverse childhood experiences.”

As NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year, Rose earned her school instructional supply funds. She was awarded $5,000 and will get the opportunity to travel to Australia with Go Global NC.

While in Australia, she will explore the country, work with aboriginals and the coral reefs and work alongside other teacher leaders. And she gets to knock an item off her bucket list.

“I am ecstatic to explore Australia. I am motivated to learn about diversity on a different continent. I have traveled to Africa and that experience has continued to influence my classroom in the books I choose, the pictures I share and our global focus,” Rose said. “I cannot wait to see how this trip and experience is going to impact my future classroom and students’ perspective. I am also looking forward to learning from others and connecting with passionate teachers.”

As a passionate teacher herself, Rose constantly looks to other teachers for support. Her biggest supporter is her mother, who teaches elementary music. She’s been her biggest mentor and fan in her pursuit of becoming a teacher. Rose says having her as a confidant, friend and mentor has been invaluable during her first years of teaching.

“[My mom] has always been an enthusiastic, passionate educator,” she said. “It was contagious and I have always wanted to be like her and make her proud. Being in the same profession as my mom is a childhood dream come true.”

When Rose isn’t in the classroom, you can find her on the volleyball court, participating in yoga or singing. While she was in high school and college, she was in the State Choral and played competitive volleyball. But what she enjoys most is teaching.