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Savannah Whitehurst Blystone ’21MED: ‘I Can Go to Sleep Happily Every Night Knowing That I Am in a Profession That Truly Makes a Difference

NC State College of Education graduate Savannah Blystone

Savannah Whitehurst Blystone ’21MED said that she did not choose education; education chose her. After initially fighting her calling, Blystone realized that she belonged in the classroom and a career as an educator would allow her to make a difference in the lives of children.

Now, she is graduating from the NC State College of Education with her Master of Education in New Literacies and Global Learning, which is helping her achieve her goal of bringing more professional development and resources to rural areas. 

Learn more about Savannah Whitehurst Blystone

Hometown: Gates, North Carolina

Area of Study: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: New Literacies and Global Learning

Activities: President-elect of the North Carolina Council for the Social Studies, Phi Kappa Phi member, participant in the Exploring Indigenous Cultures Fellows Program External Resources & Memberships/Native American Fellowship through UNC World View.

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I grew up loving NC State. I attended NC State University for two years as an undergraduate before transferring to East Carolina University to finish my degree. I have always desired to come back to NC State and earn a degree from this renowned institution. NC State is a fantastic university, respected throughout the state and country.

Why did you choose your area of study?

My mentor graduated from the program last year, and he encouraged me to check it out and apply. When I began to look closely at this program, I became excited at the opportunities a program like New Literacies and Global Learning could offer. In a world of ever-changing technology and interconnectivity, the need for global learning in the K-12 classroom is becoming more apparent. This program would allow me to incorporate 21st-century skills and global learning into the classroom and to help other educators do the same.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation? 

I want to model continual growth for students and educators alike. I would love to become a leader in the state for global learning and help deliver professional development to educators across the state. I also would like to help bring more resources to rural areas, especially in northeastern North Carolina.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

I believe that education is a journey, not a destination. I plan to continue my education and earn a master’s degree in history. One day, I hope to teach at the university level. 

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

The College of Education has provided me with the tools necessary to achieve my goals, from the plethora of resources made available to the priceless professional relationships developed. Throughout my time here, I have implemented new strategies, assignments and tools in my classroom. The College of Education has taught me that there are many different avenues a graduate can take, and they have the resources to help any graduate find their path.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

I do not have a favorite memory because all of my memories are wonderful in their unique way. I cherish every experience I have from the College of Education.

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career.

My final New Literacies and Global Learning project. Getting to build a website from scratch taught me technological skills that can apply to many situations in my future endeavors. My project revolved around rural education and global learning. Reflecting upon my teaching practices and my coursework has motivated me to focus my energy on rural areas within the state.

Why did you choose education?

I did not choose education; education chose me. I am a first-generation educator, and I fought my calling the entire way. It was not until I entered the classroom eight years ago that I realized that this is where I belong. While education (social studies education in particular) is not given the reverence it deserves, I can go to sleep happily every night knowing that I am in a profession that truly makes a difference.