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Megan D’Agostino ’22 Named Wake County Diane Kent-Parker First-Year Teacher of the Year

Megan D'Agostino at the Wake County Public Schools Award Banquet

In the middle of a math lesson, a team from the Wake County Public School System burst into Megan D’Agostino’s room with a surprise — she has just been named one of four Diane Kent Parker First-Year Teachers of the Year. 

“I was so astonished,” D”Agostino said. “It was incredibly exciting to be in the finalist round and I was certainly not expecting to receive the award itself.”

Her students at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School were excited, too.

“They were happy for me, and a few told me they planned to brag to their friends about having the best math teacher, which was sweet,” said D’Agostino, who teaches Math 1 and Math 2.

D’Agostino said she chose to become a math teacher to dispel negative misconceptions about mathematics.

“I hope to share with students a perspective on math that they may not have heard, helping them see that it is beautiful, useful and inclusive, and that it just takes time, practice and curiosity to become a better mathematician,” D’Agostino said. 

In order to accomplish that goal, D’Agostino prioritizes building connections with her students.

“I greet every student by name as they enter my room to establish a positive connection and I check in with them about their interests outside of math,” D’Agostino said.  

D’Agostino has also taken extra steps to support the multilingual learners in her classroom and their growth in language acquisition, confidence at school and mathematics knowledge. 

“In my job, on a daily basis, I get to work with both people and knowledge, work independently and collaboratively, and watch students learn and grow,” D’Agostino said. ” I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Her time at NC State, D’Agostino said, prepared her to be the teacher she is today.  

“I am so glad I chose the NC State College of Education,” D’Agostino said. “My classes prepared me to bring the kind of professionalism, content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge to my school that administrators look for. Schools actively seek out NC State graduates because they know how great our program is.”

As a student, D’Agostino said she appreciated the relationships she gained as well as the  lessons she learned, particularly during her student teaching experience. 

“My lead teacher was incredibly supportive, kind and gracious with me and allowed me to try new things in the classroom,” D’Agostino said. “The challenging experiences and practical advice from that semester arguably prepared me the most for my first year of teaching.”

Now, as a successful first-year teacher, D’Agostino is looking forward to continuing to make a positive impact on her students’ lives. 

“I teach because I want to have an impact on the next generation, equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to do what they love in life, and help them see that they can be good at math,” D’Agostino said.