Congrats, 2017 Grads!
Continue to Be Fearless.

The NC State College of Education welcomed 163 new alumni Friday, Dec. 15. Find a recap, profiles, photos and video of the ceremony below.

December 2017 Graduation

3 Tips to Being a Fearless Educator

Ms. Shuford taught high school English for 62 years and retired at age 82. For her recent 90th birthday, her family asked former students and co-workers to send cards to help celebrate. She received over 100 that included notes about how she changed their lives.

By the Numbers: Who Graduated

  • Doctor of Education: 14
  • Doctor of Philosophy: 26
  • Master of Education: 62
  • Master of Arts in Teaching: 34
  • Bachelor’s: 27

Ms. Shuford is Kristy Teskey’s aunt, and Kristy Teskey ’91 is the executive director of My Future NC who delivered the Charge to the Graduates during the NC State College of Education’s Winter Commencement Friday, Dec. 15, at the McKimmon Center.

“She is a great example of a fearless educator who positively impacted lives throughout her life,” said Teskey, a member of the NC State College of Education’s advisory board who has worked in education and workforce development for the past 25 years. “She had the same vigor and passion for teaching and her students at 82 than when she started teaching at age 20.”

Ms. Shuford was tough but fair, Teskey added, and she expected the best of her students and pulled the best of our them. She did not choose an easy path, and when others tried to sway her in different directions, she was steadfast. She did not lose her fearlessness.

“Don’t lose your fearlessness,” either, Teskey encouraged the 163 new College of Education alumni. “The stakes are too high. Our students, our state, our future depend on you.”

So how do you maintain your fearlessness? Teskey offered three tips.

Kristy Teskey with platform party
Kristy Teskey ’91 with the platform party for the December 2017 graduation ceremony. Left to right: John Lee, department head of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, Penny Pasque, department head of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development; Dean Mary Ann Danowitz; Teskey; Lee Stiff, interim associate dean for academic affairs; and Kathy Trundle, department head of STEM Education.
  • Do your work with humility and grace. “Treating people with transparency, fairness and the benefit of the doubt is fundamental to being fearless. . . . There will no doubt be times when you need to ask forgiveness instead of permission–but choose these times wisely and work to be the respected resource of ideas and information because you have demonstrated to others your mastery of using your head for meaningful discussion, your heart for thoughtfulness, and your hands for making a difference.
  • Take intentional actions. “You will be confronted throughout your careers with both energy takers and energy givers who will come in all forms and fashion. An important takeaway for you is don’t be the constant energy taker — always be an intentional energy giver and most importantly, find others who give you the positive energy that will lift you to the best educator you can be in order to stay strong and intentional in your purpose. Be the light that others gravitate towards.”
  • Keep students at the center. “Everything you do as an educator and every decision you make, you need to hold it up to the student light and ask yourself: Is this best for the student? I have founded that in my 25 years of working and advocating for equity in education, that when adults get around a table to talk about education issues, they lose sight of what is best students. . . . Be the voice that always keeps education student centered.”

Watch the Ceremony

Relive the NC State College of Education's 2017 December Graduation ceremony through this video
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