The North Carolina Association for Colleges and Teacher Educators (NCACTE) has named recent UNC Charlotte dance alumna Makayla Church the 2018 Student Teacher of the Year. Church received the award at the 36th annual North Carolina Teacher Education Forum, “Celebrating Our Professional Identity: Shared Knowledge and Advocacy” held in Raleigh.
“Student teaching … under the mentorship of my University supervisor and clinical educator has not only shaped who I am as a teacher, but who I am as a person. I have gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge about what it means to be a teacher,” Church said.
Church was one of eight finalists from across the state. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, concentrating in K-12 dance education. She completed her student teaching in the Dance Department at Northwest School of the Arts.
While a student at UNC Charlotte, she served as a Charlotte Research Scholar and in 2017 presented, "Breaking with Tradition: Critical Approaches to Ballet Pedagogy," at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium at Campbell University. She also volunteered at the John Crosland School, a local school dedicated to the education of children with learning and attention differences and worked at the Robinson Hall Box Office as a patron services representative.
Earlier this month, Church presented her research at the National Dance Education Organization in San Diego.
Church, who is from West Jefferson, North Carolina, is now the dance teacher at Flat Rock Middle School and East Henderson High School, both in Henderson County, North Carolina.