Clemson’s College of Education has awarded four graduate students its Teaching and Learning Online M.Ed. Award to recognize exemplary educators who show evidence and potential as leaders in their field. Leadership in the college’s teaching and learning department has recognized one graduate student from each of the M.Ed. program’s specializations with the award.
Sarah Bucciero is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s STEAM specialization. She said the program has helped her gain a more thorough understanding of what it means to build relationships with educators in order to develop curricula, instruction and methodologies. More importantly, it has helped her remember that the foundation for any success in a district or school is the relationship between educators and administrators.
“I don’t ever want to forget being a teacher and currently as a district-level administrator I’m ensuring that I don’t forget,” Bucciero said. “I always want to lead by example; I want to be the one to pick up the mop as easily as I pick up the microphone.”
Meghan Connors is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Experiential Learning for Early Childhood specialization. Connors said her professors have been knowledgeable and resourceful, while her peers are engaging and inspiring. She has learned practices and skills from professors and peers that she can directly enact in her classrooms, sometimes the day after she’s learned them.
“This program has changed the way that I teach my kindergarteners in that my lessons are more hands-on and experiential,” Connors said. “Despite the online nature of this program, I have found a community of colleagues across the country through Clemson that I am proud to learn and teach alongside.”
Anna Kim is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Effective and Reflective Teaching specialization. Kim can already see how her experience in the program will aid her in her efforts to become a National Board Certified Teacher in her home state of Illinois. She aspires to exemplify to her school community the kind of lifelong learning that teachers hope to instill in their students.
“I’ve been impressed by the faculty’s ability to encourage self-reflection and collaboration with peers,” Kim said. “The past two semesters have given me an opportunity to reflect on my teaching philosophy and practices more critically, particularly with a focus on establishing a learning environment based on equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Amanda Stanfill is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Instructional Coaching specialization. Stanfill said the program has provided her with more tools and skills to become a more knowledgeable and reflective instructional coach that fosters more teacher growth within her campus and district.
“I made the decision to apply for this program in the pursuit of more knowledge to support my school and district,” Stanfill said. “My teachers and students deserved the very best that I could give them, and I knew that this program would help me on my way to growing and giving them my absolute best!”
Students who were enrolled in their second semester of coursework could apply for the award by developing an essay discussing how they plan to use the expertise gained as part of their degree to develop as a leader in their field or educational setting. Applicants also provided a letter of support from an administrator, supervisor or colleague. Awardees will enjoy a $6,000 tuition reduction as part of the award recognition.
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