We are excited to have the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Mariah Morris, walk our runway at the Zaftan Fashion Show on 17 April 2020 from 6PM to 8PM at the Chatham Station in Cary, NC. Read about how she got this distinguished award and how she is influencing the next generation. Now you can meet her person along with our other amazing role “models”. You can get tickets for the fashion show at zaftan.com.
(1) Tell us about your current profession and what your work involves. I am the 2019 Burroughs Welcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. I proudly teach second grade at West Pine Elementary in Moore County Schools where I integrate STEM into my student-centered curriculum. I believe in the power of the 4Cs of 21 st century learning (creativity, critical-thinking, communication, and collaboration) to transform our learning spaces across North Carolina. By integrating STEM into my classroom, I have been able to excite my second graders to take ownership of their learning in a real and meaningful way. As NC Teacher of the Year, I spend my time traveling the state to champion for the importance of providing equitable STEM opportunities to the students of North Carolina.
(2) Share about how you contribute to the community or about any volunteer service or interests that you have. As North Carolina Teacher of the Year, I work with a number of community groups to both inspire change and champion the good of our amazing public schools. I spend my days traveling the state and seeing our amazing students, teachers, and schools leading the most important work in education. I also serve on a number of boards and commissions. I am an advisor to the State Board of Education, where I am able to have a voice at the table of state-level education policy. In addition, I serve on the Teaching Fellows Commission, the advisory board of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, and I am a fellow in the 2019 cohort of Education Policy Fellowship Program.
(3) Your passion – What is your Why? Why do you get out of bed each morning? My why is helping the people around me- my family, my students, and my colleagues- see their unique talents and gifts to expand their voices and be the change they wish to see. We each have a special story that needs to be told, and my "why" is to help those around me embrace their stories and dare to lead with their unique perspectives. I believe in the power of inclusivity and the strength of understanding the stories of people from all different backgrounds. The world is a better place when we encourage others to embrace who they are and contribute in real and meaningful ways.