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Gracie Grant named finalist for N.C. Student Teacher of the Year

Gracie Grant, a member of the 2020 class of the Master of Arts in Teaching program, has been named a finalist for North Carolina’s Student Teacher of the Year.

Ten people from across the state were selected as finalists in the competition sponsored by the North Carolina Association for Colleges of Teacher Educators. The finalists will be honored by NCACTE during its annual fall forum on Sept. 24, when the winner will be announced. The event will be held online.

Grant, who grew up in New Jersey before moving to North Carolina after middle school, completed the MAT program during the summer. She also earned her bachelor’s degree from Carolina in 2019, majoring in English, graduating with honors, and in linguistics, with a minor in social and economic justice.

Grant has been hired to teach English at the School for Creative Studies in Durham.

In a profile of Grant when she was named the School of Education’s Student Teacher of the Year, Kristin Papoi, director of the MAT program, said Grant has a passion for education and helping her students, combined with commitment to helping under-privileged students overcome the obstacles they face in school and in their communities.

“Gracie brings to her teaching practice an openness and enthusiasm for building relationships with her students and colleagues, which speak volumes towards her value of teaching for social justice,” Papoi said.

Grant said the MAT program taught her that teaching is intended to be an invigorating and creative experience.

“Some of the things I’ve learned in the MAT program that will serve me well in the future are to always be adaptable and to not be afraid to take risks in the classroom,” she said. “Adaptability is one of the most important skills a teacher can have and through experiences like student teaching and experiential learning, I’ve been able to become a very adaptable teacher.”

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By Michael Hobbs