James Michael Sapp, a 2021 Master of Arts in Teaching graduate, has been named the 2021 Student Teacher of the Year by the North Carolina Association for Colleges of Teacher Educators.
The announcement on Thursday (Sept. 23) was made during the annual meeting of the NCACTE.
“I am absolutely honored,” Sapp said after the announcement. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my MAT program, which has pushed me and taught me various aspects of education. … Through my coursework I have learned how to bring rigor into the classroom in so many different ways.”
Sapp is now teaching seventh grade math and social studies in his hometown of Swannanoa, N.C., near Asheville. He did his student teaching at Margaret B. Pollard Middle School in Chatham County.
Sapp also thanked his teaching clinical mentor, Michael Charles, a seventh grade teacher at Pollard Middle School.
“I couldn’t have done it without my mentor teacher, who allowed me to take so many risks in the classroom, and I think a lot of them paid off and I’ve noticed how they continue to pay off in my own classroom today,” Sapp said.
In addition to pursuing 6-12 grade social studies licensure through the MAT program, Sapp also pursued special education add-on coursework, which provided him with tools to best address each student’s needs.