My name is Sarah Beirne and I am in my seventh year of teaching Elementary Art for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where I earned my bachelor's degree from Kent State University. I made a tough decision in 2004 to move away from my family and start my career in North Carolina, but nothing could ever replace the experience I have gained while teaching in Charlotte.
The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, NCCAT, is one of these experiences that has helped to strengthen my teaching abilities—more than I ever imagined. This institution not only expanded my repertoire of knowledge in my field of art education, but gave me the opportunity to learn how to bring other aspects of learning and higher levels of thinking into my classroom.
I have never heard of any other state that offers this type of influential and successful professional development to their educators, which makes me extremely proud to live in a state that cares about the advancement of our teaching profession. NCCAT has had a positive influence toward making me a better educator. I would be devastated to see a program like this be taken away from the teachers of our great state. In order for our educators to create life-long 21st century learners, we need the programs that NCCAT offers. I hope you reconsider the decision to cut NCCAT from being accessible to the educators of North Carolina.