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Buncombe County teacher shares about NCCAT experience

Valley Springs Middle School teacher Catherine Belair found the “gift of time” very valuable during her experience with the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Beliar joined us for the “Teacher Leadership Institute: TOY Ocracoke” in Ocracoke July 10-14. She is the 2017 Buncombe County Schools Teacher of the Year. North Carolina’s 2016–2017 Teachers of the Year were invited to join NCCAT at Ocracoke in July in a program led by NCCAT faculty member Alton Ballance to examine educational leadership and positive responses to institutional change.

“The most valuable thing about NCCAT is that it gives teachers the gift of time: time to collaborate with peers, time to reflect on new ideas and integrate them with existing thoughts and practices, time to feel appreciated and uplifted by people who care about educators and education,” Belair said. “NCCAT always provides an experience that enhances my abilities as an educator!”

More about Belair from the Asheville Citizen-Times: “Belair, who started teaching at Valley Springs in 2009, was selected from among six district Teacher of the Year winners. She is now in the running for the western regional Teacher of the Year.

Belair teaches seventh-grade math. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Western Carolina University. She also has her National Board Certification in math.

She previously taught at Flat Rock Middle School in Henderson County and in Costa Rica.”

Belair told us how she plans to use what she learned about NCCAT.

“As a result of my experience at NCCAT, I returned to my classroom with a renewed sense of purpose and wonder, as well as new skills to implement change in my classroom, my school, my district and beyond,” Belair said.

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