NC-NNSTOY Fall Meeting Pix

Current and Former North Carolina Teachers of the Year Meet in Greenville

On Saturday, November 14th, thirteen current and former state and regional North Carolina Teachers of the Year met at the College of Education at East Carolina University to discuss teacher leadership, development, and recruitment at the quarterly meeting of the newly founded North Carolina chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NC-NNSTOY). The NC-NNSTOY chapter is a service organization that was chartered in 2014-2015 and is spending this year planning activities to promote education as a profession across North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to “advance the teaching profession and advocate for public education to ensure the best educational opportunities for all North Carolina students.” The group is currently working its platform for encouraging more individuals to consider teaching as a profession as well as avenues for supporting current educational professionals.

As a part of the members visit to Greenville, the current N.C. Teacher of the Year team engaged with 5th grade students in Jami Dickerson’s classroom at Eastern Elementary as well as visited Pactolus Elementary where they were hosted by Steve Lassiter, the current North Carolina Principal of the Year.

The NC-NNSTOY chapter looks forward to growing its membership and to taking a leading role in shaping educational policy, advocating for education, as well as sharing professional expertise within the field of education. For more information about the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, visit this website:

In attendance were teacher leaders from across the state including:

  • Diana Beasley, 2006-2007 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *James Bell, 2007-2008 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Jennifer Bell, 2010-2011 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *Laura Bilbro-Berry, 2000-2001 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • *Jami Dickerson, 2015-2016 Region 1 Teacher of the Year
  • Allison Ormond, 2003-2004 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Ruth Ann Parker, 2008-2009 Region 2 Teacher of the Year
  • Malinda Pennington, 2012-2013 Region 3 Teacher of the Year
  • Cindi Rigsbee, 2008-2009 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Sonya Rinehart, 2008-2009 Region 1 Teacher of the Year
  • Mariel Barker Sellers, 2015-2016 Region 4 Teacher of the Year
  • Keana Triplett, 2015-2016 North Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Jennifer Whitley, 2015-2016 Region 6 Teacher of the Year

*ECU College of Education Alumni

Mary Beth Meeks, Shannon Jesequel and Carole Anne Briley.

COE Literacy Studies Teachers Of The Year

Congratulations to Carole Anne Briley (ECU BS in Elementary Education 2010; ECU MAEd READ 2015), Shannon Jesequel (Current ECU MAEd READ Candidate), and Mary Beth Meeks (ECU BS in Elementary Education 1992; Current ECU MAEd READ Candidate) on being named Teacher of the Year at their respective schools. Carol Anne is a kindergarten teacher in the Dos Mundos Dual Immersion Program at Belvoir Elementary School in Pitt County, Shannon Jesequel is a third grade teacher at Timber Drive Elementary School in Wake County, and Mary Beth Meeks is a fourth grade teacher at Sam Bundy Elementary School in Pitt County. The Reading Education faculty members are proud of these literacy leaders!

Pictured above: Mary Beth Meeks, Shannon Jesequel and Carole Anne Briley.

Dr. Bill Sugar and Dr. Abbie Brown.

Faculty Book Authors

Dr. Marjorie Ringler

Three College of Education faculty members were recognized at the Joyner Library/Academic Affairs Faculty Book Author Awards Ceremony on November 6, 2015.  The event celebrated the accomplishments of faculty who have contributed to the prestige of East Carolina University and the scholarship of higher education through publication of scholarly books between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

Two faculty members, Dr. Abbie Brown and Dr. Bill Sugar, from the Math, Science and Instructional Technology (MSITE) Department were honored.  Dr. Brown is co-author of, Securing the Connected Classroom (International Society for Technology in Education). Dr. Sugar is author of, Studies of ID Practices (Springer).

Dr. Majorie Ringler from the Educational Leadership (LEED) Department was also honored.  Dr. Ringler is author of, Academic Language Literacy: Developing Instructional Leadership Skills for Principals and Teachers (Rowman & Littlefield).

Dr. Sugar and Dr. Brown are pictured above wearing the medals they received at the event.

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC: Reluctant Readers

It’s the third Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Today we’ll cover one of our newest bibliographies, Reluctant Readers.

The TRC has created, and constantly updates, an extensive list of bibliographies and guides available to help students, faculty and staff easily navigate our collections. Print copies for select topics are available in the TRC while our entire catalog of bibliographies and guides are available on the TRC’s website. The reluctant readers bibliography is currently only available online, and is based on titles from the Young Adult Library Association’s (YALSA) Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers List.

But, we need to define who a reluctant reader. The umbrella term, reluctant reader, is used to describe a few different groups of students. Reluctant readers generally fall into one of three categories, those who can’t, don’t or won’t read. Students may not read because they lack the literacy and comprehension skills needed to do so which can lead to self-doubt and a fear of their secret being “found out.” The latter two categories encompass students able to read, but either dislike reading itself or their personal interests lead them to other activities they find more attractive.

So, what to do? A simple Internet search will overwhelm you. There is no shortage of parenting websites, non-profit and for-profit companies willing to share tips, tricks, and books. The Lexile Framework for Reading also offers tips and links to additional resources.

One theme you will find over and over again as you sift through all these resources is student choice. Allow your reluctant readers to choose reading material (e.g., comic book, graphic novel, popular magazine, etc.) about topics they are interested in. Of course, if a teacher knows their students’ interests, and happens to know a few books that may pique their interest, it’s a win-win. That’s why the TRC created our bibliography for reluctant readers.

Joyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus will also come in handy at times like this. Novelist Plus allows users to search for “Title Read-alikes” and “Author Read-alikes”. For example, if a student liked Kwame Alexander’s novel, The Crossover” A Basketball Novel, you can use that feature to find a list of similar reads:

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Why is it important to become familiar with Novelist Plus? All K-12 educators in North Carolina have free access to either Novelist K-8 or Novelist Plus through NC WiseOwlJoyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus is the only way pre-service teachers can access this resource until you have your own classroom.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC

Dr. Guili Zhang

Dr. Guili Zhang published in “Best Writing on Mathematics 2015”

Dr. Guili Zhang’s paper “Demystifying the Math Myth: Analyzing the Contributing Factors for the Achievement Gap between Chinese and U.S. Students” has been selected for inclusion in the 6th edition of “Best Writing on Mathematics“ and will be published in “Best Writing on Mathematics 2015” by Princeton University Press in December.  Best Writing on Math 2015  “Best Writing on Mathematics” spotlights math’s brightest and most creative minds in a collection of articles published during the past year.  Dr. Zhang is a faculty member in the College of Education’s Special Education, Foundations and Research (SEFR) Department.

To read more about the publication and see a full list of articles and authors included in the book click on the following link: The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015

Michelle Casey

NC NTSP Coach Profile: Michelle Casey, ECU Region

Michelle Casey is an Instructional Coach with the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP), serving the East Carolina University (ECU) Region.  Michelle earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in special education from ECU, and considers it an honor to represent such an exemplary university through NC NTSP.

Michelle has 24 years of experience at elementary and middle school levels, serving as an exceptional children’s teacher and administrator. Her work the NC NTSP is focused in the Lenoir County and Pamlico County Public School Systems, that are part of ECU’s Latham Clinical Schools Network.

“The feedback and assistance I have received from Michelle Casey, through NC NTSP, has been extremely beneficial in helping me get through some of the growing pains of first year teaching,” said first year teacher Matthew Henderson. Henderson teaches sixth grade science at E.B. Frink Middle School in Lenoir County.

Kaitlyn Fussell, a first year sixth grade math teacher at E.B. Frink in Lenoir County Schools agreed. “I have really appreciated Michelle’s guidance,” said Fussell.

Michelle is a currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership. Her dissertation research focuses on sustaining novice teachers who teach in high-need educational communities beyond the first five years of teaching in the southeastern region of North Carolina. This focus transpired from serving as an Instructional Coach in high-need educational communities and witnessing the dedication of teachers to sustain their career.  She is honored to serve novice teachers in Lenoir County.

For more information about the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program go to

Pictured above: First year teachers, Kaitlyn Fussell and Matthew Henderson, work with NC NTSP Instructional Coach Michelle Casey at E.B Frink Middle School in Lenoir County. From left to right: Casey; Fussell and Henderson.


Dr. Bill Sugar and Alumnus Rob Moore Co-Author Article

Dr. Bill Sugar and MS Instructional Technology alumnus Rob Moore co-authored an article, “Documenting Current Instructional Design Practices: Towards a Typology of Instructional Designer Activities, Roles, and Collaboration,” which was published in the November 2015 Journal of Applied Instructional Design.
The overall goal of Sugar and Moore’s (2015) study was to conduct a yearlong inquiry into an instructional designer’s activities and interactions with his clients. Exclusive focus of this study was on an instructional designer who worked at a large public university in the southeastern region of the United States. Documented in an instructional design activities log, this study analyzed 115 distinct activities that this instructional designer performed.

Click on the following link to read the full article:

Patricia Slagter Van Tryon and Ken Luterbach welcome AECT Executive Director Phil Harris to the ECU conference reception table.

ECU College of Education at AECT International Conference

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) held its annual international conference in Indianapolis, IN November 2-7, 2015. The ECU College of Education had a particularly strong presence at the event this year. ECU faculty made over a dozen presentations of their work, and facilitated a multitude of activities including the Pacificorp Instructional Design Competition.

IHAT group

IHAT Center Participates in Eastern AHEC IDD Conference

The Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center staff was invited to present on assistive technology at the Eastern Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) 11th Annual Eastern Region Intellectual and Developmental (IDD) Services Conference held in Greenville, NC on October 15-16, 2015.

Participants enjoying the assistive technology presentation at the SHEC event.The presentation, titled “Great Scott: Back to the Basics and Future: A Round Robin of Four Assistive Technology Trainings” consisted of four professional development sessions currently offered through the IHAT Center’s on-campus trainings in an abbreviated format, including Assistive Technology for Behavior, Assistive Technology for Communication, Boardmaker software, and Alternate Access.

Participants of the conference were from diverse fields that serve a variety of populations of individuals with disabilities. The IHAT staff consists of students in their sophomore to senior year who benefited from the experience presenting to colleagues in their field at a professional conference. Feedback from participants was excellent with an invitation to future collaborations. The IHAT Center thanks the COE ITCS team, Al Barnhill, Chris Hurdle, and Collin Stancill, for their assistance in technology support in advance of the conference, allowing the presentation to give hands-on experience to the conference participants.

PowerPoint Presentation

SPIN Workshop

Find funding for your research with the world’s largest web-based database of sponsored program opportunities. In this hands-on workshop, conducted by Dr. Joseph Thomas, you will establish an account and learn to use SPIN to search for grant funding opportunities.  The SPIN database will also send alerts to users when funding that fits your research interests and goals becomes available.  Workshop participants will receive Distance Education Professional Development credit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
1:00 — 2:00 p.m.
Speight 242