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Katherine Yu Collins, a MAEd in IT student, is our Student Spotlight

After being nominated by one of her professor’s for  innovation and creativity with the use of technology in the classroom, Katherine was chosen to receive the Diana Kester Award.  Having a 4.0 average helped, as well!

Katherine works full-time with students and teachers as a Digital Learning and Teaching Coach at Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School and Bell Fork Elementary in Onslow County.  She says that she is able to use a lot of her assignments from ECU in her job. That is probably one of the reasons that she says, ” East Carolina University  offers the BEST instructional technology program for educators.”  The IT faculty also enjoy having Katherine in their program agreeing that, “Kat is constantly present in her online work, a dedicated student who is not only engaged in  her classwork but energizes her classmates, as well.”
Katherine grew up in Jacksonville, NC.  and works in the same county that she went to school in.  In fact, she was a student in Clyde Erwin 25 years ago. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UNCW in 2005 and then taught for 8 years in classrooms in grades 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.  She currently lives in Surf City, NC.  That makes for a 62 mile day for driving on top of working, going to grad school, and being a mom!   But the peppy and enthusiastic “Kat” wouldn’t have it any other way.


Read below for Katherine’s answers to the following interview questions.

What key qualities do you have that make you a teacher?

Qualities that make me a teacher are that I have unconditional love for my students.  I am able to balance multiple tasks at one time.  I promote students to make positive choices.  I provide engaging lessons and activities that make learning interesting for students.

What are your career plans?

I plan on continuing to support teachers and students with the use of technology in the classroom. I want to provide professional development for teachers across the county.   I am currently a Digital Learning and Teaching Coach for Onslow County Schools.  Once I am finished I will have a facilitator title.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? 

My former principal, Helen Gross, has inspired me to do what I do today.  She pushed me to grow as an educator and be a support for teachers.  She is hardworking and has a drive for all that she does.  It has inspired me to have that same drive in all that I do as an educator.

Why do you want to be a teacher?

I have taught for 8 years, 2 of those were in Pitt County.  This is my second year supporting teachers and students as a Digital Learning and Teaching Coach.  I wanted to become a coach/facilitator because I felt I had gained a lot from being in the classroom and wanted to push it up a notch and be support for teachers and students.  I love working with others and I like to get my creative juices flowing with integration of technology.

What do/did you like most about ECU?

What I like best about ECU is the Pirate spirit!  I love game days!  The entire city is painted with purple and gold. Even when I am away from Greenville I see those who are Pirates or are former Pirates that continue to support the Pirates and show Pirate pride.

In what ways has ECU prepared you for your field?

ECU’s Instructional Technology department has done an outstanding job with providing courses that are directly involved with what I do in my position at work.  I am getting the best training with discussion board assignments, reading assignments, projects, reports, and through quizzes. I am able to have hands-on interactions with strategies and models that are directly linked with instructional technology.