Category Archives: Uncategorized


Beth Wantz, our Latest Student Spotlight, Plans to Teach for the Next 20 Years

Beth is a senior, graduating in May of 2015,  and majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in Science.  She graduated from Holly Springs High School in 2011. She is currently the president of the Science Education Club and is employed as a student worker at the ECU Center for STEM Education.  She has been on the Chancellor’s List for maintaining a 4.0 GPA for the past three years and has received scholarships from the ECU College of Education for the past two years.   She has been a camp counselor at the ECU Summer Science Camp and when not busy with school, she enjoys going to Pirate football games and spending time with her friends and family.

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

Qualities that I have that make me fit to be a teacher are that I am flexible, empathetic, and upbeat.  These are all qualities that I believe an effective teacher must have, especially in the elementary grades.  I am also a driven and motivated person who will always give 110% for my students.

What are your career plans?

After graduating in May of 2015, I plan to be an Elementary teacher within the state of North Carolina.  After a couple years of teaching elementary school I plan to return back to school to receive my Master degree in either Science Education or Educational Administration.   I am planning to teach for about twenty years and then proceed to a job that is higher up in the field of education.

Why did you choose East Carolina University?

I chose ECU because of the beautiful campus, school spirit, and the reputation of the College of Education.  I also loved the fact that ECU is located in a college town.

Who has inspired you? Or Who has been the biggest influence on your career? Or Who is a role model for you in your professional life?

Mrs. Tammy Lee has inspired me in so many different ways.  She has pushed me with my assignments and lessons throughout my college career because she knows what I am capable of doing.  Mrs. Lee has given me many opportunities outside of school that will greatly benefit me as a teacher, such as taking me to the National Science Teacher Association Conference in the fall of 2013.  With doing this, Mrs. Lee has given me the confidence that every effective teacher must have in order to benefit their students.  Mrs. Lee has also taken the time to teach me how to be a good teacher and a good person.  She is my biggest influence and my role model.

Why do you want to be a teacher?

I want to be a teacher for those “ah-ha” moments that children have as soon as they learn something new.  I live for those moments.  It is an indescribable feeling when you see a child get excited or feel proud of him or herself when they learn something new because of you.  I also want to be a teacher because of my love of children and in order give back to my community.

What do/did you like most about ECU?

I love the ECU spirt that every pirate fan shows.  When you are walking around to the different tailgates on game days you can feel the energy and excitement in the air.  There is no other school that has the same school spirit and dedication that ECU has.  If you go to ECU or you went to ECU, you are part of the purple and gold family.

In what ways has ECU prepared you for your field? 

The professors within the College of Education, and the courses that they teach, are fantastic .  The course material that I am learning is directly related to my career as a future teacher.  They truly care about their students and want us to succeed within our teacher career.  I have had many professors who offer to spend time outside of class in order to help me and my peers with assignments and lesson plans.  The ECU College of Education also has many practicum experiences where we are out in the field working and observing in real classrooms.  These practicum experiences start as early as sophomore year.


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.