Where Are They Now?

     Ateonya Whitaker graduated from Edgecombe Early College High School in 2019 with her Associates in Science. She is currently excelling at UNC Greensboro as she prepares to return to Edgecombe County Public Schools to teach 7th/8th grade English. She does not see her college experience as something she is doing for herself but as an investment in the teacher she hopes to be for her future students.She completed over 200 internship hours at Martin Millennium Academy with Mrs. Sanders’ 8th grade Science class and then with Mrs. Harrell’s 8th grade ELA class at Pattillo Middle School. Over the course of her first year in college, she has continued her internship experiences to include an 8th grade ELA class at Wellborn Middle School in Greensboro, and she is a part of the prestigious Teacher Education Fellows at UNCG. She believes the journey of her coursework and experiences in college are transforming her from a student to a passionate educator who will soon return home ready to meet the needs of the students in her classroom.
     Ateonya shared her heart in this reflection about her work in college to become one of Edgecombe County’s future teachers, and she also shares a message to her future students. “With every class, project or organization that I invest time in, I always have my future in mind. It is my goal in life to invest my time into projects that allow me to develop more as a leader because I know that my experiences will one day benefit my students. My future students are always on my mind these days because I am so excited to meet them and build relationships with them where we both learn and grow from one another. To my future students, I promise that I will dedicate everything I have to you because you are not only the people of my community, but you are also the people who will one day cultivate the change we need so desperately in this world. As your teacher, I want you to know that you have everything you need to create change in this world already inside you. I want you to be fearless, courageous, passionate and kind about everything you do in this life and know that Ms. Whitaker will always be rooting for you! I cannot wait to meet you!”
     Lauren Warrick graduated from Edgecombe Early College High School in 2019 with her associate’s degree from Edgecombe Community College. She is currently attending Old Dominion University where she will complete her Elementary Education degree.
     Lauren’s love of working with elementary children was very evident in her completion of over 200 internship hours at two ECPS elementary schools where her talent for teaching and reaching children was obvious to everyone around her. She interned with Mrs. Sheila Mayo-Deloatch’s Kindergarten class at Princeville Elementary School, and with Mrs. Anna Winslow’s 1st grade and Mrs. Angela Freeman’s Kindergarten class at Martin Millennium Academy.
     In addition to attending college, she is also working as a Pre-K teacher at a local learning center where she enjoys being able to use her creativity as a teacher to help her students develop a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
    Giving back to the county she grew up in has always been important to her and she is looking forward to moving back to Edgecombe County in the future to fulfill that position. Lauren shows her love of our county’s children with her statement about coming back to ECPS. “There’s no place like home, especially when it comes to teaching the children who will one day have the world in their hands!”
     Jackie Dickens graduated from Edgecombe Early College High School in 2019 with her associate’s degree from Edgecombe Community College. She is attending East Carolina University and is very excited about returning to Edgecombe County Public Schools to teach in grades Kindergarten – 2nd. Jackie was the recipient of Lee and Lavelle Hall Scholar Teachers Promise Scholarship.
     Jackie experienced highly successful internships with over 200 hours of service during her two years in the Scholar Teachers program. She interned in Ms. Tiffany Bridger’s 5th grade class at Princeville Elementary and then with Mr. Antwan Brown’s 1st grade class at Martin Millennium Academy where she discovered her love of teaching in the lower elementary grades. As a student at East Carolina University, she was elected as the Secretary and Treasurer of Legacy Hall, and she is a member of the Elementary Education Club in addition to participating in various extracurricular activities on campus. She has been on the Dean’s List both semesters of her first year in college and has learned so much from the educational courses she has taken so far.
     When thinking of her return to ECPS after her first year at ECU, Jackie shared this sentiment: “I wouldn’t want to come back and teach in any other county. I truly have an unexplainable love for Edgecombe County - the county that has reared me. I am proof that it takes a village to raise a child so it is only right that I help to raise a better generation of students.”