Raleigh, March 28, 2017 — Teryn Odom has been named the 2017 NCVPS Teacher of the Year. NCVPS is extremely proud of her excellence in teaching as well as her leadership during her tenure with the organization. Please join us in congratulating her.
NCVPS selects one teacher from a group of three finalists to represent the school as its Teacher of the Year. All the finalists exemplified the highest degree in their commitment to student success, knowledge and skills as professional educators, and dedication to the NCVPS online program.
Teryn attended UNC Charlotte on a Teaching Fellows scholarship and graduated with a BA in Psychology and Spanish with a licensure to teach. She later received a Masters of International Studies from North Carolina State University. Teryn has ESL certification and is completing her administration certification through UNC-Wilmington. She completed her administrative internship at Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School in Moore County.
Teryn currently teaches Spanish 2 for NCVPS, where she has taught for the past nine years. Before joining NCVPS, she taught in the classroom at East Garner IB Magnet Middle School, East Millbrook IB Magnet Middle School, Wake Technical Community College, and Midway High School.
Teryn has had many roles with NCVPS. She has been an Instructional Leader for Spanish, an Instructional Leader for world languages, arts and music, lead developer for Spanish, course reviewer, and an advisory board member for two years.
Teryn has also worked as an educational consultant and instructor on a contractual basis for NCDPI, Ignite Learning Partners, Merit Prep, and LEARN NC. She also works for Guilford Technical Community College as an e-learning support specialist.
“Over the past years, I have watched Teryn grow professionally with NCVPS from being just an online teacher to curriculum and instructional leader for the Spanish team,” says Ellen Hart, NCVPS World Languages Director. “It has been a true honor to have someone who I can depend on giving me honest and reflective feedback to discussions. I value Teryn’s insight and talent that she brings each and every day to NCVPS.”
Teryn greatly values her NCVPS experience, as it has helped her develop as a teacher. “I have learned that every student has something special to offer,” Teryn says. “It may not be Spanish-related or even academic, but it’s there, and my goal is to find it and help it flourish.”
Developing student relationships is an essential part of her classroom approach. “Relationships matter, whether with a student, parent, or ELA. Strong partnerships lead to student success. Every student comes to me with his or her own personal or special situation that will either positively or negatively impact his or her experience. It’s my duty to always be understanding, flexible, supportive, and student-centered to ensure each student’s success,” Teryn says.
“Teryn is a teacher who believes that every student who enters her classroom is important and deserves her very best,” says Michelle Lourcey, NCVPS Chief Academic Officer. “She develops relationships with each student, and Teryn creates a community of learners.”
Teryn is passionate about her work. “I’m blessed to be able to do what I love. It’s a perfect fusion of my love of teaching and learning, my love of languages and cultures, and my love of technology. Being able to connect with and impact students to help them become successful citizens is already rewarding, but being able to open their minds and hearts to the beautiful cultural and linguistic diversity that exists in our world is even more so. It’s all made possible through the technology at our disposal.”
Teryn credits her Teaching Fellows program as being a tremendous influence in her educational career. “Not only did the scholarship allow me financially to pursue my passion, but the program itself was designed to intricately cultivate educators and educational leaders. From the Teaching Fellows Seminar classes to the summer enrichment experiences and mounds of required observations and student teaching, it was the gold standard in teacher recruitment and preparation,” she says. Teryn hopes the Fellows program is restored. “It is so desperately needed to fuel our schools’, our students’, and ultimately, our state’s success.”
Teryn has a clear message about education. “I feel that it’s necessary to be an outspoken advocate of public schools and NCVPS as a high-quality online option for those students. I’m proud of my public school background and passionate about public schools. Growing up, I felt that North Carolina was always at the forefront in education, teachers were respected, our public school system was respected, and students thrived.”
Teryn wants to ensure North Carolina and NCVPS realize their full potential in education. “I want to help other teachers feel empowered to stand up for schools and students and to encourage parents and students to do the same. I want to ensure that people know and understand what NCVPS is, what we do, how we do it, and what makes us special and different from online charter schools and other online programs.”
North Carolina students, naturally, are a great concern for Teryn. “I’d like to bring more awareness to, knowledge about, and training for the mental health issues that exist and are growing among our students.”
Teryn is not only a world language teacher, she’s also a world traveler. She has lived in four countries, traveled to 25, and visited over 150 cities worldwide. She enjoys photography, reading, listening to music, attending concerts, experimenting with technology tools and gadgets, researching, fishing, cooking, and gardening. She now lives near Pinehurst with her husband and three young sons.
“I have a fervent desire to make a difference in my community and the world by creating and implementing exciting and engaging learning opportunities for individuals in North Carolina and throughout the world. As an educator, I strive to teach critical life skills and build character, in addition to teaching the content. Learning should be engaging, exciting and fun! Cultivating young minds to be great thinkers and doers that learn about themselves and the world, who strive to make a difference in the world, and who follow their dreams is amazing! Being an educator is the most challenging, rewarding and noble profession in the world and I love it!”
Teryn will now advance to the National Online Teacher of the Year competition where she will represent NCVPS. 2017 was the ninth year for the NCVPS Teacher of the Year award. NCVPS would like to congratulate all of the teachers who were nominated by their peers for the award. We would like to recognize the other two finalists:
Kimberly Rushton – English
Joy Crosby – OCS Math
The NCVPS selection process for the Teacher of the Year program is divided into four phases beginning with the call for nominations. Next, nominees participate in a blind selection process that starts with answering a series of initial questions on instructional philosophy and student-centered instruction. The selection committee then narrows the field to three finalists who complete a video presentation and a portfolio, which showcases examples of their approach to teaching and their beliefs about instruction. The selection committee interviews the top three finalists before the final selection is made.
NC Virtual Public School is the nation’s second largest state-led virtual school with over 55,000 enrollments from all 115 school districts and many charter schools. NCVPS offers over 150 different courses as a supplement to the local high school course catalog and includes Advanced Placement, Occupational Course of Study, electives, traditional, honors, credit recovery, intervention, and flex learning courses. Certified North Carolina instructors teach all NCVPS courses and provide strategies for active student engagement through a variety of technology tools. Teachers are required to make personal contact with students and parents regularly to maximize the student-teacher relationship. Courses are free to students who enroll through their local North Carolina school. NCVPS is available to home school and private school students for a small fee. By virtue of online course delivery, students now have access to rigorous courses and high-quality teachers regardless of ZIP code.