shelved almost all of the Public School Forum's 10-point plan aimed at recruiting better-quality high school graduates into teaching, the teaching fellows program was the only aspect it kept.
'It's sure not a vacation'
The competition to be a teaching fellow
is intense. Since 1987, when the program
was launched, 23,668 students have applied
for the 4,788 available fellowships. Carolina's
program is among the largest, with 650
scholars since the University joined in
1988. The scholastic profile of teaching
fellows classes at all universities is an SAT
ofmore than 1150, a high school grade
point average of 3.6-plus on a 4.0 scale,
and a class ranking in the top 10 percent.
Among the impressive lineup
of scholars programs at
Carolina) teaching fellows are
unusual in that they have
committed to their career plans
from the day they walk on
campus as freshmen. They are
a breed apart) even within
the School of Education .
in Raleigh, changed the direction of
Nimmo's college plans. "She recommended
I look into the teaching fellows progran1-
you get pa.id for college, and there are a
lot of extra benefits," sa.id Nimmo, a
sophomore. "I decided 1 could see myself
in education more than in medicine."
Nin1mo, who graduated sixth in her
high school class of 163 and scored 1210
on her SAT, fulfilled one of the require-
ments of the program after her freshman
year: A week-long bus tour of North
Carolina called "Discovery" that stretches
from the mounta.ins to the coast- this year,
all the way to Ocracoke Island-with
the 340 other rising sophomore fellows
from the other 13 universities.
ofongoing requirements. Among those
at Carolina are:
• Attend monthly seminars and class meet-
ings that focus on academic, professional,
social/cultural and educational topics;
• Join a team of other teaching fellows to
plan and participate in social/cultural
or educational activities;
• Choose a faculty member during the
junior year to serve as a mentor;
• Spend a minin1um of 20 hours per semes-
ter in a public school classroom during
sophomore, junior and senior years;
• 'Spend a semester of the senior year
teaching a class in a public school;
• Keep a joumal of the teaching experience;
• Participate in a class service project
At Carolina, they are students like Joanna
Moore, who finished second in her class of
96 at Gates County High School in Gates-
ville. She recalls her GPA was about 3. 9
and her SAT score was 1270. A senior, she
vows to return to the rural environment
ofher upbringing: "I always wanted to
teach, and I always wanted to come to
UNC," she said. "I want to go back and do
my county proud. It's a way to give some-
thing back to the place where I was born."
Unlike Moore, Emily Nimmo of Clinton
thought she wanted to go into medicine
until her senior year in high school, when
a particularly tough math course changed
her mind. That factor, combined with the
guidance of Wendy Royal, her senior
adviser at Clinton High School who had
been a teaching fellow at Meredith College
Howard Machtinger is the new director of the Carolina Teaching Fellows program. He is assisted by graduate
students Kisha Daniels, Muhsin O rsini, and Program Coordinator Katrina Billingsley.
"It's sure not a vacation," Nimmo sa.id.
"We were up early, we were on the go all
day and up late. But everywhere we went
they called us 'the best and the brightest.'
We went to Ocracoke, where there's one
school for all grades. It opened our eyes to
a lot about public schools. The school there
is so small; there's no cafeteria so all the
students walk home for lunch. In all of
Hyde County, there are only four schools.
They made us feel welcome, and special."
Teaching fellows at Carolina estimate
they put in an extra eight to 10 hours per
month of work not required of other
education majors. Beyond that, they give
up part of their SUil1illers to fulfill a litany
CAR0LINA ALUMN IREVlEW