School of Education names Hattie M. Strong scholars

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Hattie Strong Scholars
The 2019 Hattie M. Strong Scholars are (back row) Chelsey Cartrette and Meghan Canady. Seated are Dezarae Lehman and Darria Parker

Student teaching is a much-anticipated rite of passage for future educators — an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned. In the classroom full time, students have little time for much else, and for those who work it can also be a time of financial uncertainty.

Next semester, UNC Pembroke senior Dezarae Lehman, will be feeling some relief thanks to the Hattie M. Strong Scholarship.

“I was worried that having a job would be a disservice to my students, by preventing me from fully investing in their individual needs,” said Lehman an elementary education major. “Thankfully, this scholarship has removed the financial burden that I would have faced during my internship semester and has allowed me to take an educational leave from my job.”

Lehman, a Wilmington native, will be teaching at Acme Delco Elementary in Columbus County next semester.

She is one of four seniors recently announced Hattie M. Strong scholars from UNCP. Meghan Canady, Chelsey Cartrette and Darria Parker join her. They were each awarded $5,000 to be used in their final year of study.

The Hattie M. Strong Scholarship is awarded to students during their internship semester.

An elementary education major, Canady chose education as a career path because she wants to ensure students have a safe and welcoming learning environment while advocating for her students’ education.

Canady will begin her student teaching in January at Stoney Point Elementary School in Fayetteville. “Coming from a single parent home, it’s been important for me to work hard and take any burden I can off my mother. With this scholarship, not only do I not have to worry about how my financial needs will be met, but it will also help with any resource and materials I may need to enhance my student’s learning.”

Majoring in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics, Chadbourn native Cartrette is currently student teaching at Old Dock Elementary in Whiteville.

Growing up in a single-family home, watching her mom sacrifice time and time again for her and her sister, Cartrette said she’s “grateful for this scholarship because I know my mom won’t have to worry about where we are going to get money for my classroom.”

Following graduation, Cartrette plans on teaching for a while before pursuing a master’s in school administration.

Parker, an elementary education student concentrating in reading, is grateful for the relief the Hattie M. Strong Scholarship has brought, and is thankful she is able to focus her full attention on the experience without having to stress over financial matters.

It’s as though education chose Parker, who remarked, “I feel every child can learn if given the opportunity and resources. I want to the be that advocate for them.” She’ll begin her student teaching in January at Dublin Primary School.