Julie Pittman, an English teacher at R-S Central High School, is a 2018 James G. K. McClure Award recipient from Rutherford County. The McClure Award is dedicated to support Mrs. Pittman's participation in Go Global NC's "Global Teachers" annual professional development program. Mrs. Pittman will participate in the Global Teachers - China 2018 program this summer as a member of a delegation of 35 teachers from across North Carolina.
"I am so excited to realize a childhood interest in travel - especially to this corner of the world. I can remember doing a middle school research project on China and Japan, and was just fascinated with the culture and history. This trip will allow me to experience all of those things first hand, and so much more." said Julie. "I am most excited about co-teaching with a teacher at Beijing Royal School. This trip will give me insight into how China prepares its workforce and its citizens in furthering their education. We will visit several schools to get a broad view of their educational perspectives."
"Our Global Teachers program provides comprehensive domestic workshops and an immersion experience in a different country every year. We select a country that has a significant impact in North Carolina and the world or that is known for best practices, especially in education, that we can study and apply in our state," said Nicholas Rau, director of education and training - Go Global NC. "In 2018, we will study China because it is the world's second largest economy, and North Carolina's third largest trading partner. In addition to learning about the country and culture, we will focus on technology, environmental sustainability, and unique approaches to education that may give teachers new ideas or solutions that would be useful in their own classrooms, schools, or districts." Go Global NC is part of the University of North Carolina System.
"We are excited Mrs. Pittman has the opportunity to participate in this unique experience." said Dr. Janet H. Mason, Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools. "Not only does she consistently go beyond expectations in and outside the classroom in her service to students, but she also works extremely hard to be an advocate for and mentor to new teachers. I believe Rutherford County students and teachers, alike, will gain from the insights and ideas Mrs. Pittman will bring back from her time with the Global Teachers program."
"I am equally excited to visit the Great Wall of China." added Pittman. "My own students are excited to see me 'bobsled' down the side of the Great Wall. I have used funds provided to me by McCurry/Deck Motors to purchase a GoPro Camera so that I can document my trip. I'm sure this particular adventure will be an interesting documentation for my kids at home! Although this is not my first trip out of the United States, this is my first trip to China. I love to travel, but since I had my twin daughters (who recently turned 9 years old and will be in the 4th grade at Rutherfordton Elementary School next year), I have cut back significantly on my travels. They, and my husband, Blue, are excited for me to have this great adventure and honor. My daughter Mia, however, is a tad bit jealous because she knows I will visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and (according to her) pandas are her '4th favorite animal' (just behind puppies, koalas and elephants)!"
Julie will be spending just under two weeks abroad and will return at the end of June. "I am honored the James G.K. McClure Award is giving me this chance to have a truly life-changing educational trip," said Mrs. Pittman. "I love to travel and bring new ideas and cultures to my classes, students, and fellow teachers. I feel so fortunate for this special experience in China and with other American and Chinese teachers."