Duplin Native Aspires to Become Positive Teacher and Role Model

Duplin Native Aspires to Become Positive Teacher and Role Model

January 21, 2021
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – “In my mind a great teacher demonstrates an overwhelming passion for helping other people succeed,” said University of Mount Olive (UMO) education major Noah Haney. “A quality teacher puts forth their best effort and offers themselves up to the students as a mentor and leader.”

Haney is a senior enrolled in the Homegrown Teacher Academy (HGTA) at UMO. HGTA is an innovative and collaborative program involving Duplin County Schools, James Sprunt Community College, and the University of Mount Olive. Funded by grants from the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust and other generous contributors, the Academy is designed to identify and recruit students as early as middle school within the Duplin County School system who would be interested in becoming teachers. The Academy provides opportunities for students to shadow teachers when they are in high school, obtain college credits while still in high school through James Sprunt Community College, and complete their teacher education degree at the University of Mount Olive.  Students receive funding to offset the cost of college, thereby minimizing the amount of student debt incurred.  In return, Academy graduates commit to work in Duplin County Schools.

Haney first became interested in becoming a teacher because of his passion for coaching and helping young people learn the fundamentals of baseball.  “I felt the best way to transition my passion into a profession would be to pursue a career in teaching,” he said.

Having graduated from James Kenan High School, Haney had many positive educator role models.  However, it was his English teacher, Jimmie Newkirk, who really made the biggest impression on Haney.  “Mr. Newkirk taught my dad, my uncles, my brother, and me,” Haney said. “He inspired me through his love for education.”

Haney aspires to ignite a thirst for learning in his own students one day.  With a gift for language and literature, he plans to teach high school English.  “I hope to not only educate students in the subject of English, but to also teach them about valuable life skills that they can apply to their present and future endeavors.”

Haney will begin his student teaching this spring and is on track to graduate in May of 2021.  While many young people attend college, earn a degree, and travel far from their hometowns to start their careers, it is Haney’s desire to set his roots firmly in Duplin County where he grew up.  “I would like to return to Duplin County to teach, because I love the community and the growth that is happening within it. I want nothing more than to be able to help in the development of our society.”

As part of the HGTA, Haney has received scholarship funding that has helped finance his education at UMO.  To the donors of the HGTA, Haney said, “Thank you for believing in us as a group. As you invest in us, you invest in the future of Duplin County. Your contributions are not taken lightly.  We appreciate your desire to enhance our community.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2021-2022 UMO Homegrown Teacher Academy with scholarship amounts ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per year.

For more information about the University of Mount Olive Homegrown Teacher Academy, contact Assistant Professor of Education Gail Herring at gherring@umo.edu.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.  For more information, visit www.umo.edu.