and technical education teacher Evan Ferguson is Cape Hatteras
Secondary School of Coastal Studies 2015-2016 Teacher of the
Year. She’s in her sixth year at CHSSCS. She earned
her Magna Cum Laude, Honors College bachelor's degree in
communications, with a concentration in public relations from East
Carolina University, and gained her lateral entry licensure from ECU in
marketing and business education and family and consumer sciences,
which she has taught to students in grades 9-12 at CHSSCS since 2010.
She began teaching Foods last year.
has been honored with the N.C. DECA Kenneth W. Smith Award for
Professional Dedication. She is the recipient of numerous grants,
including multiple Bright Ideas and Hatteras Island Youth Foundation
awards, and has presented at several conferences, and was tapped for
the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Hospitality and Tourism
curriculum writing team.
come from a family of teachers,” says Ferguson, “but I never aspired to
become one. In fact, when I was younger, I thought, who would ever want
to go back to work at school after they graduated, right? Here I am 15
years later, eating those words because here I am!
fact that I am a business person with real world experience has helped
me to excel at teaching my subjects. I truly feel that if you are to
teach business, marketing, restaurant management and the like, that you
should have job experience in those areas. Students see me as a
credible source as I am teaching from real life experience, not just
from what I’ve read in a book.
think of teaching not as a job, but as a calling. I feel a sense of
pride and accomplishment from building up my program and making it
initiative that Ferguson is behind is receiving attention - the Conetoe
Food and Cultural Exchange with the Conetoe Family Life Center in
Conetoe, N.C. Ferguson has developed a collaboration with the
Reverend Richard Joyner of the Conetoe Family Life Center.
Ferguson’s students and students from Edgecomb County Schools have
visited back and forth to work on creating a sustainable community
wellness initiative in the two areas. Ferguson has also worked with the
organizers of the Day at the Docks, Resourceful Communities, and
Saltwater Connections to incorporate local seafood into the curriculum.
She is also the Hatteras Island representative for the Outer Banks
Local Foods Council.
from marketing to focus more on foods and nutrition has been the best
thing to happen to my career, and I think it shows," reflects Ferguson.
"Our focus is on sustainability, health, and green practices -- all
things in the forefront of our world right now. Students feel my energy
and love of what I am doing, so they engage.
social media, I showcase the successes of our new program and the
community has helped with any and everything I have asked of
them. I see the Foods program as a community initiative and it’s
been a great lesson to see how community members can work together to
make positive things happen.
am well aware that when students walk into my room they may be carrying
burdens beyond our comprehension. It’s important for me to stay aware
of that and to provide a strict, yet empathetic environment where
students can learn at their own pace and feel supported to experiment
and make mistakes. I want students to be free to fail and then try
again with support and structure.
my 17 years as a student, I can remember only five teachers who I can
say were truly passionate, positive and inspiring. I want to be one of
those standout teachers for my students," says Ferguson. "I want them
to smile when they see me and be excited when they come to class. I
want them to learn, thrive, and become better human beings. I want the
positive energy of my classroom to be contagious, and see my students
light up and open up to possibilities.”
a career and technical education teacher, I find that equipping
students with real life skills is essential. As costs of universities
continue to rise and jobs are harder to find, it is important that
students leave school with skills that they can transfer directly to
the workplace. Life and trade skills such as finances, cooking,
nutrition, computer and technology, carpentry, and agriculture will
assist students as they leave high school with the essentials to help
them transition into the workplace. When these skills are introduced
across the curriculum and with real-world applications, students are
reinforcing reading, writing, math and science as well as learning
is not about me, it’s about what I can impart on those who walk in my
classroom. Being a great teacher is about showing students that no
matter how different we are, we are alike. That we must have empathy
for others and understand that diversity makes this country great. The
more the community is involved in our classrooms, the more these
lessons ring true.
“I want each student to leave me being informed and empowered to make a difference in their life and the world.”