Alumni News

O’Connor to oversee Wachovia Teacher Mentoring Network

Christina Koelb O’Connor has joined UNCG as project coordinator for the new Wachovia Teacher Mentoring Network.

O’Connor, who began work August 14, holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and French Language from The University of Virginia at Charlottesville. She earned teacher certification in elementary education at UNC Chapel Hill.

O’Connor also holds an MEd in Education, Reading and Language Arts from UNC Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in School Administration from UNCG. Her teaching career has included positions at Allen Jay and Montlieu Avenue elementary schools in High Point. From July 2002-June 2005, she served as principal of Kirkman Park Elementary in High Point.

O’Connor left her most recent post at Shadybrook Elementary, also in High Point, to accept the position at UNCG. She had been principal of Shadybrook since July 2005.

“Having so recently worked in the local public schools, I know how important it is to continue to provide supportive relationships for beginning teachers after they leave the university setting and begin their teaching careers,” O’Connor said. “Through the Teacher Mentoring Network I hope to work with the local school districts to provide quality support for both beginning teachers and their on-site mentors.”

Betty Epanchin, director of UNCG’s Teachers Academy, said she is pleased to have O’Connor on board. “Her experience and education have prepared her well for this position. She has been an administrator, a staff development leader and a scholar. We are delighted by her enthusiasm and knowledge, and we look forward to moving the Wachovia project to another level.”

The Wachovia Foundation pledged $719,810 over three years for the network to recruit 150 veteran teachers in the Piedmont Triad to mentor novice and student teachers. The school will work with as many as 16 school districts throughout the Triad region to recruit and train experienced teachers as mentors. The program will be evaluated annually for its impact on teacher retention, the quality of its professional development events and its effect on student achievement.

The program is based within the UNCG School of Education. The School of Education will implement the program before turning it over to area school districts who will take over primary funding and operational responsibilities.

Wachovia’s pledge was made as part of The Students First Campaign, UNCG’s $78.2 million fund drive.