N.C. Teachers of the Year taking part in Teaching Fellows event on Thursday

The 2018 N.C. Teacher of the Year – Freebird McKinney – and 2018 N.C. Region 18 Teacher of the Year – Julie Pittman – will be at the School of Education on Thursday to take part in a Teaching Fellows speaker series.

McKinney and Pittman will speak from 12:20 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. in Peabody 02. A light lunch will be served.

Carolina’s Teaching Fellows program is hosting a themed speaker series, with this year’s topic being “Excellence in Teaching.”

McKinney is a social studies teacher at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington. He was selected from a field of nine finalists representing the state’s eight education districts and charter schools.

McKinney has been teaching for 13 years, the last three at Williams where he teaches World and European history and also is co-coordinator of the school’s International Baccalaureate Pathway Program.

A self-described “village teacher,” McKinney also sees his role as an educator reaching beyond the classroom, leading international service-learning adventures, working also as an adjunct professor at Elon University and serving as a community leader.

Pittman is a native of Johnston County. She earned both the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. She held teaching positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, Rutgers University, New York University, and Central Piedmont Community College before moving to Rutherford County. In 2003, Pittman joined Rutherford County schools as a high school English teacher.

Pittman serves on the school improvement team, supports new colleagues as a mentor teacher, and coordinates senior project and AP Academy activities at her school. At the district level, she serves on the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation board of directors, on the policy development committee, and on the Teacher Advisory Council.