Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Ralph Chandler Middle School Gateway to Technology teacher Debra Workman is one of five finalists nationwide for the National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC) “Outstanding New Educator” Award.
Workman entered the teaching profession during the 2017-2018 school year through the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education program. Workman retired from Michelin after a career in Information Technology and decided that teaching was her passion. “Who else can go to a job every day and play and have fun,” she said. “I love all aspects of it, seeing the lights go on for kids, seeing them be able to relate what we are doing in the classroom to the real world.”
Ralph Chandler Principal Jeffrey Jenkins says, “Ms. Workman and other teachers coming from industry are a little quicker to get students into making meaning and answering the question ‘Why do I need to learn this?’ So that connection had an immediate impact.
Workman says her experience with robots in the manufacturing industry and her years as an IT professional make it easy for her to teach robotics and make computer skills relevant. Workman was selected in the top five from among the NAAC’s largest pool of nominees for the award. If selected as one of three winners, Workman will travel to Seattle in April to accept the award.