Haney eager to start career in classroom

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Noah Haney, an education major at University of Mount Olive, has an overwhelming passion to help other people succeed.

“A quality teacher puts forth their best effort and offers themselves up to the students as a mentor and leader,” said Haney, a senior enrolled in the Homegrown Teacher Academy (HGTA) at UMO.

A graduate of James Kenan, Haney first became interested in teaching 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.

Educator role models have positively impacted Haney.

His English teacher, Jimmie Newkirk, made the biggest impression. He taught Haney’s father, uncles and brother.

“He inspired me through his love for education,” Haney said.

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,” said Haney, who will begin student teaching this spring and graduate in May.

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,” Haney said. “I want nothing more than to be able to help in the development of our society.”

HGTA is an innovative and collaborative program involving Duplin County Schools, James Sprunt Community College and UMO.

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 Schools 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 CC and complete their teacher education degree at UMO.

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 has received scholarship funding that has helped finance his education at UMO.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2021-22 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.

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