Wolfpack WORKS supports K-2, classroom teachers in their literacy instruction in their first 3 years of teaching. 

Let’s hear from some of our teachers who are finishing their third year of teaching to celebrate their “graduation” from Wolfpack WORKS!

Why did you get into teaching?

Renae: I’m one of those few teachers who didn’t want to be a teacher when I grew up. It was not until my first child started kindergarten that I realized the powerful impact and influence the teacher made on my child. I wanted to be more involved with my own child and wanted to help other children as well, so I began substitute teaching. I then became a Kindergarten instructional assistant, and went back to school to become an elementary teacher. I love teaching first grade!

Holly: Specifically, I would say my second-grade teacher, believe it or not, and my fifth-grade teacher are the ones who really just stood out in my mind as why I decided to be a teacher.  I remember they made me feel like they  really cared about me as a person.  They  wanted to see me  succeed academically, but also as a person.   So that meant a lot to me and I wanted to be that teacher for my kids too.  I did not go to college for teaching.  My undergraduate degree is actually in social sciences,  and so I decided to  pursue my lateral-entry license.

Savannah: I actually had no idea I wanted to be a teacher! I went to college with my mind made up that I was going to be a psychology major. After a few classes, I quickly realized that psychology was something I was interested in, but not sure if that would be what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided to switch to Elementary Education with a Psychology minor. After shadowing my first elementary-school class,  I fell in love!  Being that person for students who may not have someone to support them is my “why.”


How has Wolfpack WORKS helped you to become the teacher you are today?  

Renae: Wolfpack WORKS helped me to apply the knowledge and new skills that I’ve learned from my coach and professional development opportunities to my students. It has challenged me to view other perspectives on teaching. It helped me to analyze my student data and ensure that I established comprehensive literacy instruction that targeted the strengths and needs of my students.

Holly: Oh, my goodness, I would not be the teacher, that I am today without Wolfpack WORKS,  in the sense of not only the support,  but also the resources, ideas and the community that you have built for us!  My Wolfpack WORKS coach knew what  we beginning teachers were struggling with and knew what we needed to really improve our literacy instruction.

Savannah: Overall, Wolfpack WORKS has helped me become so much more confident with myself as an educator, so now I am able to take everything I have learned with me through my years of teaching. I can lead conversations in my PLCs and feel confident! I also was able to serve on the leadership team for my grade level this year at my school. During my first year, I would have never thought I would feel so comfortable doing those things.


How has Wolfpack WORKS shifted your views around what effective teaching is?

Renae: It has reinforced what I thought effective literacy instruction should look like in my classroom. I know you need multiple components of literacy instruction, including read alouds, word work, vocabulary, and writing as a part of my students’  daily literacy instruction. 

Holly: I would say to not be afraid of letting your kids do the learning and realizing  I don’t have to be at the front of the classroom all day every day. I love knowing I can give them (the students)  the tools to go out into those literacy small groups and centers to  be successful.   

Savannah: I have shifted my mindset to be more strength-based around my students and their families.


What awards/recognitions have you received during your Wolfpack WORKS tenure?

Renae: This year I was awarded the 2020-2021 Academic of Excellence award from the Town of Bailey Chamber of Commerce. 

Holly: I received the Beginning Teacher of the Year  award for Ansonville Elementary,  and then also for Anson County Schools.


What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this summer?

Renae: Resting, sleeping in, and spending time with my family!

Holly:  I’m really looking forward to the small simplicity of getting to drink coffee out of something other than a travel- mug…and being in my pajamas will make it even better!

Savannah:  I am looking forward to taking my two dogs Sally and Mallie on many hikes!


We are so proud of all of our Wolfpack WORKS teachers! Congratulations and thank you for everything you do!

Dara Butler, Dana Melton, and Shannon Russell, Wolfpack WORK Literacy Coaches