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Press Release

Forgivable loan program awards fellowships to 132 students from 53 North Carolina counties, sees increase in minority candidates

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission has selected a record 132 individuals to receive North Carolina Teaching Fellows awards for the Class of 2023.

The Teaching Fellows program is a competitive, merit-based forgivable loan program providing tuition assistance of up to $8,250 per year for qualified students committed to teaching special education, science, technology, engineering or math in a North Carolina public school. The purpose of the program is to recruit, prepare and support future teachers who attend institutions of higher education in North Carolina.

These 132 awards are the largest number given since the reconstitution of the program in 2017. The group includes 75 high school seniors, 34 college transfer students and 23 licensure-only students. Award recipients hail from 90 different cities and towns representing 53 counties across the state.

The 2023 class also features a 30% increase in minority recipients when compared to the previous year’s class. Overall, one-third of the recipients in the class of 2023 are minority candidates. Seventy-eight of the award recipients intend to study in STEM majors while 54 of the awardees intend to seek licensure in special education.

Fellows may attend any of the program’s eight partner institutions: Elon University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, NC State University, Meredith College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Teaching Fellows receive enhancement and enrichment activities throughout their program studies. Following their graduation, they benefit from the New Teacher Support Program as they begin to work in schools across the state.

“We are proud to welcome these Teaching Fellows into the program, and eventually into classrooms across North Carolina,” said Dr. Bennett Jones, director of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. “This program attracts some of the best and brightest into the teaching profession for the long-term benefit of the state and its K-12 students. To the new class of Teaching Fellows: congratulations and thank you for your commitment to future generations of North Carolinians. We look forward to providing excellent educational and professional experiences in conjunction with your academic endeavors.”

The commission selected recipients after conducting interviews and reviewing video presentations from each finalist. Commission members considered grade point average, leadership and experience, awards and honors, written essays, and interviews/videos to narrow this pool of applicants.

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission is comprised of four deans from educator preparation programs, teachers, principals, a member from business and industry and a local school board member. The NC Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, Superintendent of the Year, chair of the State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) Board of Directors and director of the Teaching Fellows Program all serve as ex-officio members of the commission.

North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program Highlights:

  • The amount of the forgivable loan is up to $4,125 per semester.
  • Teachers have up to 10 years to pay back the loan, either through cash repayment or loan forgiveness. To meet the loan forgiveness requirement, a teacher must serve one year in a low-performing school or two years in another public school for every year they were awarded a forgivable loan.

The following individuals represent the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Class of 2023:

Samiya Abdul-Lateef, Raleigh

Reilly Adams, Chapel Hill

Jennifer Aguilera, Raleigh

Georgia Alexander, Brevard

Avery Allen, Apex

Livie Apple, Gastonia

Brenda Avendano-Lopez, Creedmoor

Sarah Barefoot, Garner

Emilee Batchelor, Matthews

Alyssa Beasley, Liberty

Xavier Beaumont, Dunn

Natalie Belcourt, Spring Lake

Morgan Bellamy, Supply

Sherry Billings, Lansing

Sydney Bristow-Smith, Rocky Mount

Tyler Britt, Elizabethtown

Jayden Brown, Concord

Robert Bullis, Graham

Madison Burnette, Asheboro

Raquel Byers, Kings Mountain

Kylie Callender, Charlotte

Macy Chapman, Taylorsville

Camille Clark, Durham

Carter Clever, Selma

Jaelynn Combs, Winterville

Lisa Cooke, Louisburg

Joshua Craig-Brown, Statesville

Quinci Curtis, Concord

Alyssa Darden, Clayton

John Davenport, Mocksville

Alexandra Day, Ellenboro

Dariana De Leon, Tarboro

Tylan Deams, Harrisburg

Alana Driver, Mooresville

Audrey Earp, Elm City

Souad El Badaoui, Wake Forest

Samia Elgendi, Morrisville

Isabel Elias, Mount Airy

Kimberly Evans, Raleigh

Emerson Fipps , Greenville

Carla Flack, Greensboro

Tally Fleming, Huntersville

Peyton Flowers, Mills River

Staci Fuller, Smithfield

Michaela Futrell, Ahoskie

Scarlett Goodson, Matthews

Markeshia Gore, Fayetteville

Priscilla Graham, Maxton

Gillian Grimmick, Clayton

Phillip Harley, Hollister

Skylar Harrison, La Grange

Kristen Taylor Herring, Rose-Hill

Ericka Hewitt, Hubert

Elise Hines, Rocky Mount

Justin Hinton, Raleigh

Moriah Hollar, Claremont

Madelyn Horn, Rougemont

Sarah Houlden, Greensboro

Katie Hudson, Charlotte

Deborah Hunt, Clayton

Leah Ingle, New London

Lizzy Ireland, Harrisburg

Euzelia Jackson, Mooresboro

Luke Jackson, Biscoe

Abigail James, Creedmoor

Anna Jarnagin, Raleigh

Spencer Jastrow, Durham

Pia Jessup, Elizabethtown

Claudia Kilmer, Lexington

Jack Kimball, Oak Island

Melany Kippes, Fuquay-Varina

Loren Lamb, Lumberton

Mercedes Ledbetter, Spring Hope

Joseph Leimkuhler, Monroe

Kayleigh Leviner, Rockingham

Shenita Lise, Fayetteville

Alexus Little, Winston-Salem

Grace Liu, Greenville

Lauren Lloyd, Burlington

Christopher Locklear, Pembroke

Hannah Loftin, Mount Holly

Justin Louis, Spring Lake

Haven Lucas, Falcon

Laci Lucas, Clinton

Alan Luis, Raleigh

Zeeshan Luqman, Raleigh

Zacharie Mathis, Lowell

Caroline Matthews, Siler City

Emily McDaniel, Lumberton

Marah McPhaul, Fayetteville

Anna-Grace Medlin, Fuquay-Varina

Imelda Migaly, Chapel Hill

Chester Moore, New Bern

Caleb Morgan, Jonesville

Jaiden Nesbit, New Bern

Kaitlyn Nichols , New Bern

Abigail Osborne, Gastonia

Carole-Ann Page, Reidsville

Arianna Paulhamus, Fayetteville

Lillian Perez, Ocracoke Island

Sharon Platt, Lumberton

Emily Revels, Belmont

Abigail Roof, Bostic

Annsleigh Rouse, Goldsboro

Hannah Savariyar, Cary

Lydia Seagle, Mount Holly

Emilia Smith, Cary

Sarah Smith, Salemburg

Hailey Spahr, Greensboro

Matthew Sullivan, Pittsboro

Emily Taylor, Clinton

Felicia Thorn, Charlotte

Elizabeth Thornton, Faison

Meredith Thornton, Snow Camp

Drayton Thrasher, Charlotte

Zane Tomlin, Kitty Hawk

Ana Trejo Ramirez, Hendersonville

Zuri Trice, Chapel Hill

Rachelle Tyler, Fayetteville

Dorian Varney , Raleigh

Emaline Vuncannon, Star

Cary Warren, Saint Pauls

Lacey Warren, Dunn

Myah Webb, Charlotte

Piper Webb, Granite Falls

Coley Welch, Morganton

Jamelene Whitfield, Hope Mills

Jasmine Willie, Durham

Katie Wilson, Lake Waccamaw

Xaria Woodard, Wilson

Yasmin Woolard, Chocowinity

Camryn Young, Raleigh