Vol 13 October 2010

Mac Everett
General Chairman

Kym Hougham
Executive Director

Jan Ivey
Director of Marketing and Sponsor Relations

Tony Schuster
Director of Operations

Gwen Crow
Tournament Coordinator

Paula Burnett
Volunteer Coordinator

Christine Lockett
Tournament Project Manager

James Stevens
Tournament Assistant

Teach For America Spotlight
Sam Pierce
Ranson Middle School

Sam Pierce

This year, the Wells Fargo Championship is participating in the Sponsor-A-Teacher program at Teach For America. Through this program, the tournament staff will spend time with a young man named Sam Pierce.

Sam graduated from the University of Virginia and teaches Spanish, Math and Social Studies at Ranson Middle School here in Charlotte. Throughout the year, we will share a snap shot or two from his classes.

As an introduction, we asked Sam a few questions:

Give us an example where a student or group of students may have said or done something that made you realize you were in the right line of work.

So far the biggest encouragement to me as a teacher has been my relationship with a sixth grade student named Michael. He has dyslexia and really struggles on his core subjects. He also was sent home for fighting once because other kids were bullying him into fighting. However, he is very determined to improve. He comes to school at 7:30 each morning for tutoring. He also told me that he spends time at home studying Spanish very hard.

Recently for one of his tests, he wrote a story in Spanish. It was about me and how I was smart and his favorite teacher. Working with Michael on Spanish, Math and Social Studies has really encouraged me as a teacher and assured me that I am in the right line of work.

What is your philosophy toward teaching?

To get students excited about learning. I have an incredible opportunity to give students a fresh start on a subject they have never failed. I want them to experience success and enjoyment. My goal is to invest students in their knowledge and language.

Why did you get involved with Teach For America?

My desire to serve students in underachieving schools stems from several different factors. Growing up, I was afforded the opportunity to attend a quality public school where teachers challenged me and I received an excellent education. I had a teacher who showed me how learning could be interesting, engaging and fun. I want to pass along this passion for learning to my students.