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North Carolina launches educator discovery awards to help public school teachers connect students with careers

The following is a press release from the Office of Governor Roy Cooper

A new program will help North Carolina public school teachers get the training and experience they need to provide more opportunities for their students to learn about promising careers. Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) are launching the Governor’s Educator Discovery Award for public school teachers across the state.

The Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards recognize the value of quality professional development for teachers at all phases of their careers.  The program will provide a stipend of up to $1,000 for preK-12 traditional public and public charter school teachers to pursue a professional development experience of their choosing. Teachers can use the grant award to attend a workshop or conference that deepens their subject area knowledge, such as a coding workshop for computer science teachers, or a session on how to create a project-based learning experience for students. The program aims to hand out six to 12 awards during the 2018-19 school year.

“Teachers are the most important factor in improving student success in our public schools,” Governor Cooper said. “We want to give them more ways to get the training and professional development they need to connect their classroom to future career opportunities for their students.”

To be eligible for the Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards, teachers will submit a proposal that includes details about their teaching experience and the professional development activity they wish to pursue. Applicants also need to describe how their participation in the professional development experience will enhance their efforts to create a work-based learning activity for their students. 

Applications submitted online by January 1, 2019 will be considered for the first set of awards. Future applications will be considered after the 15th of April and July and beyond, if sufficient funding is available.  Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of business leaders and educators. Awardees will be notified of their selection via email at the address provided in their application.

To learn more about the Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards or submit an application, click here.

“Teachers are not often able to choose professional development specific to their subject area or current teaching needs,” said LaTanya Pattillo, Teacher Advisor to Governor Cooper. “What a great opportunity for teachers to select professional development that best meets their needs and the needs of their students.”

Increasing work-based learning opportunities for students is a key part of NC Job Ready, Governor Cooper’s priorities for making sure North Carolina’s workforce is ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Work-based learning experiences build employability and technical skills through career awareness, career exploration, and career experience,” said Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director of NCBCE.  “Teachers play a critical role in connecting more of our students to these real-world learning environments.”

Governor Cooper is committed to strengthening the teacher workforce so that every student has access to an effective educator. The establishment of the Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards, along with the Governor’s School Supply Drive and the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee, are examples of Governor Cooper’s commitment to supporting teachers.

The Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards are funded by NCBCE member companies. NCBCE hopes to raise additional funds to expand the program in future years.

About the North Carolina Business Committee for Education: The North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) is a business-led, education non-profit (501-c3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor. Since 1983, NCBCE has provided a critical link between North Carolina business leaders and the state’s education decision makers, helping to create connections between the education curriculum and the overall work readiness of people across the state. 


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.