Four outstanding New Hanover County Schools’ students have been selected to receive the Board of Education’s scholarship in the amount of $28,000 each for future teachers. The students are Matthew Weaver from Laney High School, Madchen Lastinger from Isaac Bear Early College High School, Reagan Radford from New Hanover High School, and Eleni Blackley from Hoggard High School.
The Board will honor the scholarship recipients at a special Signing Ceremony and reception to be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., in the Board of Education Center, located at 1805 S. 13th Street, Wilmington.
Eleni plans to attend East Carolina University. She plays softball and is a part of Hoggard’s Student Council, National Honor Society, Winter Park Baptist Church’s Youth Group, Praise Band, Choir and Handbells Group, and she works at PT Moe’s Southwest Grille. Eleni volunteers at Vigilant Hope, a non-profit organization that feeds and clothes the homeless.
“I have always felt a pull towards helping others, especially younger children. The world needs teachers as much as it needs engineers, business leaders, and peacemakers. I want to help make children feel worthy, valued, and smart. I’m willing to put in the work and help accomplish student goals just like my mom and my former teachers have done for me.” (Excerpts from Eleni’s essay.)
Madchen plans to continue her studies at UNCW. At IBECHS, she is involved in Women Empowerment through Education, the National Honors Society, Future Teachers Career Academy, and the Arts Club. In the community, Madchen volunteers in a classroom at Wrightsboro Elementary School and works with Adopt an Angel adoption fairs.
“Both my own experiences with teachers and the time I have gotten to spend working with students have greatly influenced my decision to pursue teaching as a career. I want to be a teacher who will do more than just surface level teaching. I want to be able to support students and hopefully push them to value the time spent in classrooms in the same way that I have. I love the time I spend with my students and I hope that I will be able to continue to build bonds with new students in my own classroom,” Madchen stated in her essay.
Reagan plans to attend Appalachian State University. At NHHS, she is involved in dance, cheerleading, the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Spanish Club. Her community service includes tutoring with El Cuerpo, YMCA student volunteer, YMCA summer camp intern, and the Azalea Festival Clean-up Committee.
“I want to be a teacher. This has been my dream since I started high school. I have devoted my time outside of school, working with children, in order to make this my future. A few events that have inspired me to become a teacher are tutoring children in my community, teaching dance to young children, and the love my teachers have given me throughout my high school years. These commodities have shown me the potential each child brings to the world and how I can make a difference in the lives of my students. I want to be a part of teaching future generations in New Hanover County,” Reagan wrote in her essay.
Matthew plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. His extracurricular activities at Laney include playing violin in the String Orchestra, participating in Science Olympiad, Cross Country, Mock Trial, and the National Honors Society. For community service, Matthew volunteers with the Elementary School Science Olympiad and the NHCS Science Fair, Angel Tree, Wrightsville Beach Clean-up, and the Murrayville Fall Festival.
“My hunger for changing the world is not my only reason to pursue teaching; I also want to pay it forward. I benefited from industrious and kind teachers throughout my education, from Mrs. Beasley fostering my reading skills to Mr. Goins igniting a love of other cultures and far away places, to Coach Adams encouraging me to never give up, each lap around the course, but it was in high school when I gained true appreciation for my teachers and counselors,” Matthew wrote in his essay.