McCrory focuses on teachers during PDS commencement address

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gov. Pat McCrory 2013 News & Observer file photo

Gov. Pat McCrory pushed his Career Pathways for Teachers initiative to teachers, faculty, families and graduates in his Providence Day School commencement address Friday.

“Politicians aren’t the ones who should be making decisions for teachers,” McCrory said to a burst of applause. “Teachers and principals and superintendents should be the ones telling us.”

The Career Pathways initiative sets up raises for teachers who take on leadership roles, teach high-need subjects, work in high-need schools and pursue improvement opportunities. McCrory has said the program will be a statewide standard by or before 2018 if legislators approve it.

He added that experience, wisdom, leadership and impact on students should all be taken into account when discussing teachers’ compensation. And as he reminisced about those who had an impact on his own education, encouraging the class of 2014 to pursue teaching careers.

“It’s a profession that will have an impact on people for the rest of their lives,” he said. “Those people you teach will remember your name for the rest of their lives because of the impact you had on them.”

Over the course of the ceremony, graphic recorder Kelly Kingman was listening to the speeches and scribbling on a long white board split into three sections. By the time the final diploma was handed out and the last hand was shaken, the once empty board told the story of the past few hours through colorful drawings and quotes.

The left column highlighted Head of School Glyn Cowlishaw’s speech with “This is your day,” written in bright yellow letters. The right side featured a sketch of the class gift – a new clock – and advice from valedictorian Cameron Love, telling the graduates to “Build something new.”

And the center section, once stark white and reserved for McCrory’s remarks, was filled with praise of teachers.

Pieces of McCrory’s address such as, “It must be a career, not a temporary job,” and “Teaching is a skill that can get you any job,” revolved around a drawing of two teachers in the middle of the board.

“You graduating today is not just about you, and the rest of your life will not just be about you,” McCrory told the 141 graduates. “This day should also be about your teachers.”

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