Lake Norman & Mooresville

ESL teacher recognized as Unsung Hero winner

A Cornelius Elementary School ESL teacher has been recognized as an 2010 ING Unsung Heroes Award Winner.

The program recognizes classroom heroes who take teaching to new heights and make learning fun.

Christine Mayhill is one of 100 finalists who won $2,000.

Three of the finalists will be selected as top winners and receive additional grants of $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000. Mayhill teaches English as a second language.

L.A. native

A Los Angeles native, she graduated from UCLA with a degree in Spanish language and literature. She worked in California before relocating to North Carolina in 2006.

"Having grown up in and having launched my teaching career in such a diverse city, I have a particular appreciation for the challenges that confront English language learners and their teachers," she said on her teacher web page.

Her work

For the ING award, Mayhill developed "And ... Action!," a student video program designed to improve English as a second language students' learning by requiring them to incorporate correct grammar and newly acquired vocabulary into video creations.

More than 60 English learners in kindergarten through fifth grade at Cornelius Elementary will benefit from Mayhill's program.

The use of technology in developing their own authentic videos enhances the students' learning experience, engages them in their learning, and allows them to retain and synthesize information in a new way.

The program is also designed to give the students a chance to showcase their knowledge through closed circuit classroom television to other students in the school. Students will create one video every six weeks, alone or with a small group of classmates.

Other accomplishments

Mayhill is also a cohort I graduate of Leaders for Tomorrow, a program that provides CMS-customized developmental training for future assistant principals in partnership with Winthrop University.