Contact: Paige Watson
STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Meridian public school educator currently pursuing a Mississippi State graduate degree is receiving a national honor.
Melanie S. Pittman of Carver Middle School is a 2016 selection for the National Association for Alternative Certification’s Teacher Intern of the Year award. A seventh-grade mathematics instructor, she is scheduled to graduate from the university next month with a master’s degree in teaching.
Each year, the Washington, D.C.-based NAAC recognizes three new teachers for demonstrating successful classroom instruction that contributes significantly to the profession. Other winners this year work at schools in Austin and Irving, Texas.
After a decade with the Regions banking system, Pittman said she decided to volunteer with Mississippi Gulf Coast middle schools “to teach financial literacy through a program that Regions offered.” When her family decided to move to Meridian, “I knew it was the perfect time for me to go back to school to get my teaching license,” she said.
Propelled by a passionate belief that all children deserve good teachers, Pittman enrolled in the alternative-route teacher certification program in Mississippi State’s College of Education. The training holds participants to the same standards and coursework requirements that all state teachers must meet.
Associate professor Rebecca Robichaux-Davis recommended Pittman for the NAAC award “because she was one of the best first-year teachers I ever have observed in my 20-plus years of observing pre-service and beginning in-service mathematics teachers.”
Robichaux-Davis is an Auburn University doctoral graduate with earlier degrees completed at Louisiana State and Nicholls State universities. She said Pittman’s passion for teaching is evident from the moment one walks into her classroom.
Pittman admitted recently that “becoming a teacher and actually teaching have been some of the hardest things I ever have done.
“They also have been among the most rewarding,” she quickly emphasized.
For more about MSU’s alternate route teaching certification program, visit www.distance.msstate.edu/mats.
Information on the NAAC is found at www.alternativecertification.org.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.