Elizabeth City State University began its month-long celebration of American and International Education on Nov. 2 with the 2011 National Teacher of the Year, Michelle M. Shearer, as the guest speaker for the annual assembly.

Shearer is a chemistry teacher from Urbana High School in Frederick County, Md. She was chosen National Teacher of the Year from a cast of 55 state and territorial teachers of the year. Selected by the oldest and most prestigious awards program to focus public attention on excellence in teaching, Shearer began as a full-time educational spokesperson in June 2011.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Princeton University and a master’s degree in deaf education from McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.  She also is certified in special education.

The National Teacher of the Year Program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, is sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target, in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs.

As the guest speaker for the annual assembly held in celebration of American Education, Shearer said it is her delight to complete the series of speaking engagements awarded to the nation’s top teacher. However, she admitted there is no magic solution to the problems that challenge America’s schools.  She emphasized the importance of parents’ interest in the development of their children and being involved with their children’s school activities. She reminded educators attending the event that their efforts to pour knowledge into students are no minor matter. Whether the instructor teaches math, science, technology, the arts or athletics, the entire school experience sets an important course for America’s students.

Later, Shearer joined administrators and students at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch ECSU’s celebration of American and International Education Month.

For a full list of ECSU’s American and International Education Month events, seewww.ecsu.edu/administration/ia/urm/headline.cfm?ID=11608.