The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Meet Wakefield’s beginning teachers of the year 2023

Staff Graphic by Jordan McIntyre
Wakefield has announced 2023s Beginning Teacher of the Year Award recipients. Caroline Jones and Christina Avellenda have already positively impacted their students and look forward to their teaching journey.

Students will never forget a teacher who influenced them both inside and outside of school. Caroline Jones and Christian Avellenda, both first-year teachers, have dedicated themselves to making a positive impact on their students. With a passion and commitment to teaching, they strive to teach valuable lessons that extend beyond the classroom into their students’ futures, which many students will remember and cherish. 

Christina Avellenda, a Civic Literacy teacher and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, is passionate about teaching her students what her subject entails and lessons that will resonate with them beyond their academic careers.

“I want my students to leave my class knowing they can genuinely influence and shape the future,” Avellenda said. “I want them to have the knowledge to help make the world a better place.”

For Avellenda, teaching was always something that she wanted to pursue and she believes it’s more than an educational tool; it’s a very powerful way to influence society. A high school teacher, Ms. Pope, stood as a role model for Avellenda throughout her teaching journey and she hopes to inspire students just as Ms. Pope influenced her. 

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“One of the biggest teachers that influenced me is Ms. Pope. She had the capacity to connect with every single student so flawlessly and truly makes you feel seen and heard as a person,” Avellenda said. “It was so much more than the content we were learning.”

Sophomore Katelyn Merritt is a student of Avellenda and looks forward to her class daily. 

“She’s very accommodating and is a great listener if any of her students are having problems. Her classroom is always a great, positive environment,” Merritt said.

Caroline Jones, an NC State graduate and first-year English and Cultural Media Literacy teacher, is excited to begin a new chapter of her life at Wakefield and wants to make a difference in her student’s lives. Jones was honored as a Wake County Semi-Finalist First-Year teacher.

I never want to lose the positivity that I have every day coming to school.

— Jones

“I love coming to school every day and making a noticeable impact,” Jones said. “I want my students to leave my class knowing how to read, write and communicate better than they did before.”

Jones emphasizes how valuable writing is in every aspect of life and wants students to leave the classroom with better language, reading and writing skills.

“I never want to lose the positivity that I have every day coming to school,” Jones said. “I want to continue building my student’s knowledge and skills.”

Senior Maya Zelliche is a student of Jones and has taken away a lot of lessons while being a student in her class.

“[Jones] has made me want to come to school, and I always look forward to her class,” Zelliche said. “She’s always lively and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in class.”

The dedication and passion shown by both first-year teachers, Caroline Jones and Christina Avellenda, go beyond their traditional roles. They are single-handedly shaping future perspectives and leading their students to success by teaching their subject effectively and sharing valuable lessons and skills that will aid them in their future. Students will always remember the guidance they have received at Wakefield and will continue to become leaders such as these influential educators. 

“My favorite thing about teaching is connecting with every one of my students,” Avellenda said. “It makes me feel old, but it keeps me young.”

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