Merilee McLean from Roger Bell New Tech Academy

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – WITN’s Teacher of the Week for June 24 is Merilee McLean, a fifth grade math teacher at Roger Bell New Tech Academy in Craven County.

McLean has been teaching in Havelock for the past four years. Before that, she had a lengthy and versatile career teaching in Minnesota, California and for the Department of Defense in Okinawa, Japan.

She is a proud military wife, but says she plans to stay in Havelock and continue teaching there as her husband approaches retirement.

McLean says her goal for every lesson is to be fun, hands-on and engaging. In her classroom, she says she hopes her students “learn how to talk out their thinking and have mathematical discourse with their peers.” She says she always strives to help students learn math in a conceptual way.

The person who nominated Mrs. McLean wrote, “I would like to nominate my teammate, Merilee McLean. Many of us know first hand the long hours that teachers put in, but being Merilee’s teammate, I have an even closer look. Merilee strives each and every day to meet the needs of all her students.

Mrs. McLean does an amazing job sharing what the students are learning in class with their families. She teaches the importance of kindness and respect for others in order to build a positive and safe classroom environment. She often stays late into the evening or comes in on weekends just to make sure everything is “just right” while planning engaging, learning experiences for her students, such as medical math where students ‘operated’ on fractions and pulled power problems from trays of Orbeez!!! Once the code-red problems were solved, they returned to their individual and small group fraction work!

Mrs. McLean often thinks of her students and sends me random text messages and phone calls throughout our “time off” as she remembers or thinks of something she meant to share with me about one of our students that will allow us to better meet their needs. Mrs. McLean is quick to admit when she doesn’t understand something and is always willing to learn and try new things in the classroom so that she can make sure she is always on the front edge of educational initiatives.

Some people get to read about great teachers. Some people might even know a great teacher who makes profound impacts on the lives of children. I get to share students and 180+ days with a rockstar educator who is making a lasting, positive impact on the scholars at Roger Bell New Tech Academy!”

Congratulations, Mrs. McLean!

Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 gift card for school supplies.

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