Get to Know NCPS
Everyone has a story. This month we want to take the time to feature the stories of our staff, students, and the people behind our programs. We talked to some of our teachers, bus drivers, and community members about what drives and motivates them to contribute to our district every day. We are fortunate to have so many talented people serving our children and so many students ready to learn.
Teacher Interview - Diane Renck, Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School
Meet Mrs. Renck, a teacher at Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School (ECHS). Mrs. Renck has been with Nash County Public Schools for eight years and has been teaching for over 14 years.
Mrs. Renck is so passionate about teaching because she is a “life-long learner.” She shares that “the perfectionist” in me is not satisfied until every student has demonstrated mastery. So, I am constantly adapting and trying new approaches.” Since teaching is changing and constantly evolving, Mrs. Renck shares that she is “fortunate enough to work alongside many excellent educators who have inspired, encouraged, and influenced” her to be the teacher that she is today.
When asked to share about the Early College, Mrs. Renck says that their school “prides itself on smaller class sizes and high expectations for all scholars.” The ECHS teacher even says that many teachers and staff know the students by name. There is a strong sense of community and family at the school. The Early College High School is a very supportive school, full of helpful and supportive staff who want to see the success of all students.
Aarika Harris, School Counselor at Fairview Elementary
Aarika Harris, the school counselor at Fairview Elementary School, chose the career path because she always loved helping other people and working with children. A typical day for Mrs. Harris is never dull. She spends the majority of her day teaching a class called Guidance. Not only does she teach, but she also attends and facilitates a lot of meetings, and does car duty each morning and afternoon. Mrs. Harris enjoys seeing students first thing in the morning to welcome them to school.
Mrs. Harris was asked how being a school counselor at her grade level differs from other levels since Fairview Elementary is kindergarten through second grade. She responds by saying, “I think [it] is different because our kids are still getting used to being at school. We have a lot more separation anxiety than other grade levels.”
“I love our district elementary counselor meetings. I love getting together with other elementary counselors in Nash County,” states Mrs. Harris. She appreciates sharing and learning new ideas and the support she receives by others in Nash County Public Schools. “I love my school, my principal, and the culture and environment of Fairview.”
Patricia Week, School Counselor at GR Edwards Middle
Patricia Weeks, the school counselor at GR Edwards Middle School, entered the profession because of her desire to work with children. From working with them individually, to in a classroom, she loves the many different ways that she can help students. She believes this job definitely fits her personality.
“A typical day is never boring,” says Mrs. Weeks. She is constantly responding to the needs of her campus, which is ever-changing. One day she will be working with anxiety issues, and another day friendship issues, or grief. Mrs. Weeks states, “I feel like the mental health need has increased tremendously over the last few years. And so, we, school counselors, are spending a lot of time responding to those needs.”
Mrs. Weeks has been with Nash County Public Schools for twenty-five years. She has worked at Spring Hope Elementary for nine years and has been at her current school, GR Edwards Middle School, for sixteen years. She feels fortunate to work with such supportive staff and loves the people that she works with at Edwards Middle.
Nekita Avent, School Counselor at Southern Nash High School
Nekita Avent of Southern Nash High School, became a school counselor because she loved building relationships with her students when she was a music teacher. She found her students always felt comfortable with her. Mrs. Avent realized that was a gift and decided to further her education and become a school counselor. She now has twelve years of the profession under her belt.
A typical day for Mrs. Avent is very student-centered. She always does what she can to help students at Southern Nash High School in any way possible. “The joy is when I am with students,” says Mrs. Avent. She loves being at the high school level because “at this age level, students are able to discuss and describe their feelings more than elementary students.”
Mrs. Avent was asked what she likes about Nash County Public School and she says that she “loves the students we serve.” She also appreciates how the community comes together to support the schools. Being from the community herself, Mrs. Avent is really all about helping students.
One thing that Mrs. Avent wishes people knew about school counselors is that they are no longer called Guidance Counselors, that is an outdated term. School counselors are here to support teachers, administrators, and students. Mrs. Avent says that “we don’t just sit in an office and do therapy, it’s way more than that.” She is on the leadership team, the advisor of the Black Student Union at SNHS, and is part of so many other things that benefit the staff and students at SNHS.