Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.
Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of articles, we will highlight our 2022 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.
2022 Extraordinary Educator: DeElle Underdue
DeElle Underdue started teaching at Northwood Elementary IB World School in August 2014. She keeps coming back with the knowledge that she has the ability to impact the lives of her students, families, and colleagues daily. She is on a personal mission to get students excited about learning and loving their school community.
Susan Steen, the principal of Northwood Elementary School, says Ms.Underdue is “respected by her colleagues, and her students and parents love her.” “Her kindergarten classroom is a calm, nurturing learning environment.”
According to Steen, parents “feel peace” knowing their students are being taught by Ms. Underdue.
Ms.Underdue wants her students to know that “they can always count on me and that I am always proud of them, whether they have conquered something big or small.”
She goes on to express her “strong interest in” her students “being ‘Caring’ human beings”.
Q: What inspired you to become an educator?
A: I entered the profession because I was eager to make a difference in the life of a child from the early stages of life. I also had wonderful early childhood educators who instilled in me the desire to be nurturing, fun, articulate, smart, and gentle. I still communicate with these educators and it keeps me ignited about what I do and the relationships I am building today that I too can look back on in the future.
Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?
A: My teaching and leadership style is typically focused, strategic, innovative, and collaborative. These qualities help improve learning outcomes, but also help build community, encourage inclusivity, and create a culture of continuous improvement for self, colleagues, and students. I am able to demonstrate these in my classroom environment, PLC grade level planning, and serving as a mentor to new teachers in the field.
Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?
A: My classroom motto is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. I have this motto because I understand the social-emotional pressures that are placed on such young students as well as their families in this new transition of being Kindergarteners.
Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?
A: The best part about every day is seeing students arrive with happiness to simply be at school. The ability and desire to develop, along with my colleagues, creative and engaging instructional experiences for all students. I am on a personal mission to get students excited about learning and implement strategies to instill confidence in their academic ability.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?
A: One memorable moment is when my Kindergarten students participated in a service-learning project. We incorporated our iB planner that focused on “How the World Works.” In this planner, we learned and made connections about plants and farms. My students grew a better understanding of farms and the benefits of crops and animals. We chose to make a donation through Heifer International. Heifer International is a development organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training.
In setting our goal on the 100th day of Kindergarten we hoped to raise $100.00 by February 11, 2022. On Valentine’s Day, we discovered that we raised a total of $218.00. In raising $218.00 we were able to purchase farm animals for a family in need in another country through the Heifer International organization. We were able to purchase a pig, sheep, flock of chickens, and some honeybees. This was such a fun project to do with the kids and especially on a day of “CARING”.
Q: Is there any other information you would like us to share with the community?
A: I challenge others to be involved with schools in their communities. Find opportunities to volunteer, make donations, and be involved with the educational journey of our future leaders.
Ms.Underdue is just one of High Point’s 2022 Extraordinary Educators. Tune in for the next few weeks to hear more stories and inspiring moments from our local teachers!
Thank you so much to DeElle Underdue for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2022 Extraordinary Educator!
Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff