Congratulations BMS Teacher Mr. Woolridge

Congratulations BMS Teacher Mr. Woolridge
Posted on 01/22/2024
This is the image for the news article titled Congratulations BMS Teacher Mr. Woolridge[Brevard, NC] – The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR)
and Carolina K-12, a program at UNC-Chapel Hill, proudly announce the selection of the
inaugural America 250 NC Freedom Fellows. This unique, highly competitive professional
development initiative for K-12 educators is part of the state’s America 250 programming,
aligned with the national initiative, for marking the approaching 250th anniversary in 2026 of
the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Seventeen Fellows representing each region of North Carolina have been selected, including
Clay Wooldridge from Transylvania Co. Schools where he teaches 7th grade social studies at
Brevard Middle School.

“This fellowship will provide teachers with tools and resources to help students understand our
state’s unique and diverse history and the important role it played in the American Revolution,”
said Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
“Throughout 2024, we are focused on connecting our department’s educational resources to as
many North Carolina teachers and students as possible through our new initiative, Learning
Happens Here.”

In a thematic approach to history education, the America 250 Freedom Fellowship will broaden
its scope beyond just the years of the American Revolution, as Fellows study how inhabitants of
North Carolina throughout the last three centuries have interacted with the nation’s most
cherished ideal: freedom. Fellows will visit N.C. Historic Sites around the state and engage in
virtual learning throughout the six-month fellowship to deepen their historical scholarship and
enhance their teaching practices. This opportunity also aims to create a community of learning
where educators can network with other historians, scholars, cultural institutions, and authors
from around the state.

“I am honored to be selected amongst such an esteemed group of educators from around the
state. I thrive on collaborating with inspired and motivated teachers, and I know this experience
is going to make me a better educator and more helpful member of the learning community in
Western North Carolina.”

The Fellows will also play a pivotal role in advising NCDNCR on meeting the evolving needs of
K-12 students and teachers. Their insights will shape the implementation of North Carolina’s
America 250 initiative and its accompanying resources in classrooms statewide.

Christie Norris, Director of Carolina K-12 noted: “This program stands as a testament to the
commitment of NCDNCR and Carolina K-12 to our state’s talented teaching professionals. As we
approach this significant milestone in American history, this collaborative fellowship will foster a
deeper understanding of and interest in North Carolina's diverse history and will support
educators around the state in inspiring the next generation of engaged and informed leaders.”
For more information about the America 250 Freedom Fellows program and the NC America
250 Initiative, please visit

About NCDNCR: The North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is
dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the state's natural and cultural heritage.
Through a variety of programs and initiatives, NCDNCR enriches the lives of North Carolinians
and visitors by fostering an appreciation and understanding of the state's diverse history and

About Carolina K-12: Carolina K-12, affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, is committed to providing high-quality professional development opportunities for K-12
educators in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Through innovative and free programming
and curriculum, Carolina K-12 empowers educators to enhance their teaching skills, equipping
them to engage students in meaningful and inclusive explorations of humanities, history and
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