In 2023, the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education bestowed the prestigious Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Preparation Award upon Misty Hathcock. This accolade was a well-deserved recognition of her remarkable journey, as Hathcock, an alumna of multiple degrees, has emerged as a prominent figure in the field of education. With a rich history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she currently serves as the director of alumni engagement and the N.C. New Teacher Support Program within the Cato College of Education.
Hathcock’s story is an inspiring one, having mentored an impressive total of 320 elementary education student teachers during her tenure at the university. Her personal involvement and guidance have resulted in the nomination and supervision of multiple recipients of the NCACTE Student Teacher of the Year award. Her influence extends far beyond the confines of the university campus.
Diana Lys, assistant dean for educator preparation and accreditation at UNC Chapel Hill and NCACTE board president, had this to say about Hathcock: “While she may be best known for her impact on teacher candidates at UNC Charlotte, her expertise and experience as a coach and mentor situate her as a leader in North Carolina. When I think of the success N.C. New Teacher Support has achieved in the Charlotte region, I think of Dr. Hathcock. She is an educational force.”
In addition to the Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Preparation Award, Hathcock has also received the Bonnie Cone Lifetime Achievement Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association, and the Southeast Counselor of the Year by Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. Her dedication to public service in education was further acknowledged with the Public Service Award from the Southwest Education Alliance.
Hathcock’s journey at UNC Charlotte began in 1998, when she became the first full-time director of the Teaching Fellows program. Her impact on teacher preparation reaches across the entire state, as she has consistently provided support to countless educators across multiple school districts.
As Diana Lys aptly put it, “North Carolina needs more comprehensively prepared, caring, and committed teachers than ever before. We can only have amazing teachers when we have committed, caring, and innovative teacher educators like Dr. Hathcock, who instruct, coach, mentor, and collaborate with teachers at all stages of their careers. This work is critical to the future well-being of North Carolina, its children, schools, and economy, and Dr. Hathcock has been at the forefront.” Misty Hathcock’s contributions are an invaluable asset to the educational landscape of North Carolina, impacting not only the present but also the future of the state.