Christy McCormick Arrowood - Class of 1998
Instructional Coach Science Education
Burke County Public Schools

As the daughter of educators, Christy McCormick Arrowood grew up understanding the importance of learning in the lives of individual students and in society. Today, she plays a vital role by fostering and promoting the successful implementation of science education in the schools of Burke County.

I am an instructional coach for Middle School and High School Science teachers, explains Christy. I have the opportunity to work with all the science teachers in the county as well as mentor teachers in their first three years. Her experience as a classroom teacher provided the necessary background and understanding that one must have in order to guide new teachers and to help implement new programs of instruction. Before becoming an instructional coach, I taught in the science departments at Freedom High and Patton High. I taught biology, earth science, chemistry, physical science, and AP Environmental Science. Having firsthand knowledge and experience in all of these areas of science instruction helps to provide the foundation needed in order to work with new teachers.

I love students and science. I became a teacher to make a difference in students by allowing them to explore and explain how the world works around them. Being a coach, I now get to inspire more students by working closely with teachers all over the district.

All careers have their challenges; instructional coaches have many schools to visit and many teachers to see. My greatest challenge is managing my time and figuring out my greatest need and the place I need to be. I want to coach and serve all of the teachers in Burke County. But the rewards of the job are many. I celebrate the struggles and successes alongside my teachers and their students.

Christy received a Bachelor of Science degree from UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry and then went on to earn a Masters in Teaching in secondary science, also from UNC-CH. She has also earned her national board certification.

My mentors include several people; each has shaped my teaching and my current role. My mom, Kathy McCormick, a retired Freedom High School biology teacher, taught me how to speak the language of science and picture what to expect to happen each class period. I was privileged to teach right beside her for four years at Freedom, and every day I could hear what phrases to use and how to engage my students. My dad, Jim McCormick, a retired East Burke High guidance counselor, taught me the importance of logistics and spreadsheets; these skills are imperative as a teacher as well as an instructional coach. Mrs. Robin Bias, art teacher at Patton High, my mentor as a beginning teacher and even today, helped me realize the love of teaching and the importance of working with people! I cannot forget several East Burke High and Heritage Middle School teachers. Ramona Barus, Jo Ball, Norma Rains, Mark Jolley, Lucille Bond, Jimmy Hipps, Jonathan Berry and too many more to count helped shape me as a student and as a teacher today.

Many of the experiences that we have in high school influence our later lives in unexpected ways. I was part of the marching band, tennis team, basketball team, and Science Olympiad team. I loved being part of the band, and today I still play French horn as part of the orchestra at Burkemont Baptist Church. My enjoyment of tennis inspired me to encourage my sons to get involved in sports, and they are part of the Morganton Tennis Team. These experiences helped to shape and inspire me to be the person I am today.

The emphasis on science education in todays world is greater than ever. In her job as instructional coach, Christy plays an important part in shaping the educational experience and consequently the lives of the next generation. I want to continue to strive for students to have the best science education possible!

Published January 2020

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