Teacher ‘Lights the Way’ for students

Published 11:31 pm Saturday, May 17, 2008

By Staff
Taylor receives Lighthouse Award in Lands’ End national survey
Staff Writer
Mary Carter Taylor is “Lighting the Way” for her students at John Small Elementary School by way of a program she conducted recently at the school.
Taylor received one of the 45 Lighthouse Awards from Lands’ End, which sponsored an essay contest — Teachers Light the Way — by way of its Web site. A parent of one of Taylor’s students submitted an essay about Taylor’s use of the Wright Flight program to teach her students about aviation. About 5,000 essays were submitted. Taylor’s award is one of the 41 honorable-mention awards. Four teachers were named grand-prize winners.
The Wright Flight is an important educational component of her regular curriculum she uses to teach students about the history of aviation in the United States, Taylor said.
The essay contest called for essays up to 500 words about a current teacher who touches the lives of his or her students, according to Mary Di Brita with Circle Public Relations. Amy Alligood, who submitted the essay about Taylor, wrote that Taylor’s 22 students were the only students in Beaufort County to participate in the program. The essay caught the attention of the awards panel, which decided to award Taylor one of 45 Lighthouse Awards, Di Brita said.
As part of the Wright Flight Program, students had to set and meet goals, pass tests and participate on a weekly basis, according to Taylor.
Taylor said she always wanted to be a teacher and that volunteering for the program was in honor of her father, a fighter pilot and veteran of World War II.
The program motivated students to improve their grades and served as an effective incentive, Taylor said.
After completing all requirements, meeting all goals and passing all tests, students were accompanied by their parents and Taylor to Washington’s Warren Field Airport. There, students went through a short training session, a preflight check and then went flying with area pilots.
Alligood’s essay noted that Taylor flew, too.
Tate said Taylor works well with students and makes learning fun.