news-category: Graduate programs

GWU College of Education Doctoral Candidate Nominated by Students for Golden Apple Award

stacy fuentes leads her class in a fun review exercise

Stacy Fuentes, ‘22, Recognized for Fun Teaching Methods and Listening Ear

A doctoral candidate in the Gardner-Webb University College of Education was recently recognized by her students for making complicated lessons fun and being available to listen. Stacy Fuentes, a high school teacher in Union County, S.C., received the Golden Apple Award presented by WYFF News 4 and Ingles.

Each week, an area teacher is chosen to receive the award and at the end of the year, a Teacher of the Year is selected from the weekly winners. The Teacher of the Year receives a gift card from Ingles.

Fuentes has completed course work for the GWU Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI) and is taking an Add-On Licensure for School Administration while working on her dissertation. She hopes to graduate in May 2022. Her dissertation topic is on female leadership in education, specifically the discrepancy in the number of female superintendents in South Carolina.

Fuentes energizes her classroom with twinkling lights and colors. Her students practice and learn material through games. For example, she divides the class into teams, and they play a basketball game for comprehension and review. “We call it trash ball. Each team writes the formula and names it. If they are correct, one member of the team shoots the basket (a trash can),” Fuentes explained. “If they make the basket, their team is given a review question, something we learned in a previous unit, to answer. If the team answers the review question correctly, then the team gets a point. It’s simultaneously practicing new skills, getting them up and moving, and reviewing previously taught content—organized chaos at its finest.”

Her students nominated her for more reasons than her engaging teaching methods. They said she is easy to talk to and is always there for them. This is the second time she has won a Golden Apple Award; the first one came in 2002. “I am thrilled to have won,” Fuentes said. “Thrilled because I was nominated by students. I do what I do because of my students and for them to notice and respond with a nomination is very rewarding. It is affirmation for me that my efforts are not going unnoticed by those who I work so hard to teach. Also, I know there are lots of nominations, and it feels good to be chosen from among so many deserving nominees.”

Fuentes’ 22-year career in teaching was not planned. Her goal after earning her biology degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia was to become a doctor. One day, her husband told her about an opening for a science teacher. She investigated the position and requirements, and on a whim, took the job. In 1998, she was certified to teach through a special critical needs program. She stayed in the classroom, because she liked helping the students. She earned her Master’s in Teaching in 2008 from Southern Wesleyan in Central, S.C.

She entered the Gardner-Webb program because she wants to inspire other teachers. The administrative add-on program gives her a unique perspective, a way to view everyday events at school through a clearer lens. In the EDCI program, she has gained knowledge in a variety of areas and is confident in her ability as an instructional leader. “I have learned about instructional leadership and how to build capacity in my colleagues,” Fuentes noted. “I have learned how to utilize my strengths to accomplish goals, and I have learned how to be mindful of the strengths of others and delegate responsibilities based on those strengths to create a desired outcome. I have learned how to recognize best practices and how to show others what best practices look like. I can develop curriculum, evaluate programs, lead (groups) and create an action plan.”

See the story on Stacy Fuentes’ award.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

Previous News Article

Community Invited to Attend Gardner-Webb’s Annual Festival of Lights Celebration

Next News Article

GWU Students Travel to Cataloochee Valley to Study Behavior of Elk

Related News

  • News Article

    Members of Gardner-Webb’s Concert Choir Ready for Trip and D-Day Observance

    GWU is the Only N.C. College Invited to Perform in 80th Anniversary Concert in Abbaye-aux-Hommes BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb Department of Music started making plans last year for its trip to France to perform during the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Soon, the many hours of practice and preparation will be rewarded as 16 students and […]

  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Computer Science Major Andrew Cook, ’24, Enjoys a Challenge

    Exploring Software Engineering Prepares Students for Digital Landscape BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Computer science 2024 alumnus Andrew Cook enrolled at Gardner-Webb University, because he is passionate about the evolving nature of technology and the impact it has on society. He also knew the quality of the program, because his brother and father graduated from GWU with degrees […]

    computer code
  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Remembers Lives of Fallen Service Members During Memorial Day Observance on May 24

    Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Whitaker Relates Story of Sacrifice BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University faculty and staff, along with members of the community, gathered in front of Hamrick Hall on May 24 to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives serving their country. In his speech, retired U.S. Air Force Master […]

    The audience listens to the speaker for memorial day