The North Carolina
Association of Teacher Assistants



The North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants promotes
the important role of teacher assistants in the public schools,
provides professional training opportunities, and works to
improve salaries and employment security.

Members benefit from

* invaluable PEER NETWORKING





* opportunities for RECOGNITION and AWARDS.

Friday Workshops

You will pick four (4) when you register.

Workshop Code: F1-101
Title: Zones of Regulation 
Presenters:  David Alston, Behavior Support Specialist
Co-Presenter: Rebecca Andrews, Behavior Support Specialist
Category: Exceptional Children, Behavior/Discipline
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description:This workshop will detail the zones of regulation that students can utilize to self-regulate and manage their feelings which will assistance in behavior incidents. As always, this workshop will implement laughter, motivation and participation in order to experience the fullness of the workshop.

Bio: Educator since 1996 working with exceptional children in Warren, Vance, Wake and Granville Counties, David Alston is a Behavioral Specialists and a member of the EC Behavior Team. Working with behaviorally challenged youth. A past presenter at NCATA conferences Mr. Alston brings over 20 years of experience and a passion for motivating others to achieve every possible goal imaginable.

Workshop Code:  F1-102
Fishing In The Deep Blue Sea!
Presenter:  Diana Washington-Collins
Category: Classroom Management, Brain Breaks, Motivational/Inspirational
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description: This session is designed to inspire Teacher Assistants to participate regularly in personal and emotional wellness checks to ensure they are providing the best care and instructions possible for each student they encounter.

Bio: Diana Y. Washington-Collins is a native of Lumberton, NC and is the mother of one adult son, Trey. She is also an International Recording Artist and loves all things music!

Ms. Washington is currently employed as a School Counselor with Bladen County Schools assigned to Elizabethtown Middle School in Elizabethtown, Prior to this opportunity, Ms. Washington was a sworn Juvenile Court Counselor in (then) Judicial District 16-B, which was Robeson County, NC at the time.

Diana earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from UNC-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Liberty University. She initially studied at Capella University for a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services with a concentration in Counseling. Ms. Washington has completed coursework for a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Christian Ministry at Grand Canyon University and began her dissertation in January. Ms. Washington is a proud member of several civic and professional organizations, inclusive of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC, The Order of the Eastern Star, and the N.C. Association of Teacher Assistants!

Workshop Code:  F1-103
Title: Real Talk with a Principal: How Big Are Your Waves And Oceans? 
Presenter:  Dia Collins-Thomas, Principal 
Category: Inspirational/Motivational
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description: Think about the waves you are making at your school.  How are you impacting the learning that goes on in your classroom?  Are your waves big enough that your principal notices your hard work and dedication?  Think about your oceans of opportunity.  What makes your ocean one of the best oceans to visit?  Come learn how to be the best instructional assistant you can be and how to help your principal be the best they can be!

Bio: Dia Collins Thomas has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics from Elon University, a Masters Degree in Education from Fayetteville State University, a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership Studies from Gardner-Webb University, and currently enrolled in their Doctoral program for Educational Leadership. She taught high school mathematics for 12 years and then became a mathematics instructional coach for 2.5 years. The last two years of her career was as an assistant principal and now she is serving as a principal in Bladen County. She is passionate about education and enjoys presenting at conferences where she can motivate others to be the best educators they can be.

Workshop Code:  F1-104
Title: Ships Ahoy!  Sailing Into New Ideas! 
Presenters:  Celeste Lennon, Middle Grades Social Studies Teacher, & India Russell, Middle Grades ELA Teacher
Category: Motivational/Inspirational
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description: Ships Ahoy! Sailing Into New Ideas is a workshop for teacher assistants to get motivated and inspired to continue to do their best to help children in the classroom.  In this workshop, educators will learn tips and strategies to help their teachers and students in class!

Bio: Celeste Lennon Celeste M. Lennon was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.Her father eventually retired in Bladen County where she completed her studies at Bladenboro High School and herundergraduate degree at Fayetteville State University.Celeste has over fifteen years of experience in education.She is currently a teacher at East Arcadia School whereshe teaches social studies. She was selected as Teacher of the Year for Bladen County in 2013. She is President for Bladen County Association of Educators. Celeste also has a degree in administration and plans to become a principal one day.

Bio: India Russell was born in Nuremburg, Germany. She completed her degree at Fayetteville State University. She has two boys 6 and 7. She teachers English Language Arts at Pine Forest Middle.

Workshop Code:  F1-105
Title: Teacher Assistant's: Helping ALL Students!
Presenters:  Ashley Radford, Ec Director, & Dr. Paula Coates, Executive Director of Federal Programs
Category: Exceptional Children
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description: During this session, participants will learn how their role can make the biggest impact within the exceptional children’s classroom. In addition to learning how to make the biggest difference in the classroom, participants will have a great time learning acronyms and interacting with common language often used among educators.

Bio: Ashley Radford has served as an Educator, Administrator, and Director in Johnston County Public Schools. Ashley has a passion for working with students and educators to help all students grow.

Bio: Dr. Paula Coates has served as an Educator, Administrator and Executive Director in Johnston County Public Schools. Her passion for student success is contagious.

Workshop Code:  F1-106
S.C.A.N.M.E. (Students Creating A New Method of Evaluation)
Presenter:  Carolyn Kay
Category: Exceptional Children, AIG, Dyslexia, Math, Science, Reading, Social Studies
Target Audience: All Grade Levels

Description: While the focus on individualized learning pathways is gaining momentum across school districts, educators need ways to engage students, differentiate instruction, and collect evidence of mastery of skills and objectives. While S.C.A.N.M.E. was created to offer alternative methods for demonstrating mastery in the Special Education classroom, the tools work well with all learners. Participants in this workshop will gain access to valuable tools that will allow their students to ride the wave of personalized learning.

Bio: Carolyn Kay has a Bachelor of Science Degree in University Studies, Pedagogy and Disabilities from East Carolina University. She spent 14 years as a Teacher Assistant with Johnston County Public Schools, working in an EC Preschool classroom, Kindergarten through Second grades in regular education, the Cross-Categorical Self-Contained classroom, and the Autistic Self-Contained classroom. She currently is a sixth grade inclusion math and language arts teacher at Swift Creek Middle School in Johnston County.

Workshop Code:  F1-107
Empowering Teacher Assistants with Classroom Management Skills!
Presenter:  Cynthia Clayton, EC SBS Teacher
Category: Classroom Management
Target Audience: Middle and High School

Description: A teacher assistant needs to know what is expected of them on the very first day of school by their teacher, they should know the teacher's classroom management style as well as their instructional skills. The TA must have some knowledge of classroom management, if not they must be willing to learn from the teacher in order for the classroom to run smoothly and effectively.  It's been my experience that some teachers do not place value in their teacher assistants but it is crucial that the teacher and the teacher assistant have a positive rapport in order to support the learning environment.

Bio: Cynthia Clayton has a Bachelors of Arts in Criminology from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She worked as a Correctional Officer in Men's Maximum Security and was the first female to supervise a housing unit in South Eastern Michigan. Upon retiring she moved with her family to Charlotte NC and became a teacher with exceptional children. She has taught SBS (Specialized Behavior Support) in middle school, and now works as a high school teacher at Lincoln Heights Academy, the most restrictive environment in CMS. She works closely with at-risk youth in the community. she is the mother of three sons, and a proud grandmother. Her presentation will focus on empowering Teacher Assistants to support student's future success and to help them become productive citizens.

North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants
PO Box 334
Welcome, NC 27374
Phone Toll Free: 1.800.979.2077
Fax: 1.800.979.2077

For issues on this website, please email Melinda Zarate, Communications Director.  (

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