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.

Saturday Workshops

Saturday Workshop Choices:
Attendees will choose four workshops on Saturday.

SA. “Behavior Bag of Tricks”  - Gina M. Gold, K-12 MTSS Coordinator for Cleveland County Schools

Simple, preventative management strategies will be shared that are applicable at all grade levels and utilize the understanding of social emotional development. They include strategies for: Keeping the Brain in Mind, Focusing Attention, Setting Clear Expectations, Changing Brain State, Using Positive Incentives, Creating Moments of Movement, Allowing Time to Talk and Note Card Shortcuts. Participants will leave with a better sense of preventative strategies for behavior management and student engagement and will learn how they relate to social emotional development of students.

Behavior and Classroom Management                Audience: All

Gina Gold has 23 years of education experience, 13 of which have been in teacher support. Her work as an educator includes being an elementary classroom teacher, AIG teacher, and curriculum coordinator as well as a middle school technology facilitator, K-6 Title I Compliance Facilitator and she is currently the K-12 MTSS Coordinator for Cleveland County Schools.

SB.Understanding Mental Health and Wellness in School-Aged Children” – Yvetta Grier, Olivia Rubin, and Odessa Hancock, Andrea Thompson, Guilford County Schools Mental Health Student Services

This workshop will provide a brief overview of Understanding of Mental Health (MH) illness and wellness in school-aged children. The learning objectives of this workshop include Mental Health warning signs, commonly diagnosed MH illnesses in school-aged children, and the stages of crisis in the school setting. We will also discuss the ACES study, and resilience in students. We will introduce strategies to support students in crisis situations and/or have experienced trauma to encourage a safe and sustainable learning environment.

Focus: Mental Health Issues                Audience: All

Presenter: Yvetta Grier is an LCSW with extensive experience providing crisis intervention and working with children experiencing trauma and a variety of emotional/behavioral problems. She is presently Interim Director of Health Services for Guilford County Schools and a clinician in private practice. Past speaking experiences have been at the NASW and NCSSWA Conferences where she presented on multiple topics.
As a Mental Health Coordinator with Guilford County Schools, Olivia Rubin has many years of experience influencing social norms with at-risk youth, building and bridging healthy family relationships with professional expertise on the issues that this generation of students face in the 21st century. Odessa Hancock is a Mental Health Coordinator with Guilford County Schools, with a Master’s degree in Social Work. She has experience working in child welfare and clinical experience working with substance abuse and intensive in-home counseling with children and families.

SC. “EnVisioning a Brighter Future; Blasting Off with Braille!”  - Rise” Hatton, Lead Braillist

Let your fingers do the walking…and the dots do the talking!  Explore the world of reading and writing in braille with many hands-on activities. You will learn the basic alphabet and numerical code along with what technology is out there for visually impaired students.

Focus: Exceptional Children, Vision-impaired                Audience: All

Presenter: Rise’ Hatton has been the Lead Braillist for Onslow County Schools for three years. Prior to this position, Rise’ worked for sixteen years as a teacher assistant of the visually-impaired. She was a regular member of NCATA for sixteen years and has been an associate member for the past two years. In her local Onslow County Teacher Assistants Association, Rise’ held the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Rise’ also served as NCATA EHR representative for District 2 and was the NCATA Teacher Assistant of the Year in 2007.

SD. “EC Students are Our Futures Too!”  - Sandy Borders, EC Teacher

Description: The most challenging and important role of a teacher is to provide curriculum that results in preparing children to be successful in their world. An exceptional child is like any other child in the sense that he or she has different strengths and weaknesses in their learning ability. The very first step in successfully working with a child, exceptional or otherwise, is to discover out who they are as individuals.  In this workshop you will learn six very important insights about teaching the exceptional student.

Focus: Exceptional Children, Behavior, Classroom Management             Audience: All

Presenter: Sandy W. Borders, a Shelby, NC native, is an educator, parent liaison, and behavior modification specialist with over 20 years of experience in the educational field. Sandy holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Belmont Abbey College, and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Psychology. Her community service includes NCATA District 6 President and President of the Shelby Negro Woman’s Club, an organization dedicated to the empowerment and success of young women and communities. She serves as the Vacation Bible School Director at her church. She is also the creator of a program in her school system called “Girls with Class” whose mission is to encourage, equip and empower young girls to reach higher levels of success. She has committed her life to helping families find the thread that connects them to greater understanding. Sandy resides in Shelby with her husband, John Borders. They have two grown sons. When she is not busy teaching or speaking to and empowering youth, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren.

SE. “Readers Today – Leaders Tomorrow” – Christy Day McCall, National Board Certified Teacher

Description: Learning to read is essential for a child’s success. Many times, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read. Without proper guidance, they may never overcome them. Join me in this interactive session to learn how to break down those barriers and accommodate different learning styles. We will make reading exciting as we engage in fun, hands-on activities that will help students love to read and build a strong foundation for their future success. You will leave with a new motivation to encourage your young readers of today to be leaders of tomorrow.

Focus: Reading Strategies, Art, Small Group Instruction            Audience: Grades K-1

Presenter: Christy McCall is in her twenty-fourth year of teaching and has taught Kindergarten, first and second grades, and K-5 art. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of NC at Wilmington. She is a National Board Certified teacher. She is married with three children, three dogs, and three cats.

SF. “Leading from the Bottom Up: Vol.2: May the Force be in You, Not With You! – Asia Cunningham, Assistant Principal

Description: Do you have the Force? Join this session to ignite your passion so others feel the force within you! This is a motivational workshop to support Teacher Assistants in serving their students with mental health needs! Participants will experience real life situations to enhance their leadership when working with teachers, students and parents.     
“Truly wonderful is the mind of a child” ~Yoda.                           #ncataleadingfromthebottom

Focus: Mental Health Issues, Motivational                    Audience: All

Presenter: Asia L. Cunningham works as an Assistant Principal in the Durham Public Schools. She has received the following degrees: B.S - Criminal Justice 2007, MSED - Teacher Leadership 2009, Diploma in Statistics 2015, MSA- Master in School Administration 2017. Awards and recognitions: NCCU Eagle Excellence Award Recipient 2017m Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society 2016, Spectacular Women of the Year Education 2016, 2014 Durham Public School Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist, 2014 Pearsontown Elementary Teacher of the Year, and 2009 Pearsontown Elementary Teacher Assistant of the Year.

This workshop will only be offered twice on Saturday.

“Creating Positive Outcomes for Students with Autism” – Robin McGraw, Autism Society of NC Instructor

Objectives: 1) What parents wished educators knew about their child with ASD. 2) How can parents and educators work together toward a positive outcome for students? 3) Explore common challenges that students with ASD experience in the school setting.

Focus: Exceptional Children, Autism, Communication, Behaviors                       Audience: All

Presenter: Ro
bin K. McGraw joined the Autism Society of North Carolina as an Autism Resource Specialist after serving in the North Carolina Public Schools for 15 years. During this time, she was employed with Guilford County Schools, Randolph County Schools, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She served in the roles of EC Case Manager, Reading Specialist, OCS Teacher, EC Resource Teacher, and Itinerant EC Teacher. Robin is certified in K-12 Special Education – General and Adapted Curriculum, K-12 Reading and Middle Grades English Language Arts. She earned a master’s degree in Language and Literacy from Salem College and has additional graduate level training from UNCGreensboro and Elon University. She is the proud mother of two adult children, Hayley and Evan. Hayley is a former Special Education Teacher and currently teaching Elementary Dance. Evan has autism and is a 2016 cum laude high school graduate. He is employed at a restaurant and A Special Blend, a coffee shop employing people with disabilities.

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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