Teach For America Spotlight
Sponsor A Teacher Program
Bethany Darnley
Garinger High School

Each year Champions for Education sponsors a teacher through Teach For America Charlotte’s “Sponsor a Teacher” program. This year, the teacher is Bethany Darnley. Bethany teaches Freshman Earth and Environmental Science at Garinger High School. She attended college at Virginia Tech University where she studied Human Development and Biochemistry.

A call to serve others has always been a part of Bethany’s life. Her mother, a speech pathologist serves as an inspiration for Bethany every day. Bethany comments, “I hope to make even a fraction of the impact she has made in her students’ lives.” Bethany’s father just so happens to be a meteorologist, which comes in handy when you teach Earth and Environmental Science. During Bethany’s weather unit, her students Skyped with her father to get all of their most difficult weather-related questions answered.

Bethany not only creates powerful opportunities for her students in the classroom; she partners with local businesses to support students at Garinger. Last year, Bethany received the Social Innovation Award , which gave her a platform to launch her own non-profit, The Ultreia Foundation. She locates local businesses wanting
to become more involved in the community and figures out how best that business
can serve students through providing mentors, internships, speakers, tours,
exposure to various careers.



Bethany knows there is no choice but to think outside the box. She has seen too many freshmen students drop out before getting to sophomore year; keeping things the same just won’t cut it. Bethany has raised her standards; she not only expects her students to get to sophomore year, she expects them to excel by taking honors courses and succeeding in them. Bethany sees her students’ talent and grit and loves to see their perspectives change from “I can’t” to “I’m going to figure it out.”



Ultreia is a Latin phrase meaning “Always Further, Always Higher.” This is what Bethany strives for every day within her classroom. The sky is the limit for Bethany and her students at Garinger.



Giving Back

Did You Know?

  • Teach For America partners with CMS to provide teaching candidates for schools serving Charlotte's highest-need students. In the 2014-2015 school year, corps members taught in 37 high-poverty schools in Charlotte Mecklenburg and in KIPP Academy in Charlotte. In the schools where they work, at least 72% of students qualify for free-and reduced price lunch.
  • According to UNC Chapel Hill’s annual teacher preparation study, Teach For America teachers are among the most effective early career teachers in the state.
  • Over the past three years, the number of Teach For America alumni has increased from 225 to 364. Of that number, 244 are in the field of education and 150 are still teaching.