Belinda Marino ’10 works for Wilkes County Schools, teaching fifth grade at Mulberry Elementary School. She also is a coach for the Girls on the Run and Science Olympiad programs at the elementary.
She was named Wilkes County’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. When asked what she loves best about her career, Marino said that if she had to pick one, it would be the relationships she gets to build with students.
“Building relationships with students is an essential component of my personal teaching style,” Marino said. “Taking the time to build a personal relationship with each one of my students is extremely important to me. I want students to know how much I respect them as individuals and how much I care about their well-being.”
As a young girl, Marino knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“I had a wonderful experience in Appalachian’s elementary education program. All of the faculty I interacted with were very kind and attentive,” Marino said.
The opportunity to complete two internships in addition to student teaching were particularly beneficial.
“Being in different schools and in different grade levels for a year and a half allowed me to experience different grade level curriculums and different cultures within the schools,” she said of Appalachian’s approach to preparing teachers.