Vester receives NCC teaching award
From Contributed Reports
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Nash Community College Computer Information Technologies instructor Amy Vester has been selected as the college’s 2019 J. Edgar and Peggie T. Moore Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.
Excellence in Teaching Award nominees are full-time faculty members chosen annually through a peer and student evaluation process. A well-defined set of criteria is used to identify and reward quality teaching. The award recipient is selected through secret ballot by the full-time faculty, and represents the best in community college instruction.
“As community college educators, we often talk about being in the business of changing lives. When I reflect on my years as an instructor, I cannot help but acknowledge that one of the lives that has been changed the most is my own. My work with students over the years has fundamentally shaped me into the person I am today,” Vester said.
Vester earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from N.C. Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University. She completed a Computer Network Professional graduate certificate at East Carolina University and holds Microsoft Technology Associate certifications in Software Development in C#, Introduction to Programming using Java, and Database Fundamentals. Vester is certified in IC3 Digital Literacy and as a Microsoft Office Specialist.
Vester began working in the N.C. Community College System at Haywood Community College in 2001 where she served as computer information technology instructor and distance learning coordinator. She has been employed at Nash Community College since 2007.
Attributing her success in the classroom to the lessons her students have taught her, Vester recalls students over the years who encouraged her. Early in her career a student said, “Mrs. Vester, don’t ever bring your notes again. You did much better without them.” The student's words gave her confidence and made an impact in shaping Vester’s teaching style into a more organic approach.
“Another student who helped shape me was a middle-aged mother of three who had never been employed outside the home and was in the process of making major life changes,” Vester said. “She and her children had to move into a homeless shelter — and despite her circumstances, she never missed class," Vester said. "She progressed quickly through her degree program and went on to complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees before beginning what became a successful career. The courage she exhibited inspired me to be braver both inside and outside of the classroom.”
In recognition of this honorable distinction, Vester will receive a cash award made available through the generous support of Ed and Peggie Moore of Rocky Mount.
“I am humbled to receive this recognition. My students have pushed me to continue to perfect my craft while keeping up with my rapidly changing discipline,” she said. “Even after all these years, I am still surprised by the confidence my students and peers have in me. I can only hope that they continue to learn as much from me as I have learned from them.”
A Nash County native, Vester lives in the Sandy Cross community with her husband and four children.