News Releases

Three MISTERs in Large Graduating Class at Lander

April 29, 2015
Call Me Mister

Patrick Hawthorne, left, of Donalds, Marvaye Payton, of Greenwood, and Carlos Trotty, of Atlanta, are the first graduates of Lander University’s Call Me MISTER program.

Among the 325 students graduating this week from Lander University will be the first three graduates of Lander’s Call Me MISTER program.

The three are Carlos Trotty, of Atlanta, Marvaye Payton, of Greenwood, and Patrick Hawthorne, of Donalds.

The goal of Call Me MISTER, an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models, is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader, more diverse background, in hopes of improving the quality of instruction in the state’s lowest-performing schools. Students selected for the program agree to gain certification and teach a year in South Carolina public schools for every year they were in the program, which provides financial aid and academic support to participants.

Trotty, Payton and Hawthorne recently completed their student teaching and found it both rewarding and challenging.

The most difficult part of the experience for Trotty, who spent the semester working with Rose Baldwin at Westview Middle School, was changing attitudes that left something to be desired. “I’m understanding, because I know kids are going to be kids,” he said.

Student teaching reinforced his belief that it’s important to make learning fun. “When kids can relate to the lessons and they interest them, they tend to learn more,” he said.

Trotty, who hopes to land a job teaching middle school math, said he enjoyed forming relationships with the students, faculty and staff at Westview. He called it “a great experience.”

Payton, who worked with Juanetta Frazier at Lakeview Elementary School, said there was a big difference between assisting his mentor and taking over for her.

“Those four weeks were hard and required a lot from me mentally and physically,” he said. “I had to plan every math lesson, English language arts lesson, be time-conscious, be omnipresent and manage a classroom of 24 fifth-graders.”

Payton credited Lander’s Education Department and the Call Me MISTER program with preparing him “on many different levels. It was that preparation that allowed me to successfully transition from a preservice teacher into a successful student teacher.”

Hawthorne began as a business major. He switched to special education, with an elementary education add-on, as a result of his job at Burton Center, where, in his words, he “developed a passion for assisting consumers with special needs.”

 He said he “loved every second” of the student teaching he did in Kristin Gilbert’s self-contained, K-4 classroom at Ware Shoals Primary School. That doesn’t mean he found it easy.

 “The most challenging part of the experience was learning to accommodate 13 students with various academic levels,” he said. The experience served as a reminder that “patience is key.”

Hawthorne, who has accepted a job teaching special education at Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, hopes to eventually obtain both a master’s and doctoral degree. His immediate goal, however, is “to be an effective educator. I plan to reach as many students as I can.”

He thanked the Call Me MISTER program for putting him on the road to success.

“If it had not been for the help of the Call Me MISTER program, I wouldn’t have had the means to complete my degree here at Lander University. I am honored to be a MISTER,” he said.