Growing Our Own

What is Grow Our Own program education?

At NCCSC, we want to recruit and train teachers and staff, specifically targeting alumni within our Trojan community who are familiar with the values of our school system. As students graduate, we aim to prepare them for a rewarding full-circle return to the Corporation, empowering them to inspire and build the next generation, and help New Castle Schools #BuildBetterFutures.

We’ve interviewed these precious alumni, asking them to reflect upon their life, and why they chose to build relationships with New Castle Schools.

Vicki Madison, Secondary Instructional Coach

Vicki Madison, April 2023

What is your official title? And please shortly describe your daily job(s)!

I am a secondary instructional coach. I support our teachers and students. My goal is to continually improve instruction and impact student growth. I plan professional development, work to transition new teachers into our schools, and help teachers reflect on instruction and implement best practice strategies.  

How many years have you been serving? 

I have worked for NCCSC for 20 years.  I taught social studies, reading, and assisted with technology in the middle school. I served as an instructional coach for the last two years.

How did you end up working for NCCSC?

I lived in New Castle my entire life.  I am a proud graduate of NCHS.  My family lives here.  I wanted my own children to grow up here. I desired to give back to the community that had given so much to forming me as a person.   I wanted to teach middle school and a position in the NCMS social studies department opened three days before the start of school.  I was very fortunate to get to work with the wonderful staff in that building who guided me as I became a more experienced educator.  I would not be the educator I am without them.

What graduation track did you do (General, Core40, Technical honors, Academic honors)?  

I graduated in 1988. I do not believe there were different tracks to a diploma when I graduated from NCHS.  (But I was probably too concerned with finding a parking spot for my dinosaur at the time.)  

Favorite classes? Teachers?  Why?

I loved school.  I still do.  I love learning anything.  I consider it a privilege to be able to choose to learn.  I have always loved anything related to history and social studies.  I had some amazing teachers along the way.  But I became a teacher because of Shirley Carmony.  She was a fabulous teacher who never let her students stop growing.  No matter what her students achieved, she pushed them to set new goals.  I relished the challenge and wanted to be that inspiration for other students.

What was your hardest subject, and how did you get through it? 

Chemistry was my most challenging class.  God bless Mrs. Polk.  She was a great teacher.  I wish I could have spent another year studying chemistry so that I could have processed the concepts again.  I want to believe it would have made more sense a second time.  

What activities were you involved in during high school, and if you could go back, would you change anything?

I loved extracurricular activities.  I really enjoyed student council and National Honor Society.  Speech and debate changed my life.  But I probably personally benefited the most from marching band since I met my future husband there.

Describe life after high school.  College? Career? 

I am extremely blessed.  I attended Purdue University.  I loved every minute of life on that campus.  I  graduated in Secondary Education.  I married that wonderful guy I meet in band.   It was very difficult to get a teaching job when I graduated, so I worked in social services because I had worked in that field during the summers in college.  Then I had my own in-home daycare after my daughter and son were born.  I worked in a private school before being hired by NCCSC.  I am thankful that I had such varied experiences prior to being   employed by NCCSC.  They have given me the ability to see issues from different perspectives.

If you could give advice to a young high schooler, what would you say?

Allow yourself to explore as many extracurriculars as possible.  Get a summer job.  Job shadow several  careers.  Take some classes that challenge you.  Put your phone down and enjoy the life in front of you now.  Appreciate how beautiful you are as you are now.  Don’t listen to people who say you aren’t enough.  Don’t allow careless people have influence over your life.

What is something you are passionate about that you desire all students to understand?

Keep learning.   Know matter how old you are, you can always learn and grow.  Everyone makes mistakes, but allow yourself to learn and change afterward.  Forgive yourself and do the same for others.

What would you like our parents to understand/be mindful of?

Teenagers have never had an easy path to discerning what impacts their long-term success from what feels  gratifying in present.  As parents, we have to keep giving them meaningful experiences to see that our students can create a bright future by taking advantage of opportunities today. It’s worth the effort to be at school. It’s worth the effort to complete classwork because every small step propels them a little closer to the goal, and the goal it’s just graduating.  We want our students to have the confidence and skills to be able to take the opportunities that await them as citizens of this community.  We don’t want those opportunities to pass them by.

Anything else?  

I think I have had a large enough soap box for today.

What do you do for fun? Hobbies when not at work?

I look forward to seeing my grandkids when I am not at work.  They are the most amazing humans I have ever met.  (I like when their parents come with them as well.)  My husband and I enjoy taking trips on a motorcycle.  I love visiting anywhere that involves learning about history.