Welcome to the ACE Alumni Spotlight, where we highlight alumni members and share what they are up to.
This has been a special year in Morghan Hungerford’s teaching career because, in March, she was named Charles County Public Schools’ 2022 Teacher of the Year! She shares what inspired her to pursue two master’s degrees at ACE (an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership) and how she plans to use her Teacher of the Year status to continue to improve education for her students.
ACE: What’s your current job? Tell us a little about what you do.
Morghan Hungerford: I am currently a second-grade teacher for Charles County Public Schools in Maryland. I teach all major subject areas to elementary aged students at a Title 1 elementary school. I have also been the team leader for both the second and third grade teams. Throughout my career I have had the chance to work with a wide variety of learners, including gifted and talented groups, English for Speakers of Other Languages students and students with intellectual and physical disabilities. I have worked at the county level to develop curriculum to be used when teaching social studies county wide as well as at the state level to develop the second-grade framework for social studies instruction.
ACE: Congratulations on being named Teacher of the Year! Please share about that honor.
MH: It’s provided me with so many opportunities to work with teachers in my county as a spotlighted classroom and presenter at new teacher orientation and back to school in-service. During the next year, I will work with the other 23 state nominees to look at educational programs around the state and participate in policy conversations.
ACE: What is one of your favorite assignments you have given your students?
MH: My favorite assignment was an integrated activity across many content areas. Students got to learn about the history of a patent. They used their knowledge of the states of matter to design and develop a cooler that solved a problem in a story that we were reading. They had to create a budget and spend money to buy the materials to build their cooler. Watching their wonder as they combined their knowledge of so many content areas into one final task was awe inspiring.
ACE: How did you hear about ACE?
MH: I had a friend, who is also a teacher, post online that she had just completed her M.Ed. at ACE. I knew it was time for me to start my master’s, so I looked up the programs, found the one I wanted and applied the next day!
ACE: What made you decide to complete a second degree at ACE?
MH: I’m not what I want to be when I grow up. As a child I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and right now I am living that dream. However, I also know that I want to make a bigger impact beyond just my sole classroom and would like to work in education at a larger scale. But I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take to do that – curriculum and instruction development or administration? By completing a second degree at ACE, I was able to give myself additional choices when it comes to making my next career move. When I completed my first degree in curriculum and instruction, I loved how practical and real-world the classes were, how I could easily apply the learning in my career. I knew that when I wanted to complete another degree in education leadership, ACE was the only place I wanted to attend.
ACE: How has your ACE degree helped you in your career?
MH: So many ways! My degree in curriculum and instruction has provided me with the chance to write curriculum and frameworks at the state and county level. My second degree in educational leadership has given me the chance to take on an administrator role during the summers for the largest summer program in the county. I’ve also learned so many new ways to make my teaching engaging, which led to my being named Teacher of the Year. I hope to take on the role of assistant principal in the next few years.
ACE: How were you able to complete an online degree successfully? What tips would you share?
MH: ACE’s classes were all structured in the same way, which made developing and sticking to a routine possible and vital to my success. I always knew what to expect in terms of time management. It was hard sometimes, but the excitement I felt when I finished each of my programs made all of the work worth it!
ACE: Personally or professionally, what are you loving right now?
MH: Personally, I am loving traveling right now. After spending time close to home due to COVID, it has been great to get to explore other parts of our country and visit family from other places again! Professionally, I am always trying to find the next best books to put into my classroom library. Right now, I have over 3,000 books but love to find new books that I can use to create cross-curricular lessons with literacy integration.
ACE: Anything else you would like to share?
MH: I am a fourth-generation teacher and the third generation who has received an M.Ed. I am also hoping to start my Ed.D. program through ACE in the coming years to make myself the second generation (after my grandmother) to have a doctorate in education. I have loved both of my degree programs and am looking forward to continuing my education at ACE.
Being an American College of Education alumni has its perks. When you return as an alumni for another program, you can save up to $1,250 with our alumni Continuing Education Grant.