As Teacher Advisor to Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, LaTanya Pattillo’s primary role is to serve as the voice of the practitioner in the Office of the Governor. LaTanya interacts with educators and other educational stakeholders to listen to their concerns, and to use their feedback to inform both policy and the priorities of the Governor. LaTanya’s experience includes impacting educational policy on a local, state, and national level.
LaTanya is a 2020-2020 William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations and a 2013-2014 Kenan Fellow with NC State University. She has been recognized as the 2015-2016 Columbus County Schools Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the Sandhills Region Teacher of the Year. Prior to her career in K-12 education, LaTanya served as Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at American University in Washington, DC. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Education from the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, DC.
What have you recently learned from a student?
How my behaviors as an educator impacted them as an adult. They appreciated me being open and non-judgmental while challenging them to think deeply about more than just the subject matter as they sought to find their place in the work.
What does great teaching mean to you?
Great teaching is about curiosity, engagement, skill development and relationship building. Great teaching is lifelong learning!
What has best prepared you for the role you have now?
Being a teacher, wife, and mother. Whew!
Which skill would you most like to master?
Negotiation and quilt-making. They both require patience.
What is your current state of mind?
I am practicing a lot of internal reflection.
What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?
Taking a lead in engaging in conversations around race and equity at a statewide level.
Who are your favorite writers?
Too many to name- Notzake Shange is one! Faith Ringold is my favorite children’s writer.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I have long patience and I work well with a diverse array of people.
Advice you would give to a young person interested in a profession in education?
It is not glamorous work or easy work, but it is RIGHTEOUS work!
Best piece of advice you try to pass along to students?
Learning happens in many ways, never stop.