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May 6, 2013

ULM graduate named Teacher of the Year for Richland Parish

Darron Underwood, ULM alum and Rayville High School mathematics instructor, was named Teacher of the Year for Richland Parish.

“This achievement means a lot to me,” said Underwood. “Through the years, I have worked very hard at perfecting my practices as a teacher.”

Underwood began his studies at ULM in 1999, eventually earning a Bachelor of Business Administration.

In 2007, he returned to ULM for a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education before deciding to continue with his professional development.

On May 11, he will graduate once more with a Master of Education in Education Leadership.

During his undergraduate years, Underwood worked as a math tutor in the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center. 

“It was here I realized that I had a gift to teach math,” he said.

“Numbers have always been my thing since grade school… Amanda Carter and Dr. Faisal Kaleem are definitely two of my favorite ULM professors. Each had a style of presentation that was so thoroughly organized that I continue to use them in my class today.”

In addition to his current course load and teaching at Rayville High School, Underwood also serves as a teacher leader for the ULM TEACH project.

“The TEACH project is an alternative certification program designed to train those who have earned any bachelor’s degree in a content area outside the field of education to become teachers,” he said.

“My job is to pass on experiences that I have gained in the classroom to new teachers going through the program. As a mentor, I am able to provide the support that these teachers need.”

Over the next few years, Underwood hopes to incorporate even more technology and differentiated instruction strategies into his classrooms. 

To first-time-teachers, Underwood advises, “Be prepared to make mistakes the first year. Good teaching is an art form that eludes many. It takes constant analysis and reflection on your own systems and teaching practices to get better.”

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