Meet Charmion Rush, a graduate of the Department of Reading Education and Special Education. Dr. Rush received her master’s degree in Special Education in 2003. After earning her graduate degree at Appalachian, she went on to pursue her Ph.D. in Special Education. Dr. Rush is now a professor at Western Carolina University. Her areas of interest include special education, teacher preparation, inclusion, attitudes and beliefs toward disproportionate representation, and the promotion of culture responsive pedagogy. She belongs to numerous professional organizations including Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the North Carolina Council for Exceptional Children.
A native of Norwood, North Carolina, a small town 50 miles east of Charlotte, Dr. Rush arrived at Appalachian with two bachelor degrees, one in Therapeutic Recreation and one in Special Education. She valued the emphasis that the Reich College of Education placed on teaching the individual and the belief that “special education goes beyond theory and methods, but involves knowing how to be a good teacher within. Student engagement should be individualized, purposeful, and meaningful.”
Dr. Peg Werts, a professor of Special Education in the Department of Reading Education and Special Education, was one of Dr. Rush’s instructors. “Charmion was part of our off-campus cohort in Winston-Salem. She worked full-time, while earning her master's degree. Working and going to school is no easy task, but Charmion always came prepared to learn and with a smile on her face. She was a true delight to teach and since being in our program she has moved on to earn her Ph.D. She is a great example to students, of what you can accomplish when chasing your dreams.”
Dr. Rush’s offers the following advice for future teachers, “Always minimize the disability of your students and maximize their abilities.” Across all disciplines this is important; to highlight the strengths of students, rather than their limitations.