As Annie grew, so too did her love for dance and physical activity. She helped secure funding for her high school hip-hop team that was once in danger of being erased completely; and it was from that point on that Annie found her calling. She decided to study Physical Education Teacher Education as an undergraduate student and do her part to keep dance education in schools.

During her time as a master’s student at WVU Online, Annie was a student teacher at a high school in her home town of Kernersville, North Carolina. She chose WVU Online because it gave her the flexibility to teach dance in the area where she grew up, but also to come on campus during the summer and learn more hands-on teaching techniques. “I felt like I got a lot of hands on experience but I also built relationships with the instructors and that was really important to me. I didn’t just want to be a name or a number online, and I wasn’t.” Upon completing her master’s Annie decided to stay at WVU and earn her Ph.D. She was recently named West Virginia’s Dance Educator of the Year and credits her online professors for inspiring her. “The faculty at WVU Online are my family. They welcomed me with open arms and that is the reason I decided to stay. I wanted to give that same experience to other PETE students here.”