Ever since Runda Alamour attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), she
knew she wanted to be an English teacher. And after being a student teacher at Roberson in 2015,
she knew this was where she wanted to call home.
Alamour graduated from Asheville High School in 2011, and although she was not always thinking about becoming a teacher, college opened her eyes to a career in education.
“When I did decide I wanted to go into education, there was no question that it would have to be
English and nothing else,” Alamour said.
She was hoping to teach at Asheville High School after college, but after she was placed at
Roberson for student teaching, she then moved into a long-term sub position covering for a teacher
on maternity leave. Alamour then went back to Asheville High for a year before returning to
Roberson when a new position opened up.
Alamour said through all the time here, she ended up loving the school, students, and staff and felt lucky to get a position teaching at Roberson this year.
Alamour said she had two influential role models in her life who pushed her to become a teacher.
The first being her middle school AIG and English teacher Colleen Vaughn.
“She just really was an incredible educator, a great mentor. She really influenced me in terms of
this is what a really great English teacher looks like,” Alamour said.
The other teacher who inspired Alamour to become a teacher was her high school creative writing and AP Language teacher Heidi Freeman.
“[Freeman] really challenged me more than ever before, and I really felt like English was hard and pushed me to a new level,” she said.
Fellow English teacher Andrew Devine said that Alamour has a huge heart for her students.
“She has a genuine concern for their wellbeing– concern for their academic success, concern for
them as human beings, for their future. And that comes through in everything she does in the
classroom,” Devine said.
Senior Abby Krueger is one of Alamour’s English students. She said that she loves how much
Alamour cares for all those around her.
“Although we work hard, she still gives us time to breath, and it’s not as stressful. She gets me in a zen mood, and she cares for us and all of her students,” Krueger said.
Beyond teaching, Alamour said she has many interests and talents. As a student teacher, she
helped identify resources and authors from literary traditions which were different from than the
standards that have been known for years.
“She has a huge wealth of experiences and interests,” Devine said.
Outside of the classroom, Alamour connects through her work in her community. When she was a senior at UNCA, she served as the State President of SNCAE (The Student North Carolina
Association of Educators) and used that title to organize conferences and other educational events
centered around anti-bullying and other topics.
Alamour was named the 2015 Newman Civic Fellow by the National Campus Compact Network
for her work in the community and her leadership. She was one of only three North Carolina students of 201 in the nation who received this award. She organized campus rallies and had several regional political figures, education leaders, artists and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year speak at the rallies to help build support for public education.
Giving back to the community is something that Alamour believes is her main passion outside of
teaching and is something she believes all people should do to help their community.
“I really think that community service is important. Volunteering, helping the community, being a resource to your friends and family and neighbors is really an important part of being a human being,” Alamour said.
According to Devine, Alamour’s community service is what defines her as a person.
“It’s a reflexion of who she is and having a dynamic range of interests and talents and being driven by service and compassion,” Devine said.
Junior Lili Diaz hopes that she could one day make an impact in her community like Alamour does.
“I know she spends a lot of time in her community and that’s really inspiring. Hopefully I can make more differences like she does,” Diaz said.
With her busy schedule as a teacher and her community work on the side, Alamour has little free
time. But when she does, she says she enjoys spending time and relaxing with her family.
“I love to watch ‘Criminal Minds’ on Netflix. I love to crochet and to bake, and I have a 1 year old
daughter. We like to play outside and chase the cat,” Alamour said.
Although she loves her job, Alamour explains that for her, she is always thinking about school
even when she is at home with her husband and daughter.
“Teaching is a unique career in that you have to love it 100 percent,” Alamour said. “I think my
personality though is just kind of nurturing. I always try to make a lesson out of things,” Alamour said.
Even though her job is time-consuming and tiring at times, Alamour says she loves it anyway. For her, teaching goes beyond walking into the classroom in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.
“It (my job) is definitely a part of my whole life — not just my school life. My school life and home life are not always separate,” Alamour said.
She said that seeing her students learn something new or finally understanding a new concept is
the reason she enjoys her job so much.
“I love being a teacher. I love coming to work everyday, seeing my students learn and be
interested,” Alamour said.