Stories of Excellence–Crystal Byers

If you were to walk by the Younger Two’s room at American Child, Inc in Statesville, you might be surprised to see nine small toddlers sitting quietly, patiently and–most impressively–still on a rug while their teacher finds a book to read aloud. For Crystal Byers, this is perfectly normal.


Affectionally known as the “Child Whisperer,” Byers is the lead teacher in the Younger Two’s room. She delights in guiding and instructing young minds during this transitional and often difficult stage. Even when dealing with trying meltdowns, she always has a smile on her face or a gentle, encouraging word to offer. Under her care, the often-dreaded toilet training is a breeze. While she has long had a passion for early childhood education, she credits Mitchell for providing the instruction she needed to make her passion her career.


Byers’s higher education journey began in Computer Science. “Early Childhood chose me,” she joked. During a summer break, she took a part-time position at a daycare and never looked back. Knowing she needed to earn credentialing to advance in the field, Byers came to Mitchell because of the College’s convenient location. “Quickly, my reasons for staying and returning to Mitchell multiplied,” she noted. Even from her first day on campus, Byers noticed how much support was available to her. “There was always somebody there to help me. That stood out to me.”


As a student at Mitchell, Byers found a close-knit supportive community. “The teachers and staff of Mitchell are in my opinion some of the best educators, advisors and counselors in North Carolina,” she said. “I could feel their desire to see me succeed. If you need the extra help it’s there.” Through impromptu office visits, emails and Skype sessions to answer questions, offer advice, or clarify course requirements, Byers accessed the out-of-the-classroom support she needed to meet her goals.


The flexibility of courses offered was also an asset for Byers. Like many working adults, she required classes at non-traditional times. “Mitchell offers just the right combination of online, hybrid [both online and seated class] and on-campus classes to meet a working individual’s scheduling balance,” she noted. She encourages others to discover opportunities to further their careers and better their lives regardless of their current circumstances. “No matter where you are, take that first step,” she said. “There are people and resources at Mitchell to support you.”


Having earned her Early Childhood Education and Administration Certificates, Byers plans to continue her education, gaining credentialing needed to take on a director position at a daycare or preschool. Beyond the early childhood years, Byers aims to give back to her community through the E.P.I.C Works Organization she and a fellow youth advocate founded. E.P.I.C is a community-based organization whose purpose is to offer character building mentoring services and resources to individuals and families. Whether in the classroom or in the community, Byers’s character and advocacy are making a difference in lives. “I am so grateful to be able to play a small part in molding and changing lives for the better,” Byers said. “Education is everything. It is power. Education–whether at an early childhood center, at a college or university, or through a community program–is the most powerful way to change a life.” 


To learn more about Early Childhood Education at Mitchell, contact Dede Barr Dunst at (704) 978-5477 or Explore degrees, diploma and certificate programs Mitchell offers and find out how to apply. Gain a new skill or expand your career opportunities through our short-term Continuing Education programs. For additional support, speak to an advisor at (704) 978-5493 or