UCPS names Teacher of Year for each of 53 schools
The National Teacher of the Year program has honored teachers for more than 50 years. The Council of Chief State School Officers sponsors the program.
Since 1970, North Carolina has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), along with its sponsors, administers the program at the state level.
The program honors teachers at the school, system, regional and statewide levels. After individuals are chosen to represent their respective schools as the Teacher of the Year, they advance to compete at the local system level. Once that selection has been made, district Teachers of the Year vie for one-of-eight North Carolina Regional Teacher of the Year honors.
According to the DPI, in the 40 years of the program in North Carolina, three state Teachers of the Year have become national winners. Four have become national finalists and one has been inducted into the National Teachers’ Hall of Fame. Fourteen North Carolina Teachers of the Year have taught at the elementary school level, eight at the middle or junior high school level and 21 at the high school level.
Jessica Garner, one of the most recent State Teachers of the Year, was from Union County Public Schools. Her husband is a teacher and coach in the school system.
Garner has been the only UCPS teacher to be named as the State Teacher of the Year in the system’s 19-year history. Other UCPS Teachers of the Year have joined her in being recognized as the Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year, most recently David Dahari from Marvin Ridge High School.
In the Union County Public Schools system, each of the system’s 53 schools select one teacher to represent their school as the Teacher of the Year. The school winners are celebrated at their school when they are named and then are recognized at the Annual Teacher of the Year banquet
see teachers/page c4
when the new UCPS Teacher of the Year is named in the spring of the year.
Each of the 53 school Teachers of the Year are invited to compete for the district title. The first step in the journey is the completion of a portfolio that includes seven essays.
The essays ask the teachers to share their beliefs with regards to community involvement, philosophy of teaching, educational issues and trends, the teaching profession, and the message they would convey if selected as the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
A five-person district committee individually reviews and scores the portfolios. The 20 teachers receiving the highest scores are named as semi-finalists. Each of the 20 semi-finalists is invited to participate in a formal interview with a second district committee that includes the current UCPS Teacher of the Year and the current UCPS Principal of the Year.
The 10 teachers with the highest combined scores from the portfolio and interview are recognized as finalists. A third district committee observes the 10 finalists teaching in their classroom.
The teacher with the highest combined score from the portfolio, interview and observation will be named as the 20th Union County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
• This article was written by Rob Jackson, Union County Public Schools Community Relations and Communications Liaison and provided courtesy of the UCPS Communications Office.
The 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year are:
Antioch Elementary School - Kathleen Anderson
Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts - Kimberly Harris
Central Academy of Technology & Arts - Kortney Kopchick
Cuthbertson High School - Todd Ebert
Cuthbertson Middle School - Stephanie Ferron
East Elementary School - Tramaine Davis
East Union Middle School - Francy Zolke
Fairview Elementary School - Judith Dawson
Forest Hills High School - Cassie Rorie
Hemby Bridge Elementary School - Rachel Varda
Indian Trail Elementary School - Thomas Hector
Kensington Elementary School - Kerri Sofsian
Marshville Elementary School - Todd Swackhamer
Marvin Elementary School - Miranda Thomas
Marvin Ridge High School - Kelley Cognac
Marvin Ridge Middle School - Joseph McCourt
Monroe High School - Katherine Latta
Monroe Middle School - Craig Retzlaff
New Salem Elementary School - Kelly Reigle
New Town Elementary School - Heather Maani
Parkwood High School - Christian Giudice
Parkwood Middle School - Mary Speight
Piedmont High School - James Stokes
Piedmont Middle School - Tracy Cress
Poplin Elementary School - Cheryl Tresher
Porter Ridge Elementary School - Bridget Burrows
Porter Ridge High School - Jennifer Yearick
Porter Ridge Middle School - Christie Bryant
Prospect Elementary School - Alisha McGinn
Rea View Elementary School - Tiffany Adcox
Rock Rest Elementary School - Alicia Moss
Rocky River Elementary School - Adam Haas
Sandy Ridge Elementary School - Erika Eichhorn
Sardis Elementary School - Diana Selzer
Shiloh Elementary School - Stephanie Kincaid
South Providence School - Jessica Sutton
Stallings Elementary School - Patrick Theiler
Sun Valley Elementary School - Julia Starnes
Sun Valley High School - Dana Baucom-Allen
Sun Valley Middle School - MaryJo Burd
Union County Early College - Tonya Adams
Union Elementary School - Karen Pipes
Unionville Elementary School - Ronald Hinson
Walter Bickett Education Center - Deborah Knick
Walter Bickett Elementary School - Tammy Ryan
Waxhaw Elementary School - Susan Green
Weddington Elementary School - Stacey Morgan
Weddington High School - Kristy Dilsworth
Weddington Middle School - Karen Vela
Wesley Chapel Elementary School - Amy Bilbao
Western Union Elementary School - Joshua Roskoskey
Wingate Elementary School - Stephen Vaughn
Wolfe School - Amanda Spacek