UCPS names Teacher of Year for each of 53 schools

Mar. 09, 2013 @ 04:26 PM

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

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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