While a new building for the School of Education is underway and set to open this fall, alumni from the program are making strides in their careers and impacting the lives of their students.
In May, three graduates of the master's degree in elementary education program – Adrianne Staten, Jennifer Freeman and Jennifer Steele – were named Teachers of the Year at their respective schools in nearby Lexington, N.C. for their work during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Staten took the highest honor by being named the Teacher of the Year in 2012 for the entire Lexington City Schools district. She is a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Charles England Elementary School.
Freeman was named Teacher of the Year at Southwest Elementary School, and Steele was named Teacher of the Year at Pickett Elementary. Freeman was also recently honored as one of the School of Education's outstanding graduates, and she has been selected to participate in the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy next month.
The three competed with each other along with other teachers for district-wide recognition. Teachers of the Year are nominated by their peers after creating a portfolio. Each candidate is interviewed by a panel of judges including city council members, community residents, former educators and the 2010-11 Teacher of the Year.
Staten has been a teacher with Lexington City Schools since 1995. She began teaching at Southwest Elementary, where she taught kindergartners, second and third graders. She joined Charles England this school year to teach reading, writing and social studies to AIG students. With this being her first year at the school, Staten was honored to receive that recognition and to be selected at the district level.
"I felt that HPU helped me win this honor because after teaching 15 years, I had hit that 'wall,'" Staten says. "Participating in the classes and projects, as well as the passion and knowledge that the professors from HPU shared each week, renewed my own love and passion of teaching. It also awakened a love of literacy that I now share with my teachers."
"My students are the driving force in doing what I love to do every day – teach, coach, encourage, nurture and love," adds Steele. "I am honored I was selected by the wonderful team at Pickett Elementary."
In previous years, School of Education graduates, Tammie Abernethy, Jonathan Amos, Jessica Cundiff and Stacy Brady, have also received top recognition in their districts as school administrators, classroom teachers, and rookie teachers of the year. In 2011, Abernethy was named Randolph County Schools Principal of the Year, Amos was named the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Surry County Schools, and Cundiff received the Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year for Guilford County Schools. Brady was recognized in 2010 as the Guilford County Schools RookieTeacher of the Year.
School of Ed Alumni Honored with Teacher of the Year Awards
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