Wayne County Public Schools recently recognized its 2020-2021 Beginning Teacher of the Year, the 2020-2021 Instructional Assistant of the Year, and the 2020-2021 Career & Technical Education Middle School and High School Teacher of the Year.
Instructional Assistant of the Year
This year, WCPS held a virtual celebration to honor its school-level Instructional Assistants of the Year. As a part of the celebration, WCPS named Lori Huston, from Northeast Elementary, the 2020-2021 Instructional Assistant of the Year. On Tuesday, May 4, WCPS will hold a special in-person recognition event at Northeast Elementary to present Ms. Huston with a plaque sponsored by the Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce and a special gift from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Huston has served as an Instructional Assistant at Northeast Elementary for over a decade. As part of her nomination submission, she shared that she sees herself as an integral part of an educator team.
“I am able to meet certain needs of a child in ways that the classroom teacher is unable to,” states Ms. Huston. “I provide one-on-one help so a child does not fall through cracks, missing important skills that build on each other. I administer medicine so as not to interrupt the learning for the rest of the class. I skillfully provide interventions and progress monitoring so that data points are collected and a child’s education needs are met. I anticipate the needs of my teacher or my team, and try to help make their loads a little bit lighter.”
Beginning Teacher of the Year
This year, the WCPS Human Resources Department held a virtual celebration to honor 84 third-year teachers who recently completed the WCPS Beginning Teacher Program. As a part of its celebration, WCPS also recognized 24 school-level Beginning Teachers the Year and named Reynard “Wes” Boyd, a mathematics teacher from Spring Creek Middle, the 2020-2021 Beginning Teacher of the Year. On Friday, April 30, WCPS held a special in-person recognition event at Spring Creek Middle to present Mr. Boyd with a plaque sponsored by the Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce and a special gift from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.
As part of his nomination submission, Mr. Boyd highlighted his desire to make lessons engaging and hands-on in order to help his students be successful.
“My approach to class is so unpredictable that students don’t know what to expect thus bringing an element of excitement every day,” states Mr. Boyd. “It is important to always be thinking how the students would approach it or understand it. Because of this, I am constantly using manipulatives like Skittles, M&M’s, Oreos, marshmallows, cereal, snack mix, and cookies. Math can’t just be about more steps and procedures. I place great emphasis on creative and exciting student-led activities.”
Career & Technical Education (CTE) Teachers of the Year
The WCPS Career & Technical Education Department recently recognized its 2020-2021 Middle/High School Teachers of the Year by surprising them at their schools with the announcement. Maya Fulton, a Technology/Project Lead The Way teacher at Wayne School of Engineering, was named the 2020-2021 Middle School CTE Teacher of the Year. Matthew Radford, a Business Education teacher at Charles B. Aycock High, was named the High School CTE Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Fulton has seven years teaching experience and shared as part of her nomination submission that she “ignites her students’ interest in STEM by creating learning opportunities that are challenging, meaningful, and relevant.” and she “believes that teachers must embrace change, encourage innovation, and foster creativity, not just in their students, but in themselves.”
Mr. Radford has six years of teaching experience. As part of Mr. Radford’s nomination submission, his principal shared that Mr. Radford teaches several classes in which his students earn Microsoft credentials recognized by business and industry. He has also helped develop an honors portfolio used by other business teachers across the district.
“As a principal, it excites me to know there are young, enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate teachers in this profession such as Mr. Matthew Radford,” states John Bell, principal. “Mr. Radford builds relationships with his students which have a powerful effect on student success, and he is a positive role model inside and outside the classroom.”
Upcoming “Of the Year” celebrations
On Thursday, May 6, at 4 PM, the WCPS 2021 Assistant Principal of the Year, Principal of the Year, and Teacher of the Year will be named at a special virtual celebration. The event can be watched online at the district’s WCPS Live Youtube channel, accessible via the district’s website http://www.waynecountyschools.org/. It can also be watched on Channel 18 on Spectrum Cable. In addition to the “Of the Year” celebrations and activities, all of this year’s “Of the Years” will be recognized during a special spotlight at the June 7 Wayne County Board of Education meeting.
Videos of the Beginning Teacher of the Year Celebration and Instructional Assistant of the Year Celebrations can be viewed at http://www.waynecountyschools.org/.