This week, Wayne County Public Schools held a Celebration of Excellence at Lane Tree Conference Center to present its top staff awards.
Eastern Wayne High Allied Health Sciences Teacher, Amy Smith, was recognized as this year’s WCPS CTE Teacher of the Year.
“She adds rigor by making several of the classes ‘honors’ through the portfolio process while remaining a life-long learner to further motivate her students,” states John Waters, EWH principal. “Students in her classes earn several industry-recognized credentials in the Health Sciences pathways. Many of these students become CTE concentrators and continue in healthcare pathways after high school.”
Wayne School of Technical Arts counselor, Christa Coates, was recognized as this year’s WCPS School Counselor of the Year.
“Mrs. Coates demonstrates dedication to her students, school staff and fellow school counselors through leadership at the school and district levels to ensure positive change for students in her school building and across the entire district,” states Jamie Livengood, WCPS Student & Family Support Coordinator. “She is helpful, hard working, compassionate, and a cohesive member of the new Wayne School of Technical Arts and is a leader among her colleagues.”
Northeast Elementary media coordinator, Stacy Hersey, was recognized as this year’s WCPS Media Coordinator of the Year.
“Mrs. Hersey has worked tirelessly to diversify her media collection with current, relevant, high-interest books that appeal to her student population. She has collaborated closely with teachers to provide resources and instructional support that meet individual learner needs. She has shared a multitude of technology resources and training opportunities that have enhanced core instruction,” states Robert Yancey, Executive Director of Accountability/Technology Support Services and Program Evaluation.
The 32 school-level Teachers of the Year, with each receiving a special plaque from interim superintendent, Dr. Michael Priddy. Wayne School of Engineering English Language Arts Teacher & Teacher Cadet Instructor, Laura J. Taylor, was named the 2023-2024 WCPS Teacher of the Year.
“I am very fortunate to have access to a teacher leader,” states Dr. Gary Hales, Wayne School of Engineering principal. Mrs. Taylor is one I can rely on for advice and guidance, give honest opinions, has a wealth of knowledge, and is simply a natural leader. There is no one better to advance innovative programs and teaching methods. She is making an impact on local policies and programs and epitomizes excellence in teaching.”
Carver Elementary assistant principal, Linda Brown-Rouse, was named the 2023-2024 WCPS Assistant Principal of the Year.
“I depend on my assistant principal daily. She has a positive relationship with our students, staff and parents,” states Karla Smith, Carver Elementary principal. “With a middle school background, Mrs. Brown-Rouse has brought a strong command for discipline and high expectations for all students.”
Wayne School of Engineering principal, Dr. Gary Hales, was named the 2023-2024 WCPS Principal of the Year.
“This principal believes in continuous improvement and the power of professional learning communities, “states Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, WCPS Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Professional Development. “Teachers meet daily to lesson tune, to plan, to analyze data, to reflect, and for professional development. This principal takes pride in knowing his students and parents by name and in the relationships he has built, both past and present.”
The district’s Teacher of the Year and the Principal of the Year are part of state and national awards programs. The CTE Teacher of the Year is part of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) CTE Teacher of the Year program. The WCPS Assistant Principal of the Year, School Counselor of the Year and Media Coordinator of the Year are district-level awards programs which represent WCPS locally. Each program has its own nomination and selection process. For the Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year, and Principal of the Year programs, a district-level selection committee will interview each candidate to determine the district finalists. A follow-up interview of each finalist will then help determine who is named the “of the Year” for that program. The WCPS Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher of the Year, and Principal of the Year will move on to a regional competition, which is the next stage in their respective state-level competitions.