WCPS Celebrates Excellence in Education Through District Awards

WCPS Celebrates Excellence in Education Through District Awards

On Thursday evening, Wayne County Public Schools held a “Celebration of Excellence” at Walnut Creek Country Club to present its top staff awards.

As part of the opening comments, outgoing 2023-2024 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Jones, gave words of thanks and congratulations to all of the award recipients.

Rosewood High School Marketing Teacher, Carol Brewington was recognized as this year’s WCPS CTE Teacher of the Year.

“This teacher always advocates for her field and the classes she teaches,” states Kenneth Angel, RHS principal.  “Thirty-six out of thirty-nine students in the fall earned a credential in their designated area. Furthermore, forty-six out of fifty-two students were proficient in their proof of learning from the fall semester as well.  She also is the advisor for our DECA club and led the district team to a first-place finish this year at the Wayne County Fair’s Career and Technical Student Organization  booth competition.”

Eastern Wayne High media coordinator, Heath Radford, was recognized as this year’s WCPS Media Coordinator of the Year.

“Mr. Radford has consistently demonstrated his commitment to enhancing the Eastern Wayne High School’s library media program,” states Robert Yancey, Executive Director of Accountability/Technology Support Services and Program Evaluation. “His efforts ensure that the library is not just a place for books but a vibrant hub of learning and innovation. This year alone, he has collaborated extensively with various departments to utilize the media center as a dynamic space for student engagement and growth.”

Rosewood Middle School counselor, Kathryn Filion, was recognized as this year’s WCPS School Counselor of the Year.

“Ms. Filion 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 Ken Derksen, Executive Director for Community Engagement and Student & Family Support. “She is helpful, hardworking, compassionate, and a cohesive member of Rosewood Middle School and is a leader amongst her colleagues.”

Thirty-three school-level Teachers of the Year were recognized, with each receiving a special plaque from WCPS Superintendent Dr. Marc Whichard. Norwayne Middle School English Language Arts/Social Studies teacher, Stephanie Davis, was named the 2024-2025 WCPS Teacher of the Year. As part of the recognition, she received a local $1,000 award.

“Ms. Davis is full of enthusiasm for teaching and learning for all,” states Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, WCPS Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Professional Development. “She believes that learning is primarily a direct result of the relationship a student has with the teacher and the classroom and that students learn when they respect the teacher and believe that the teacher cares about them. Her philosophy is simple, ‘Teach the child not merely the curriculum’.”

Spring Creek High assistant principal, Randall Meisenhelder, was named the 2024-2025 WCPS Assistant Principal of the Year. As part of the recognition, he received a local $500 award.

“Mr. Meisenhelder believes teachers want to improve and students want to learn,” states Anita Martin, WCPS Beginning Teacher Coordinator. “His philosophy of leadership is based on two concepts: adaptability and servant leadership. He constantly adapts his understanding and capabilities to meet the needs of the staff, students, and community. On servant leadership, he believes that true leadership goes beyond merely being in charge; it is about taking care of those in our charge.

Wayne Early/Middle College High School principal, Dr. Freda Allen, was named the 2024-2025 WCPS Principal of the Year.  As part of the recognition, she received a local $1,000 award.

“Dr. Allen is an advocate for students and teachers,” states Beyanka Lewis, WCPS Beginning Teacher Coordinator.

She believes that principals should have a deep understanding of school culture and address challenges with innovation and determination. Additionally, Dr. Allen believes that her strength as an educational leader comes from her desire to always do what’s in the best interest of students; being accessible, approachable, visible and intentional about building relationships with stakeholders.”

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.