Education

Riverside ESL teacher is Durham's Teacher of the Year

Posted May 10, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— An English as a Second Language teacher at Riverside High School was named 2012 Teacher of the Year by Durham Public Schools during a banquet Thursday evening.

Alaina Burr has been a teacher for seven years and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in education from Greensboro College, according to a school system spokesman.

Burr was selected for the top honor out of four finalists – herself, Carrie Jacobsohn, Karen Lodata and Yolanda Reilly – by a committee of former teachers of the year.

She was awarded a $1,000 cash prize during a banquet at Washington Duke Inn. The other finalists received $500.

Burr said she is proud of the learning environment she has created for students.

"In my classroom, students no longer feel inhibited by their language abilities and take on leadership roles," she said in a news release. "As Durham Public Schools continues to embrace cultural diversity and global awareness, I recognize what an important asset these students are, and I strive to help them realize their potential."

Burr will now compete for Central Region Teacher of the Year.

12 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • OleNCNative May 11, 2012

    Easy on the eyes too.

  • westernwake1 May 11, 2012

    Congrats to Alaina Burr. Thank you for your service to our community and commitment to teaching.

  • Hans May 11, 2012

    "As far as making English speaking kids learn Spanish, don't all schools do that already?" - mileage v3.0

    No, they don't, but they really should - especially at an early age. It's good that your kids go to a school where they do.

  • Dan Cooper May 11, 2012

    So they've been in the US in an English speaking school since kindergarten and still need an ESL class in high school, right.

  • NiceNSmooth May 11, 2012

    If the students were born here (US citizens)they'd likely not need the class.

    WHAT??? So if your born to non-english or limited speaking parents and grow up in a community that mostly does not speak English... odds are your not going to speak much English when you get to school.

  • issymayake May 11, 2012

    Congratulations and well done!

  • Dan Cooper May 11, 2012

    If the students were born here (US citizens)they'd likely not need the class. Hey I'm sure they're good students and have a right to an education, just seems like a very PC choice. Do you have any idea how hard it must be to be a teacher in a DCPS, gangs, disrespect for authority, guns, violence! All the teachers who have to put up with that every day and still care enough to show up and make a difference shouldn't be ignored b/c they face more challenges daily than she.

  • NiceNSmooth May 11, 2012

    Truthfully that quote likely refers to the fact that there are many children of illegal immigrants in her classes and the schools have done nothing about it other than to have her teach English to them.

    and what are they supposed to do about it? one it is a school not INS two more than likely these children are US CITIZENS and therefore entitled to a wonderful education!!!!

  • dirkdiggler May 11, 2012

    "Truthfully that quote likely refers to the fact that there are many children of illegal immigrants in her classes and the schools have done nothing about it other than to have her teach English to them."

    What else would you suggest they do about it? As far as making English speaking kids learn Spanish, don't all schools do that already? Both my kids were exposed to Spanish lessons in pre-k, and have continued have Spanish classes in elementary school.

  • abbynork May 11, 2012

    But of course!

More...