Cary, N.C. — Jennifer Facciolini, a social studies teacher at Midway High School in Sampson County Schools, was named the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Wednesday evening at an awards ceremony in Cary.
Facciolini succeeds Jessica Garner, a Spanish teacher at Porter Ridge High School in Union County Schools.
State Superintendent June Atkinson said Facciolini is an example of the exceptional teachers leading public school classrooms across the state.
"Jennifer finds ways to make social studies relevant to her students so that they connect with the events and people and remember what they've learned," Atkinson said. "She understands that education is not about teaching, but students learning."
Facciolini has 11 years of teaching experience and has taught social studies for the last three at Midway High. She is a member of the Professional Educators of North Carolina and the Parent Teacher Association.
Facciolini mentors beginning teachers, supervises and mentors student teachers, chairs Midway High's School Improvement Team, chairs the school's Social Studies Department and participates in staff development presentations.
She has received a number of awards including Sampson County Schools' Teacher of the Year 2009-10, Midway High School Teacher of the Year 2009-10, Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award 2006 and was a Wake County Teacher of the Year semifinalist in 2006.
Facciolini completed her undergraduate studies at Meredith College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization and Secondary Social Studies Certification. She achieved National Board Certification in 2005.
The teacher of the year recognition program is sponsored by AT&T. The winner spends the school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession.
The teacher also receives a one-year leased vehicle, a one-time cash award of $7,500, the opportunity to travel abroad and a technology package valued at more than $17,000.
WRAL's Gerald Owens served as master of ceremonies at the awards ceremony, held at the Embassy Suites.
Additional information about the Teacher of the Year program is available at the state Department of Public Instruction website.