Raleigh, N.C. — An algebra teacher at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh was named 2012 Wake County Teacher of the Year at a banquet Thursday night.
Lauren Brooks, who will represent Wake County in the statewide Teacher of the Year competition, was chosen among 12 finalists for the award.
Superintendent Tony Tata said Brooks, who has taught at Enloe for four years, connects with her students and is passionate about teaching.
"We know that algebra can introduce some challenging new concepts to students, and Ms. Brooks has developed unique ways to work with students to ensure they all reach a point of understanding," Tata said.
Brooks said her reason for teaching is simple: she loves to watch students learn.
"I love having that lightbulb moment where they just get it," she said. "It just opens a whole new world of understanding for them that they never had before."
Brooks said she is proud to be known as an "activity teacher" who uses a wide variety of discovery learning techniques to help students achieve
"I sang, danced, chanted, took field trips and overused technology until I had the students' attention," she said. "No one said that learning math had to be boring or hard."
She was given a $1,000 prize and $2,500 toward participation in the Center for International Understanding's June 2013 Study Program to India, among other gifts, a school system spokeswoman said.
The other finalists were:
- Kristél Behrend, a music teacher at Lake Myra Elementary School
- Ellie Bentler, a music teacher at Reedy Creek Elementary School
- Molly Bostic, a science teacher at Heritage High School
- Lauren Brooks, a math teacher at Enloe Magnet High School
- Meher Daruwalla, a special programs teacher at Fuller Magnet Elementary School
- Wanda Harte, a kindergarten teacher at Ballentine Elementary School
- Betsy Lane, a third grade teacher at Hodge Road Elementary School
- Kristin McCormick, a drama teacher at Cary High School
- Brandon Mize, a third grade teacher at Salem Elementary School
- Helen Pettiford, a biology teacher at Sanderson High School
- Charlotte Roberts, a fourth grade teacher at Jeffreys Grove Elementary School
- Stuart Vickery, who teaches severely disabled students at Martin Magnet Middle School