Local News

Orange Co. teacher is finalist for national honor

Posted January 14, 2009

— Cindi Rigsbee, an Orange County middle school reading teacher and North Carolina's Teacher of the Year for 2008-09, is one of four finalists for the prestigious 2009 National Teacher of the Year Award.

She teaches sixth- and seventh-grade reading at Gravelly Hill Middle School. The state named her as its teacher of the year in August.

“Being named a national finalist is a testament to the great things happening in Orange County Schools and the work being done by all of our teachers every day,” Rigsbee said. “I can’t express the immense gratitude that I feel to everyone in our schools and community. This honor is as much theirs as it is mine.”

Rigsbee began her career as a high school English and drama teacher in the Guilford County Schools. She has taught middle school language arts, reading, dance and drama in Vance, Wake and Durham Counties.

She joined the staff at Gravelly Hill Middle School in 2006.

“To be chosen as the best teacher in the state among over 95,000 other teachers is an enormous accomplishment, but to be named as one of the four best teachers in the nation is truly phenomenal,” Orange County Superintendent G. Patrick Rhodes said.

The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among nominees from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity. President Obama will recognize the winner and the state representatives in a ceremony at the end of the school year.


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  • giovanni777777 Jan 15, 2009

    Those that are truely great will never be recognized.

  • toot Jan 14, 2009

    Great lady here and a great role model to our kids at GHMS. Thanks for being an awesome teacher.

  • oldcorp Jan 14, 2009

    -- and she's HOT, too!!

  • blessed01 Jan 14, 2009


    Both of my daughters had some great teachers. My oldest has just become a 5th grade teacher. The youngest is in college and wants to teach as well. IT'S A HARD JOB!! But when you have the support of their parents and know that you are making a difference in some childrens lives, it is very rewarding.

  • DayumKrazy1 Jan 14, 2009

    Congrats to you Cindi, I hope you win!!!

    "I sure didn't have any teachers that looked like that when I was in 7th grade!!! can I go back?"

    I have to admit she is very attractive!!!

  • jaguar3 Jan 14, 2009

    What a beautiful honor to have bestowed on a person that our children are entrusted to every day. And how refreshing to read such a positive about this young lady instead of some of the negatives we've heard of other teachers and how they take liberties with young children. Keep up the good work Ms. Cindi and bring home the prize.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Jan 14, 2009

    I sure didn't have any teachers that looked like that when I was in 7th grade!!! can I go back?

  • stephnc Jan 14, 2009

    Good Luck Cindi.

    The story of the teacher who changed Cindi's life was on Good Morning America. What an inspiration all teachers are !!!

  • phoenixelon99 Jan 14, 2009

    GOOD JOB CINDI! I've known Cindi for several years, and have the good fortune to work with her a great deal through her work as a National Board Certified Teacher, and I must say, this honor couldn't go to a more wonderful person! :)

  • BlueSkys Jan 14, 2009

    She taught me in 7th grade...wonderful person.