NC Teacher of the Year
The Department of Public Instruction is announcing the 2020 Burrough Wellcome NC Teacher of the Year. Tap
Good afternoon from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Welcome to the 2020 Burroughs Welcome Fund, North Carolina Teacher of the Year Naming ceremony. I'm Sonja Brown, education program director, and I lead the Recognition and Advancement section, which is part of the unit known as district and regional support. I am delighted to be your host today. Today's ceremony is like none other. We started the planning process for this special day back when these finalists, we're just competing in their districts. They made it through that process, and they came out winners in their perspective regions. When we first met them back in January for their state interviews, I had no idea that we would have to postpone the ceremony two times before we could finally get to this day cold. It 19 happened and started pumping the brakes on our planning and subsequently prevented family, friends and colleagues from attending a full in house ceremony. We went from planning toe have 140 attendees to 65 attendees because we thought we could come out of face to Well, we did, and now we're down to having a group of 25 on the outside. What a roller coaster ride it Waas. But we were determined to offer the finalists the same pump and circumstance ceremony that was supposed to occur back in April. This ceremony is being live string via YouTube. So family, friends and colleagues and watch these finalists being celebrated today for their outstanding achievement as a teacher in North Carolina. Many other participants on the program could not be here with us physically because about numbers, but we have made it possible for these finalists to be able to hear from them virtually as we move through the program. Al ago Today is to not Onley name North Carolina's 51st teacher of the year, but to also establish another branch in the network of advocacy that happens in North Carolina. But teachers and the teaching profession. Seated in front of May are the nine finalists that formed the 2020 Burroughs. Welcome fun, North Carolina Teacher of the Year cohort. Individually, they are great, but together they have proven to be superheroes. Please give the North Carolina Teacher of the Year cohort a hand. At this time. I'm delighted to bring up the director of District and regional support Dr Cynthia Martin, and she would like to formally bring you greetings and welcome you to this ceremony. Good afternoon. It is such a pleasure to be with you today to celebrate and recognize our distinguished teachers of the year. The regional education facilitators, also known as the Riffs led by Dr Sonja Brown, reviewed 100 and 40 district and charter applications and portfolios, plan interviews and schedule site visits in order to get us to this amazing event today. Jeffrey, Kathy, Rhonda, Tina, Laura, Monica, Carol and Amy also known as the Ref. They could not all be here with us today, but I want to acknowledge the great service they provide to the program into the department. Dr. Brown, this event is a testament to district and regional supports, commitment to celebrate, and educators thank you for your leadership. If you thumb through your program, you will see the names of all the teachers in the state that participated in our process. Nair, in the field from the local to district to regional level, is a very complex task. Selecting one person to represent the entire state is even isn't even more complex. I would like to recognize the four individuals who had to do just that. Our state selection committee. While they could not be here with us today, we want to thank them for their service. Miss Patricia Fouls, retired assistant superintendent of Randolph County schools. Dr Rebecca Garland, retired deputy state superintendent from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Henry Panky, authored and retired principal from Derm Public Schools. And Bill Miller, retired superintendent from Pope County Schools to our Teacher of the Year finalists. We have work to develop a network to support teachers. Each of you will play a critical row and supporting the approximately 100,000 teachers in our state. The Teacher of the Year program is no longer just about crowning a winner but creating a well connected communication loop that uplift the profession you are building on a legacy. Each year, the T. O. Y is expected to advance the program like at least the guy wouldn't did in 2017 when advocating for the whole child like Freebird McKinney did in 2018 and strengthening relationships with key constituents like Mariah Moore's in 2019 and leading teachers through this unprecedented time of coded 19 and creating volumes of resource to help support them. Today we honor them. Finally, I would like to welcome and thank all of the supportive principals, superintendents, families and school families, hopefully logging in today. At this time, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Mr Alan Duncan, the co chairman of the State Board of Education, to bring you greetings on behalf of the State Board. Good afternoon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We cannot express our thanks enough to the great work. Our educators, too, were extraordinarily appreciative of you. And we count our blessings for what you do for our Children every day. You don't always feels appreciate you should, but we want you to, and you are appreciated by lots of people are a whole lot. So I want you to feel the love that so many people have The educators in North Carolina. We so much appreciate the path you've chosen and the difference you're making. I frequently think back. And for me, this is well over 50 years ago and I could still name every teacher I had first through sixth grade in elementary school. And I can still tell you about the impact everyone I'm had on my life, and it was not the same for each of them. But you are making an impactful difference in ways that you will not even begin to be able to measure until as you go forward. And people come up to you constantly saying you did this for my child or you did this for May. Uh, the gifts you are setting out truly represent a legacy for a long, long time. And we're so grateful to you for the legacy that each of you are creating a legacy of excellence. As we honor you today, I'm pleased to be here on behalf the North Carolina State Board of Education to provide our greetings. I know every member of the state board would agree that it has been our pleasure to work with 2019 North Carolina Teacher of the Year Mariah Morse, as well as the 2018 North Carolina Teacher of the year, Freebird McKinney, who have been advisers to our board they provided, are bored with invaluable insights and guidance from their own experience that has helped inform our discussions about education policy and practices. They help us not to screw it up. That's found in the script, but that's what they do, and I know you encourage them in their efforts in that regard. Um, they're smart, they're committed, they're talented, they're energetic and they're professionals. And they represent the highest caliber of North Carolina's teaching professionals. They're thoughtful and importantly, their candid. They don't hold back. We're incredibly fortunate and blessed to have them as advisers to the board, and they have truly made a difference. The board's vision is for every public school students to access to equitable resource is and rigor that will graduate, ready for post secondary education work, prepared to be globally engaged and productive citizens. That is an achievable goal. We should not just say it we should as a state living one of our key goals to achieve that vision focuses squarely on educational professionals and professionals in our classroom. Simply stated, we know that every student every day must have an excellent teacher, teachers who are caring and aren't we learning that right now the social emotional losses that our students are suffering from teachers who are innovative and certainly we're learning that now, too, about how we're going to reach our students with innovation, teachers who are leaders among their colleagues and in their schools. Teachers like you. We're seated here today. And as I look at you, I also want to say I'm sorry that your families and colleagues cannot be here with you today if they hopefully or watching live stream. But we're so proud of the people before us and we were so thankful for the support of their colleagues and family. And so a shout out to each of you for all you've done to bring these people here before we recognize that this vision will not become reality without the nearly 100,000 public school teachers across North Carolina who worked tirelessly and made countless sacrifices for the benefit of our students, the nine teachers here we were celebrating today represent the kind of teachers we'd all like for our own Children. These nine teachers holder students, the high expectations, but make sure that students have the support to reach each and every one of them. They take risk to improve teaching and learning. They love learning themselves, which their students cannot help but notice to the finalists your role models for your students in your peers. Congratulations to each of you. This happens to be my favorite time during the ceremony because right now every one of you it feels like you may be the winner of Teacher of the Year for state North Carolina. And the reason I like this time is every one of you is a winner for the state. North Carolina, everyone, you cannot be praised enough. You just can't. So while only one educator today will earn the title of the 2020 Burroughs welcome Teacher of the Year, please know that the State Board of Education appreciates and applauds all of today's honorees, as well as all educators in North Carolina who worked so hard to give students to knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed. We can't wait to see what this cohort accomplishes. Thank you so much. He follows directions. Well, there are so many well wishers that wanted to be here today. They have sent their support in many ways. So next on our program, you will hear from Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, and Dan Forest, the lieutenant governor of North Carolina. Each year they provide a message of inspiration to all of our finalists. Please watch the special videos from the governor and the lieutenant governor, followed by another inspirational moment from the district and regional support assistant director Alessandro Montanari, who was also a member of this Teacher of the Year ceremony committee. Hi, everybody. I'm Governor Roy Cooper. I'm excited to congratulate our nine regional teachers of the year. Today we find out who will be North Carolina's Teacher of the Year, and I didn't have to make that choice as all of you would be fantastic. What an honor to be recognized by your peers who see you in action and who know what kind of impact you make in our schools. Today's winner will have some big shoes to fill. I want to thank 2019 Teacher of the Year Mariah Morris for your commitment, leadership and service to our state. And thanks to Burroughs, welcome fun and the team at DP I who made this celebration possible. My mom was a teacher, and I know how much hard work and innovation goes into your jobs in the best of times, but you've been great even in the middle of a pandemic. So let's all lift up your hard work, your professionalism, your expertise and your voices. As we begin to tackle this new school year, that will be different in many ways. But with teachers like you are, students will get the best. Congratulations again. And thanks for all you do. Good luck. Good afternoon, everyone. This is Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. I'm grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today. This past school year was as unique as they come, and I want to thank you for all of the work you did to provide remote learning for your students. Today, though, is a celebration of all of your accomplishments and the culmination of years of hard work and recognizing the outstanding educator you are. For North Carolina. We have here past teachers of the year principles of the year, education professionals, public officials and business and nonprofit leaders who helps support our students and our teachers. Perhaps most importantly, we have our teacher of the year candidates. The finalists for the 2020 Burroughs welcome fun Teacher of the Year have distinguished themselves as the very best that North Carolina has to offer. They put entire list hours of planning and work. They've been classroom innovators, and they've delivered high quality instruction to our students. We're honored to get to call them North Carolina educators to today's candidates, regardless of who is ultimately chosen his teacher of the year. You should know that you are valued and appreciated and that we thank you for your contributions to educating our youth. Your work is noticed to the person who will be the 2020 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. You have big shoes to fill. I'm confident, however, that you will be successful and bring a fresh perspective to decisions being made at the state level. Once again, my sincere thanks goes to the Burroughs welcome Fund and all of our generous sponsors who have made this day possible. God bless each of you and enjoy this joyous occasion. Good afternoon, everyone said, by the way, Dr Brown never told me I was coming after the governor and the lieutenant governor. It's a little nerve wrecking right now. Um, it's for those who don't know me. I'm Alessandro Montanari. I'm the assistant director of District and regional support about just give you a little story here about a year and 1/2 ago. In 2018 when the 18 19 school year was starting, I was actually asked to give a keynote at a conference in South Carolina. And if you know anything, that was happening in the beginning of the 18 19 school year, Hurricane Florence had just hit and we had several school districts throughout the coast that were impacted by the hurricane. And I actually remember saying, And during that keynote address, talking about, um, how are students and families were suffering down the coast? Cause of all the damage in the schools that were being shut down because of damage. And it was gonna be the toughest beginning of school year ever. Yes, I clearly was not expecting 2020 right? Um, I think more than any other year this year has shown us tremendously that you matter, right? I mean, the teaching profession is so important. I mean, if you don't believe me, ask any parent that has had to do remote learning or distance learning the past four or five months, I have two little ones at home, you matter. Okay, um it's crazy to me cause teachers matter each and every day. And, um, you all all nine of you have earned the label of irreplaceable if you don't know what that means. There's a wonderful study by TNT P called the irreplaceable right? Each one of you is an irreplaceable teacher. Each one of you matters in the classroom. Each one of you matters for your schools. Each one of you matters for your community, for your districts, right for your parents, right each and every one of you matters. So I ask you now, more than ever because of the fact that you're clearly shape lives to keep on using that teacher voice that you all have. There's no better example of that than what Mariah Morris has done this past year. She is outstanding. Another applause for her police. We need you to use your teacher voice to raise respect for the profession and un an Please talk about the inequities that exists. Unfortunately, in our schools in our society, right again, teachers matter. Every single day. It's to give you quick, short story about myself. For those who don't know me. In 2003 I entered the classroom for the first time. It's been 18 years since that day. And I can tell you I was lateral entry. I entered an F high school in Miami Dade public schools, and I barely knew what a lesson plan Waas So I can share with you some highs and lows of my teaching career. But it's been 18 years since, and I wake up every single morning with the same passion, the same desire every single day. And Dr Martin, my director, knows it well. My passion is constantly I want to reduce the variance that exists in quality education because it should not matter what zip code you're born in. Quality instruction is quality instruction, and every child deserves the same. So when my favorite quotes and life has always been by Jules Verne, uh, he his quote is nothing in life is ever impossible. Improbable, maybe, but not impossible, Right? As you now enter this next stage, don't forget that. Please keep on aiming high. Please keep on trying to overcome the next obstacle and break that next brick wall. Right? You are a voice. You're a voice for some exceptional teachers in each of your regions. Use that today is only a small step in that direction. It is an honor for all of us, a. D p i. To be here with you. It truly is, and we thank you. Our sponsors are tremendous partners who make this day possible. Their support to our program is invaluable. I would like to recognize their contributions. The Burroughs Welcome Fund, our flagship sponsor, provides the financial service or support to enable us to hold this event and to recognize the state top classroom educators. We think Burroughs welcome fund for the gracious sponsorship particular Ali at this gorgeous event. Go global. North Carolina is committed to empowering North Carolina leaders with the skills, understanding, connections and knowledge to succeed in a global community and awards the state winner with an endowment, which includes the opportunity to travel and learn about education abroad. Lenovo is the world's number one provider of educational technology and graciously joined us during the interviews back in January to give each of our regional winners a state of the art mobile device and a few other goodies for their personal and professional use. North Carolina state athletics, who are huge supporters of public education, will be providing our regional finalists with opportunities to be recognized and network with the Wolfpack this year. No kid hungry. North Carolina is a teacher of the year sponsor as well. They could not be here with us today, but they have found a way to harness the passion of our Teacher of the Year cohorts to help craft a message that recognize this access to meals as an equity issue. The No kid hungry North Carolina campaign, an initiative of the national non profit share our strength, was started by Governor Beverly Perdue in 2011 and became a program also at UNC Chapel Hill in 2014. The program works with the Department of Public Instruction, local school systems and community partners to increase access to federally assistant meals for Children who need them at school after school. And in the summer months since March 15 when our schools closed due to cold it 19 the no king hungry North Carolina team has been working vigorously to support the many ways that kids have been getting meals at home, in the neighborhoods and at schools. And thanks to the dedication of hundreds of school nutrition, staff and school and community leaders and volunteers, I am pleased to announce that no Kid 100 North Carolina is awarding all nine regional gift cards from Amazon for $250 each to be used. However, they like please know that this is their way to say thank you for all you do for Children in our state Automotive L. L C could not be with us today as well, but I would like to recognize the Winston Salem dealership for donating a one year lease on a new Honda to our teacher of the Year as they complete their second year of service to the state. The State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction also supports our program with financial incentives, a professional seminar at in cat participation at national and local conferences and events and a full time one year ambassadorship. But education as a North Carolina teacher on loan, without their dedication, we could not have such a strong presence among educators across our great state. Please welcome some of our sponsors to the podium to introduce themselves and briefly share more about their organization's involvement in the Teacher of the Year program. We will start with Blue Muglia, president of the Berle's welcome fund, followed by the sponsors as listed in the program. Thank you, Dr Brown. Dear colleagues and friends. I still very much appreciate being included in today's activities and the Teacher of the year recognition. Together with my fellow BWF staff member and educational leader Alfred Mayes. I want to start with our very deep insincere thanks for all of your efforts. They truly are recognized, valued and prioritized by us. As you may know, I only recently became president and CEO of the Boroughs Welcome Fund, effective January 1st of this year. So a difficult transition period. But one of the great draws to me for this position is the unique and long established relationship Burroughs welcome Fund has with the education community in the North Carolina public education system. Teachers, principals, superintendents to be and superintendents themselves are important and essential voices in our mission as an organization. Thus, it is with great joy in appreciation. We contribute to bestowing this teacher of the year recognition and recognizing all the finalists who are truly special and as we heard irreplaceable individuals, there's no endeavor more important in society than recognizing the excellence supporting efforts of in providing the resource is to our teachers to educate the next generation of scientists, artists, advocates, scholars and leaders, and every child can turn into a leader. And that's what Duggal of our organization is meant to prosper. Each year, the Burroughs Welcome Fund makes approximately $3 million in grand awards to support North Carolina public education. Most recently, Bro's Welcome Fund, awarded 67 teachers from across the state with are promoting innovation and science and math grants, toe support, professional development and the purchase of equipment and supplies. Over the next several months, them teachers are invited to submit applications for our career awards for science and math teachers, a grand award of $175,000 to be extended to five teachers and one of our truly cherished programs. Alfred and I are honored to have the relationships with this community that we do. We look forward to working with the 2020 North Carolina teacher of the Year and having the privilege of getting to know Mariah this past year and a team of finalists as a whole as they continue to have great impact on student outcomes and success. Thank you all. And congratulations to all of you here. Great. Thank you. And hello, everyone. I'm MEREDITH Henderson, the interim executive director of Go Global. And See, I'd like to thank the team at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for their dedication to creating this exciting ceremony every year, whether virtually or in person and for inviting Go global in C to be part of it. And I'd also like to thank the Burroughs welcome fund for their continued sponsorship of educational excellence are hardworking. Educators are near and dear to me personally and professionally, and today I'm here to do something that is one of my favorite annual activities for many years. It's my privilege to announce that one of these exceptional educators, the one of whom is going to be named our next North Carolina teacher of the Year will receive an award to join Go Global, NCC's annual Global Teachers Professional Development Program. As many of you know, go global. NC has been part of the University of North Carolina system since 1979. We design and manage several flagship programs that build the capacity of leaders across the state to help North Carolina to succeed in a global economy and interdependent world. Our policy leaders are business and community leaders and our education leaders. One of the ways that we serve our education leaders is through our Global Teachers Program, a program specifically designed to provide professional development to K 12 teachers from across North Carolina through an end up learning experience through the history, culture and environment of other countries. The Global Teachers Program includes intensive domestic workshops before and after a 10 to 14 day international immersive learning experience abroad. This Global Teachers Award on award is generously supported by the Caroline Hunt Teacher Endowment will allow our next North Carolina teacher of the Year to join a network of more than 1000 North Carolina teachers from all grade levels and all subject areas. Global teachers who have learned to use their new experiences to ignite an interest in global engagement and cooperation among their students and communities. The Caroline Hunt Teacher Award was established in 2000 to honor North Carolina's former first ladies commitment to education and to building relationships between North Carolina and the rest of the world. For those of you who have attended the ceremony, before. You know, I like to play a little game to test your knowledge of the world and to announce the country that are next. North Carolina Teacher of the Year will travel to and study, but I want to mention something very important. First, in these uncertain times, two things are sure one go global. NC will always protect and prioritize the health and welfare of our program participants, our communities and ourselves. International immersion will take place in the future, but only when it's advisable. And to a global education and understanding of diverse cultures here at home and abroad has never been more important than it is today. So now let's test your knowledge of the world. The next North Carolina teacher of the year will travel with us to a place that is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the world, a place that is home to the world's largest man made lake a place where the most popular sports include soccer, rugby and cricket. All those soccer or football is by far the most popular, a place that is home to the largest elephant population on the continent, a place that is home to the shortest border between two countries. A place that has several capital cities, none of which will visit. Although we will visit one of the largest cities in the region and a place that is home to the Big Five of wildlife, that is, lions and leopards, rhinos and elephants end the African buffalo. So by now you may have guessed that were not studying just one country, but several four. In fact, we welcome the next North Carolina Teacher of the Year to join us for a journey to the southern region of Africa, where we will study in your Johannesburg, South Africa, and in the Victoria Falls region of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We look forward to working with you. Good afternoon, everyone. Um I'm Milanka, Mickey. I am communications and brand strategy director at Lenovo Global Technology Company right here in the triangle. And I've been with the company for almost 14 years. But this is my third ceremony in the row because I'm so passionate and thankful and grateful do all these amazing teachers here on behalf of Leno, I want to congratulate all the regional North Carolina teachers here today for their excellence. It truly is an honor for me to be here today in this special group, only 25 of us in this unusual setting this year, this has been a Z. Many have said an extremely challenging year for all the teachers across the country. As distance learning took flight overnight in light of the pandemic, teachers across North Carolina became technologists heavily, depending on their Lenovo laptops, to do any type of work and support their students in their education curriculum. We know that many teachers were already tech savvy and taking advantage of new innovations, from virtual reality solutions to device based learning. But for all this was a complete transformation of the education space overnight. At the same time, students had to adjust to the new way of learning, and that's if they had technology tools if they had a computer at home, a zealous Internet connectivity. So this rapid transition from in class to remote learning in our education system has highlighted the deep digital divide among some students across our state. Lenovo jumped in to help and we jumped in and to help the close the digital divide with over 5000 laptops donated, the students across 13 school district in North Carolina. Ah, 100. Thank you. Thank you. Ah! 100 laptops donated the students at Wake that community college hundreds of laptops donated to the education nonprofits serving North Carolina in over one million in education software across the United States. In addition, we heard from teachers like yourselves that your biggest concern was how to shift the curriculum to remote learning environment and keep students interested and engaged. To assist with this transition, Lenovo, along with our partners at Microsoft and Google, created a new distance collaboration and learning tool kit that includes best practices, advice and resource is that teachers and school administrators can have. Overall, our company contributed over 7.5 $1,000,000 to the education space and globally, Lenovo donated almost $13 million during this pandemic. We have learnt over our honor to be able to provide computers for North Carolina teachers of the year. You are the best of the best, and, um, I know you have had an incredibly challenging year. I think, as everybody said, I think every parent realized how challenging a teacher's job is when we all had to Ah, teach from home we truly appreciate you and we salute you for what you do every single day. Congratulations again. Good afternoon. My name is Brian, some orca, and I'm honored to be here today to support the Teacher of the Year nominees on behalf of NC State Athletics. Congratulations to each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication that has brought you here today. As the husband of a hardworking Wake County public school science teacher, I've witnessed firsthand that being a teacher goes just beyond educating our kids. It take a certain mindset and commitment to be here today, whether that's volunteering your free time for school social events, being responsible and leading at for department chairs, an advisory positions or the ability to adapt on the fly. As we're pushed headfirst into a global pandemic, equal amounts of energy and passion go into each day and help you shape the generation of next generation of our community. For the fourth year in a row, NC State Athletics has had the privilege of being the sponsor for the Burroughs Welcome Fund, North Carolina Teacher of the Year ceremony. We're thrilled to be just a small part of this recognition here today and helping to honor all the nominees. In years past, we've hosted and recognize the nominees and award winners at N. C. State baseball games and football games, among other opportunities. It goes without saying much has changed here over the past year. Attendance and recognition are athletic events is still very much in question. However, NC state athletics will continue to work with the Department of Public Instruction and seek out new and creative ways to properly recognize an honor all of you for your hard work and accomplishments in the coming months. Justice You found new and creative ways to educate Our students have gone through the school year. Thank you very much for this opportunity to be here today. And congratulations to everyone who has nominated Look forward to recognizing your achievements and sincerely hope that we can welcome you back to campus here in the coming months. Best of luck if we start the fall school year and GOPAC thank you. Let's give another hand for our sponsors. Thank you sponsors. It is a great pleasure for me to introduce to you the 2019 Berle's Welcome Fund, North Carolina Teacher of the year. Mariah Morris. Mariah was a second grade teacher at West Point Elementary School and Pinehurst. At the time of her announcement, soon after her announcement, she hit the ground running. She has been a keynote speaker at various conferences, facilitated workshops for school districts, participated in interviews with local, state and national media outlets and publications. I would like to thank her for expanding the teacher network and forever expanding the idea of teacher advocacy in North Carolina. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and help me. Welcome to the podium. Our current Burroughs Welcome fund, North Carolina Teacher of the Year. This Mariah Morris. Okay, Okay. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Good afternoon. Wow. How crazy is it to see people in real life? I feel like I have so much power right now. You can't mute me and you can't turn the screen off. This is awesome! I am so honored and humbled to stand before this next amazing cohort. You all are such amazing educators. And I have heard about you from my teacher that your cohort who helped interview long before I ever announced your met you you all our amazing dynamic group and I cannot wait to see what this year holds for all of you. So when I talked to Dr Brown about would the purpose of my remarks was today. She told me to give a highlight of my year. I started digging and thinking about my year. And what a year it has been never in my wildest dreams. Last April, when I sat inside the ballroom, would I have thought that education and our society would have undergone such pronounced deep changes that have affected our students and our teachers and our citizens across the state? It's been so in reflecting on that I think about what this new cohort, your mission and your job is this year. So here we have a picture. Okra, Coke was where my year began with my cohort and my year has traveled from coast to mountains and seeing all of the amazing schools in between. I see some yells faces right now. Yes, y'all are next. When I thought about what symbolized being now Teacher of the Year and what a good symbol for my year Waas. I kept coming back to this moment. One of the first things I did as teacher of the year was board an airplane sign a consent form. Don't know why I did that and jump out of a perfectly good operable airplane with my cohort. But what a metaphor for what this year has been. And I chose this particular picture. I don't know if you can see with the glare, but you can see the airplane up there. And to me, that's just symbolizes the safety net that I left out of when I was announced Teacher of the Year. That airplane is my classroom. It's everything I knew to be true and education. And as I walked up with the Golden Knights strapped to me to the door, and I really didn't have a choice because he said 12 and he left, he didn't wait for a three. My whole world changed. And that is what this leap has been for me and for my cohort, for all the teachers and my friends in this network of this year. And as I began my teacher of the year team, I wanted to travel the state. I knew we have over 15 million students, have over 100,000 teachers. We have over 100 counties. But when all came down to it, we had one mission, one vision and one passion. And I saw that in every classroom I went Teoh. Educators across this state seek out each day to build equitable and engaging learning environments for each and every student across our state we use. The resource is we have we use. The resource is we don't have it. We wish we had and we educate our Children and I saw the countless classrooms I went into. Our teachers are strong, they are passionate, they're resilient, their innovative. They are leaders and they are united in this mission to educate. Times have changed, but the mission has not. And that is to make sure that each and every child has a true shot at writing their own personal destinies despite the circumstances that they are born into. And I have to admit, when I was on that airplane by myself with a whole host of Golden Knights, I felt a little bit alone and that's the same thing. When I was announced, Teacher of the Year and I walked up and got my award for Mark Johnson. I thought for the first time one by myself. I don't have coworkers riding with me in the car. I don't have colleagues riding with me and going into a classroom into faculty meetings and in that place, I It took me a while to realize that No, I'm not alone because I am a part of every classroom and every story that I have heard or been to see. I am a part of every teacher who has shared their story with me and every student who has reached out to me to share their story. And I want you guys to understand that today you are becoming a part of a network and this network is going to feel lonesome right at the beginning. But then you're going to see something happen, and this metaphor of jumping out of an airplane is gonna come up because this is me fueling by myself. But you know what happened? I didn't know this until I landed in, my husband told me, and then I dug through some photos and the photo to your left is a real picture that the photographer took moments before I jumped out of the airplane. But I didn't know that was happening cause I was dry heaving in the corner of the airplane. I was not by myself. Ah, whole team of Golden Knights jumped out and linked arms and did a formation together. And the picture on the right is a stock photo of what that formation looks like. And then when I jumped out, they designed it. My husband told me so that looked like I was right in the center. And what a metaphor, that is, because throughout this year I have linked hands with people who will be part of my life forever and who stands strong and being part of this mission that we call N C. Ed. It started with my cohort. It's crazy to think I didn't know them two years and go, and now they are not my friends. They're my family, and we will be bonded for the rest of our lives. And this cohort has collectively advanced a mission of teacher advocacy of equity and of finding our voice so that all teachers are represented across our state. This mission involved all of the people who stood with me toe navigate on the state board and a DP. I began with Dr Martin, who took me under her wing and taught me everything I needed to know about the inner workings of what I would need to be successful. It started with getting to know our principles of the year, who stayed with me the whole year on the state board and pushed me to use my voice when I wasn't sure if I could to de Bari Wallace and Matt Bristowe Smith. Thank you for being a constant mentor and a constant friend and a constant guiding light in my journey of using my voice. My network was strong with everyone at DP I from the regional education facilitators all the way up to Mark Johnson, his senior leadership. They have welcomed me with open arms, and they have taken me and let me find my place as teacher of the year it's with are two servant leaders otherwise known as their deputy state superintendents, Dr Emory over here on the left, showing her true servant leadership at no kid hungry. She has a 1,000,000 things to do a 1,000,000 people to answer to, and I'm sure a 1,000,000,000 emails to respond to per hour. But yet she knows missions like no kid hungry are important. It's not Durst a gall. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He was always up. We're going to visit schools, I would ask. Hey, do you wanna go see some schools in Durham? The answer would be yes. And we would go see schools, and I had a lot of professional photos with him. But look at this picture. Crouched under a red dinosaur, supporting moving the needle with equity and stem education with the launch of the I. M. C s campaign under Dr Hemphill that this servant leadership seeing the vision and being there to support it, I am also linked with Burroughs welcome fund as one of the other Golden Knights linking arms in the formation. When I was first name, regional teacher of the Year, as all of you were, we had to learn how to say our title, and I wrote it down. Burroughs, welcome. Okay, welcome to Els. Okay. Got it. And I remember the first time I had to announce myself. I was like sweating Mariah Moore's Burroughs welcome. Okay. And at that point, it was the sponsor. And that's what they met. to May, but not anymore. Burroughs, welcome Fund has such a special place in my journey. They are not just the financial supporters of this program. They have provided me emotional support. Dr. Houston and Mr Mays, who are here? They have been little angels cheering me on throughout this process, helping me find my voice supporting that voice. One of my first meetings with was with Dr Houston, and he gave me a little globe that represented his science center through Burroughs Welcome fund. And he said, one day, you're gonna have an office, and I want you to put this on your desk. Well, our relationship along with Mr Mays, has continued throughout the year as we are passionate advocates for moving the needle with equity in stem education. And we have combined forces to really advance that vision. And lo and behold, last week, when I was packing up all my belongings to go to my very first office, the second thing I packed after pictures of my own family was that little globe Dr Houston gave me so I wouldn't forget it. And when I arrived to my office, that was one of the first pieces of decor. I proudly put on my desk so that everyone who walks in there understands that I'm connected to this mission of making sure that each child has an opportunity to see themselves in stem education, whether they are in rural or urban North Carolina, whether they're from a family of poverty or an underprivileged background that does not typically excel in stem education. And so, thank you, Burroughs welcome fund for being part of that link of that chain. It is three meeting people along the way who is just uncanny how you share vision with Mary Hemphill from DP I, who started the I. M. C s campaign shortly after I arrived to the Teacher of the Year roll, and I was able to help her advance this mission and work with these phenomenal women across the state so that we could let girls see themselves in computer science. What a wonderful mission, especially in today's age, where we are moving more and more to remote with Cove in part of my link in the chain is also all of the outstanding public officials who I have met Governor Cooper, who constantly looks for the teacher voice and constantly is concerned about the teacher experience, not paying lip service but truly believing in our public education and in our voices as educators. It's also those moments where you have to pinch yourselves because you make connections are able to meet people who you have looked up to for many years, like Reverend Barber at the NC Awards, Our First Lady Cooper at a reading program for Children, or also meeting our national teacher of the year, Rodney Robinson. Other links of my chain included people that I was able to visit and tell them how they impacted my story as a child. It's when I gave a key note and I was invited by my very own eighth grade teacher, Beth Cross, who now works at DP I and I was able to stand there and embarrass her and put a yearbook picture up of her and explain how it was teachers like Miss Cross, who made that impact with me. It was visiting schools where I could stand next to pieces of art that I helped create, and then I could say you helped form this vision of education and it's also running into people at High Point University like this picture that shows someone who taught me how stem operated, and I stand here as an advocate for STEM. But because of one professional development that changed my thinking. One workshop, a one day experience with surely at High Point University. And she happened to be at a keynote, and I said everything I just talked about. You started me thinking along these lines. What a beautiful moment of full circle to come back together when meeting other teachers in college professors. That made an impact, seeing old college friends and visiting people along the way to share how their impact became my impact, which is now impacting others. And that is the power of North Carolina education and probably the most important link of the chain. These people at home right now, my husband, who is an amazing educator himself who has been my rock and my stability this year. I hope you all have someone in your corners cheering you on like I do. My husband, who whenever I wasn't sure, and whenever I didn't know if I should do something, leaned over and whispered to me, Lean in. Those two girls are watching you. They need to see a strong mother, and they need you to speak for their teachers so that they have a powerful experience in education and hopefully they're watching at home. But Austin, thank you for everything that you have done for me this year and now seasons are changing, and it's time for me to pass the baton. It's time for my cohort to pass the baton to this amazing group of nine educators, and I have a few pieces of advice for you. As I conclude the 1st 1 has never forget. This is one of my favorite quotes that a small group of committed citizens can in fat change the world. And what a dynamic time to be. Teacher of the year. We are living in the midst of change and turmoil and new possibilities, positive and negative, yin and yang. And we need your voice to swing us to the positive when you're handed a microphone this year and you'll be handed a microphone a lot, I want you to remember you've been handed a microphone not to speak for you, not even to speak for your cohort but to advance what is right in this world. And as this Martin Luther King quote shows, our lives end when we begin to be silent about the things that matter and you have been handed a microphone and will throughout the course of this year and use it wisely and let it be about something bigger than you. And how does that happen? You go back to my original metaphor of jumping out of that airplane. We didn't just jump out of an airplane. I don't know if anyone remembers. We jumped for a cause. Each of us selected a cause to highlight, and we collectively had T shirts made and we advanced things that were important. Tow us. And that is an example of how you don't just stand up to speak. But you speak for something. And if I remember back, I think what I was jumping for is more important than ever. And that is for the state of North Carolina, the fully commit toe fund, our schools. That is what I stood up there, and that is why I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane to help North Carolina make that leap toe fully fund our schools because you see when you're standing up here talking, you're not just talking for you or those 100,000 teachers, but you're talking for all of those future educators, all of those students who are in colleges and schools and lateral entry programs because they might want to be a teacher one day and there's something inside of them, a stirring that just might make them want to take that leap. And that is the generation that you're speaking for as a teacher, and you are speaking for all of the educators. You can blur out their faces, but they all stand for the same thing. Is that one mission and one vision to provide equitable and engaging learning environments for each and every child of our state? And now you are all connected to a legacy in a group of teachers of the year, from Freebird toe Lisa to Darcy toe all of the past teachers of the year we're in your corner, and each of those people on that screen has helped me. Throughout this year, we will take you under our wing. We will help you when times get tough and know that you are part of something bigger in this role. And so as I finish up with this presentation, I'm going to show you a picture. I didn't just grab this from the Internet. This was hanging on this huge brick wall in a rural high school in edge Come County, high poverty but high growth school. And this quote, wherever you go, go with your heart and you're going to travel many, many miles this year with Cove it It might be many miles on Zoom, but you're going to connect with many people across this state, and you go Ford with your heart and lead with what you know to be true. Y'all are ready. Dollar. It's him for it. I can feel it. And I'm so proud of each and every one of you. Thank you. Let's give it up again for Mariah Mahrous. Now it's time to introduce to the world our nine finalists and subsequently to name the new 2020 Teacher of the year. These amazing teachers represent all of North Carolina in grand style. This program follows under the leadership of Dr Beverly Emery, deputy state superintendent of district support for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and she wants to say a few words to you. And then you will meet these nine finalists. After the two video presentations, Dr Cynthia Martin will come back with Superintendent Mark Johnson to formally announce our regional finalists of the year and the 2020 winner. Greetings to all of you who are violence for the 2020 Burroughs. Welcome teacher of the Year. I'm bad memory, your deputy superintendent and I wish that I could be with you today. This is one of the most joyful days in our organization. And we have had to figure it out in a new way today. So I'm glad that you are there and you are being celebrated. I look forward to the incredible things that this wort of teacher of the Year finalists will do. Given the unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in. You represent the best of us and we are very proud of you. So congratulations to all of you on this amazing honor. I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I was somebody. I'll be a better somebody when I leave. I love using restorative practices and social emotional learning to make sure that my students are connecting their social needs with their learning needs. I use personalized education plans for each child in my classroom. One on one we conference and we discuss their behavioral needs and their learning needs. I need to know their data story. That's my job as a teacher. But I also need to know their life story. What are their experiences? And then I need to know their behavior story. How did they respond to those experiences? So, using those three aspects of their lives, I'm able to personalize and make learning more impact books In my classroom, we say you have to make five mistakes a day. How many mistakes e. To? I also believe that we must bring joy in learning joy, fun activities, experiential learning. That's what true authentic learning is about to a new teacher. Starting in this profession, I would say Bring love. Let's start there. My favorite quote is that our deepest fear is not that were inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. There's our lightness and not our darkness that most frightens us. And to me, that quote means the things that really make us great are the things that scares the most. And a lot of times my students all recognize in my class when they have to do something like a solo or if they are asked to step into the light they recognize it's a very scary and uncomfortable place to be. And as an educator, I feel that it's my job to show them. That's what they really fear is the greatness this within men, and to show them that they could be so much more than that May even thought that they could achieve when I was going through high school. Very classes that I'm currently teaching are the ones where I felt the most myself, where I felt the most natural. I felt where I belonged when I was 17 years old sitting in my band room. My two goals were that I wanted to change the world and I wanted to change lives. I felt that teaching would be the only career that I could do both at the same time and then as a teacher, I truly believe that that is our goal is to show our students the gifts that they have and how they can use those gifts to change the world. My classroom is a classroom of kindergarten 1st 2nd and third grade adaptive students, students with high special needs, from the need to understand that communication is happening around them to actually learning to read and do math and experience some real academic successes. I have some students who have been in the General Ed classroom and also in the adaptive classroom. I need to provide the support for that teacher in the General Ed classroom that will make my student successful there. So from Bell to Bell, we are working with, um, we are talking with them. We're moving them ahead in gaining the skills that they need tohave. I think we need to look at our students as the individuals with great value and great worth and the potential that they have. We need to look at them with wonder. Wonder what it's going to be like for them. I wonder what their potential will be. I wonder what difference I can make in their life. I want to build strong Children. That's our business. That's our calling. That really is our passion, and that really is our joy. I began my career not as a teacher, but as an intelligence officer in the Air Force. So I think that that model is pretty legit for how clouds really look right, Theo, Kind of the Miss frizzle of the high school classroom. Because I just love to teach. And I love to find cool ways for my kids to learn. But I also love to dive down deep into what they understand and find the places where they need some help. Yes, so just come in and see me tomorrow morning, they'll help you out with that. Okay, every single kid in my classroom has the potential to be a rocket scientist. It's my responsibility to figure out how to get them there. When you have your A B blood and you add a and you add B C. What happens? Each one of my students is unique. Each one of my students is different. Each one of my students need something a little bit different from me every day. I'm a firm believer that a growth mindset in classrooms is a very, very important thing to help our students truly be able to grow and have the maximize. Their potential growth mindset does not just refer to your students. It also refers to you I spent quite a bit of time outside of school doing to try to make sure I have maximized everything I can possibly dio to help every single one of my students be the absolute best that they can be when they leave my classroom neo. Which means what purpose? What is your purpose? I know my purpose is teaching. I think through music education, you can explore so many different areas history, math, science and it can be the springboard for a student to find their purpose. I get to use my medium to integrate with other subject areas, so students have a broader idea of how music serves culture. It's a snapshot in time and culture, and it's also a definition of the culture at the time. In music, every voice, every voice is heard and it should be heard. If you mess up, it's OK. It's the not trying. That's the failure. It teaches resilience, and I believe that students need to learn resilience and commitment. I want to leave a legacy of learning, and I believe that through the right techniques and best practices, education is a bootstrap. Maybe if I give them that bootstrap, they'll be able to wear those foods well and walk into the future into their purpose. I believe that education is a calling. I believe that education chose me. I did not choose it as a young kid growing up in poverty as a dyslexic kid. Education was the thing that continue to raise me and change me and help me become who I am. It helps to make you. It doesn't define you often times. There's a greatness in students that they're not aware. We see it as educators in It's our job awaken and inspire the greatness that a student has. We educate the potential of a student because the student can learn. If they're inspired, they can learn, and they will always blow us away by what they learned. If they're inspired, I think education should be always personalized for Children, finding out who kids are where they come from. When you grow up on the streets of New York and without a father and you're exposed toe all those things and then you can still become successful, find out their cultural background and help them understand their cultural background and then use that platform to build education upon that. To me, that's the way education ought to be done. I became a teacher to make a difference, and so I want to inspire my students to also do the same. I am fortunate enough to teach at the same elementary school that I attended. So my fifth grade teacher that is just right next door from my classroom now was my inspiration. She made learning feel like it was just a gift. And that's when I saw, like, I want to also be able to do that for students. And I want to be able to inspire kids Teoh to love learning for their whole lives. And so Honey Creek is just a really special place. It's a community, It's a family. It's a great place to be. So is it comparing and contrasting those cars? Or is it just telling you about them? Okay, so what? What is it when we're just telling about something description? See, You used all of your clothes and you found it. Job. If we can create a place here for them where they know that they can impact change and have voice, then we can use education to propel them forward in a way that they can stay here and improve our community or also feel like they can go out into the world and create change and other places in order to make sure people understand who are students are. I need to say that we are an alternative school, but we're also a community school. Any student can come here who wants to. But some students are asked to come here because they simply cannot function in a regular classroom because their lives are far too difficult. I think it's also important that people know that those of us who are here are here because we choose to be. But at this point in my career I want to work with students who are in most need of someone who is entirely passionate about them and who they are and what they can do for the world. And so that is what this school is about. It is about bringing in students who may not have another good place to go and making them feel welcome and making them feel comfortable and then saying What can we do? for you. How can I serve you? How can I allow you to give the world what you have to give? And once you've answered those questions, then you can do things like we've done with the grants where you provide coffee because so many of our students don't get sleep because they're in situations where you know they don't have a bed or the family is too noisy or there people coming and going all night so they don't sleep. So they come in and they're tired and I sometimes come in hungry. So we give them foods we personalize by taking care of their physical needs. And I think that this school is a place where so many people's passion needs the world's great need. Students have the capability to learn they have a natural curiosity for learning. I just have to find what that is. I have to build that relationship with my students. That relationship is what makes that student developed confidence in themselves to know that they can be successful. It's my job and my desire to find out what motivates each one of my students to remind them that learning can be fun and engaging and interesting, and I want them each day when they spend that hour in my classroom to come in excited about whatever we're going to do today to go home talking about it, to remember that once upon a time they really loved learnings. I want them to enjoy their learning process and become partners in it. With me, you knew number sense that that's not possible. So you were able to get back and fix it. That's good. You call it the mistake. A job. I want them working toward personal growth. They have so many abilities so often I need to provide the spark I need to capture the interest and maybe provide a little bit of the framework. And then I need to get out of their way because what they can create and what they can develop together is really quite incredible. And I am amazed every year at what they're able to do. I believe that collaboration is the key to student success. I believe the education truly can be the way that everyone has the best opportunities in life. I believe that all Children have the capability toe learn and to be excited about learning. I believe, as educators were built to champion our students, I believe that our students are the future. I believe in the potential off every single student, all students and learn. I believe that the public school classroom is the last bastion of democracy. I believe we have to inspire potential. We have to educate greatness, and we have to love our students. In the meantime, our thing for the T. O. Y ceremony is a showcase of excellent educators. And that video shows you not only their passion for their profession but their passion for Children. So if the state superintendent would join me on his mark, he will be presenting, um, you your certificate and I will be introduction introducing you to all that are viewing. First, I'm going to start out presenting Miss Jenny Owens, the Northeast Region Teacher of the Year from Okla. Broke school in Hyde County. Jeannie, please come forward. Okay, If you next presenting Daniel Scott, the Southeast Region Teacher of the Year from Swings Borough High School and on Slow County Daniel, please hold next. Presenting care of force. The North Central Region Teacher of the Year from Long Mill elementary school and Franklin Franklin County. Keira, please come forward. Next, we have Miss Marine Stover from Sent the Sandhills Region Teacher of the Year from Cumberland International Early College High School in Cumberland County. Next presenting Miss Tanya Smith, Piedmont Triad Region Teacher of the Year from milk in High school, An elk in city schools tying you. Please come forward. Next we have Mr Chad Beam, the Southwest Region Teacher of the Year from Burns High School in Cleveland County. Chat. Please come forward. Next, we have Miss Maggie Murphy, the Northwest Region teacher of the year from Piney Creek School in Allegheny County. Maggie. Next, we have Don Gilchrist, our western region Teacher of the Year, from the School of Alternatives and Jackson County Don. Please come forward last, but certainly not least presenting Miss Ashley Bailey, the charter schools teacher of the Year from Roxbury Community Charter located in Roxboro, North Carolina. Ashley, at this time I am going to turn it over to our state superintendent for the big reveal. Thank you, Dr Martin, and thank you to everyone who made this possible today. Truly, this is a great thing that we're able to celebrate I could tell you why Never prepared remarks for this part of the ceremony because I keep in brief. Anyone who's been to this in the past can tell you I keep them sincere. And I can tell you every day we have something new. We find out about how different life is gonna be with this cove in 19 and anyone else who's been at this in the past knows I'd like to shake hands. I like to give hugs. And I can tell you I was not prepared for not being able to do that for each and every one of you. And I think for me personally, that is quite another moment that I am having that I know each and every one of you are having every day or now every week where we realize just how difficult this is gonna be. But that's why we're so lucky to have each and every one of you. We've been through so much this year, and this is still the United States of America. This is still the only country to have a dream named after it. No matter what zip code you live in, no matter what part of North Carolina. Whether you're at the beach is on an island are by the waterfalls in the mountains are in between rural or urban. Every single student has the privilege to a right of an education should and must have the opportunity to go to school, work hard and succeed. You and your fellow educators make that happen, and we're so grateful for each and every one of you. And I am grateful for the team at DP I for the leadership of DP I. I am grateful that with the vision of Dr Martin and the team and bed Emory and Dr Premier Maria Peter Martin Hope get it started and the Teacher of the Year cohorts, We have taken this from a one day ceremony to truly taking. This is a cohort, and each and every one of you will go to your regions, and you will each in your role help the state of North Carolina. Get through this and that is not just lip service. We have seen it from last year's teacher cohort. Each and every one of you in this moment is always bittersweet for me because each and every one of you deserves this recognition. And we all know there are lots of teachers out across North Carolina that deserve this recognition. And each year the process brings one person to the title. But I never, never say the winner is because it's truly just the person who is named this year'