Wake elementary teacher is regional honoree

Posted December 14, 2009 4:33 p.m. EST
Updated December 14, 2009 5:27 p.m. EST

— Fourth grade teacher Rene Herrick, the 2009 Wake County Teacher of the Year, took another step toward a state honor Monday.

Herrick, who teaches at A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School, 2001 Lorimer Road in Raleigh, was named 2009 North Carolina North Central Regional Teacher of the Year.

Students at the school surprised Herrick with the announcement during a holiday concert Monday.

“I was completely surprised,” Herrick said. “I know that I am not the best teacher in North Carolina, but I have been chosen to represent a component of teaching that North Carolina deems as significant for all of our children. And for me, I believe that’s the personal touch, teaching the whole child and making sure that I acknowledge who they are, celebrate their gifts and help them to learn and to love learning.”

As a regional honoree, Herrick will receive:

  • A stipend of $5,000
  • Engraved plaque
  • Opportunities to present and facilitate at local and state meetings/programs
  • Financial support to attend one national, professional conference
  • The opportunity to attend a seminar at NCCAT, The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Opportunities to have direct communication between state education leaders and policymakers
  • Opportunities to promote the North Carolina Teacher of the Year network
  • Support from Public Schools of North Carolina in sponsoring the Annual North Carolina Teacher of the Year Symposium/Celebration
  • Opportunities to enhance the profession of teaching with substitute, travel and subsistence provided by the state

She will compete with other regional finalists for the state Teacher of the Year honor.

Herrick has been teaching for five years, the past three at Combs. She and her husband, who is also a teacher, tutor students after school and recognize students by bringing students on outings to the movies and restaurants.