Alamance-Burlington Schools' educator named NC Teacher of the Year

Posted April 6, 2011 8:40 p.m. EDT

— Tyronna Hooker, a teacher with Alamance-Burlington Schools, was named the 2011-2012 North Carolina Teacher of the Year during a banquet in Cary on Wednesday.

Hooker has taught for nine years at Graham Middle School. 

"As teachers, we must seek opportunities to motivate, engage and provoke critical thinking amongst not only our students, but ourselves. I can't wait to share teaching experiences with my colleagues across the state," Hooker said as she accepted the award. 

Hooker is a member of the school's design team, which allows her to work closely with staff members as they design learning experiences for their students.

She is also a member of the school's Response to Intervention team, an incentive coordinator for the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program and a mentor for new teachers.

"Tyronna brings a unique set of skills to the classroom given her previous work experience in the criminal justice system and social services. She has seen what often happens to children who have not been successful in school," State Superintendent June Atkinson said. "This has translated into a 'setbacks are setups for comebacks' philosophy where her students are concerned."

Hooker succeeds 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year, Jennifer J. Facciolini, a social studies teacher at Midway High School, Sampson County Schools. 

The other regional finalists were: 

  • Ferdinand Cooper, Weldon STEM High (Weldon City Schools), North Central Region
  • Suzie Sanders, River Road Middle (Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools), Northeast Region
  • Jessie “Andy” Blevins, Fred T. Foard High (Catawba County Schools), Northwest Region
  • Callie Smith, Bogue Sound Elementary (Carteret County Schools), Southeast Region
  • Thomas Plecnik, Rhyne Elementary (Gaston County Schools), Southwest Region
  • Marci Houseman, West Pine Middle (Moore County Schools), Sandhills/South Central Region
  • Eric Grant, Buncombe County Early College (Buncombe County Schools), West Region
  • Regina Johnston, Chatham Charter School (Chatham County), Charter Schools

As North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Hooker will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession. She will receive an automobile to use during the year, an engraved vase, a one-time cash award of $7,500, a trip to the National Teacher of the Year conference, the opportunity to travel abroad through an endowment at the North Carolina Center for International Understanding, and a technology package valued at over $17,000 from SMART Technologies. She also will serve as an advisor to the State Board of Education for two years.

North Carolina has recognized outstanding teachers through its Teacher of the Year program since 1970. This is the first year that a teacher has been selected to represent charter schools.