Wake, Watauga teachers win governor's education award

Three North Carolina teachers will receive Governor's Educator Discovery Awards to help strengthen their work in the classroom, Gov. Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Business Committee for Education announced this week.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Three North Carolina teachers will receive Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards to help strengthen their work in the classroom, Gov. Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Business Committee for Education announced this week.

Shirley Pyon from Mills Park Elementary School in Wake County, Julie-Kate Hazelrigg from Garner Magnet High School in Wake County, and Genal West from Watauga High School in Watauga County will each receive a $1,000 award to pay for professional development of their choosing.

This is the third round of teachers to receive the award and brings the total number of grants awarded to nine. The latest teachers to receive grants will use their awards in the following ways:

Shirley Pyon, K-5 Stem educator in Cary, will attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Creative Constructor Lab. ISTE works to engage and empower a community of global educators who believe in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, accelerate innovation, and solve problems in education. The conference provides teachers with strategies and tools that can be used to help engage elementary schoolers in project-based learning activities.
Julie-Kate Hazelrigg, high school theater educator in Garner, will attend the Broadway Teacher’s Workshop in New York City. This conference features three days of masterclasses on contemporary theater and theater-education topics. The Broadway Teacher’s workshop will provide tools for preparing students for college auditions and connecting the concepts they learn in a fine arts classroom with cutting-edge performances in professional theaters.
Genal West, high school visual art teacher in Boone, will be attending the North Carolina Art Education Association conference in Raleigh. The conference features over 100 workshops and presentations offered over three days. Educators will learn modern artistic techniques, working styles, and gain insight from other educators to develop new projects for their students.

“Giving teachers more opportunities to develop their skills will benefit those teachers and their students for years to come,” Cooper said in a statement. “Professional development helps teachers connect what they’re teaching in the classroom with the skill students will need to succeed in their future jobs.”

The North Carolina Business Committee for Education is a business-led, education non-profit (501-c3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor. Since 1983, NCBCE has provided a link between North Carolina business leaders and the state’s education decision-makers, helping to create connections between the education curriculum and the overall work readiness of people across the state.

“All NCBCE members know and strongly support the importance of professional development for teachers across our state," NCBCE Board Chair Albert Eckel said in a statement. "This award makes it possible for educators to bring new tools and techniques into their classrooms. Through their conferences, recipients of this award will be able to apply classroom standards to real-world applications and increase the work-based learning opportunities available to their students."

To be eligible for the Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards, teachers must submit a proposal with details about their teaching experience and the professional development activity they wish to pursue and how it would enhance their efforts to create a work-based learning activity for their students.
Teachers can apply for the next round of grants through Nov. 1. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of business leaders and educators. Awardees will be notified of their selection by phone or email.

The awards are funded by NCBCE member companies. As interest in the program has grown with each cycle, NCBCE hopes to raise additional funds to expand the program in future years.


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