There are three finalists for the Teacher of the Year award this year.
They include Holly Medlin, a fourth grade teacher at Northeast Elementary School. Angela Joyner is a fifth grade teacher at Grantham Middle School. And Steven Thorne is a Technology Education-Engineering Teacher at Charles B. Aycock High.
The winner will advance to represent Wayne County in a regional competition. Winners of the regional competition then move on to the state competition.
Principals say the district finalists are outstanding candidates and each has the necessary characteristics and qualifications to effectively represent their peers and colleagues across Wayne County Public Schools and North Carolina in the Teacher of the Year competition.
“Mrs. Medlin works tirelessly to plan lessons that are rigorous, relevant and engaging,” states Robert Yelverton, Northeast Elementary principal. “While she values the importance of basic skills, she allows her students to be creative through research projects, interactive technology, and small group collaboration. She is also an advocate for her students and always seeks to contribute and collaborate to improve polices and programs that enhance student achievement.”
Mrs. Medlin has 17 years of teaching experience, with 12 years spent in her present position. Mrs. Medlin holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from East Carolina University.
“Mrs. Joyner builds upon the prior knowledge of her students by exposing them to a variety of literature while assisting them in making personal, text to text, and text to world connections,” states Lisa Tart, Grantham Middle principal. “All lesson plans are focused on building literacy, developing social skills, integration of technology, extending cultural awareness, involving students in peer- and self-evaluations, and goal setting. Her steadfast commitment, humility, loyalty, passion, and positive impact on students set her apart from the majority of educators.”
Mrs. Joyner has 24 years of teaching experience, with 4 years spent in her present position while located at Grantham School. Mrs. Joyner holds a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education with concentrations in English, language arts and social studies.
“With so much emphasis on STEM, every year his classes are in high demand even to the point of having a lottery drawing for classroom spots,” states Dr. Earl Moore, Charles B. Aycock High principal. “Both inside the classroom and outside in the community, Mr. Thorne’s Project Lead the Way Program is recognized through the projects his students have built and demonstrated, including a hovercraft, a PVC car, solar panels and other fun projects.”
Mr. Thorne has 21 years of teaching experience, all in his present position. Mr. Thorne holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology/drafting and design from East Carolina University.
The WCPS “Teacher of the Year” will win a $5,000 travel/study stipend, a $1,500 check, and compete against “Teacher of the Year” candidates from other school systems in the regional competition. The two finalists will receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.