Laura Hines, a fourth grade teacher at Corinth-Holders Elementary, is the recipient of the 23rd Annual Flame for Learning Award.
Hines, who teaches math, science, and social studies, was honored at the annual Flame for Learning Banquet held on April 26, at the Johnston County Agricultural Center.
Hosted by the county’s Chambers of Commerce, the award comes with the title of “Johnston County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.” Hines’ classroom best practice was “The Quest to Take Back Mathtopia,” which allowed students to complete virtual mathematical quests tailored specifically to their level of mastery of the subject matter.
As the Flame for Learning Award winner Hines received a cash award of $1,000, along with a $500 grant from the Johnston County Education Foundation. She will go on to compete for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, beginning with regional competition in the fall of 2016.
The three finalists for the award were Amanda Turner, seventh grade social studies teacher at Clayton Middle School – Best Practice: Cold War Children’s Book; Daniel Manzer, agriculture teacher at Clayton High School – Best Practice: Environmental Education Day; and Brian Jones, band instructor/director at Smithfield-Selma High School – Best Practice: Percussion Theater. Each of the three finalists received $300, and the schools of the award recipient and finalists each received $250.
The Chambers of Commerce in Johnston County adopted the Flame for Learning Award because of the importance that teachers play in developing and educating children. In so doing, it has been the goal of the local chambers to support and elevate the teaching profession in the school district. This award recognizes outstanding creativity and innovation of teachers and the impact they are having on their students.
Roughly 100 teachers were nominated and were asked to submit a “best practice” that they used in the classroom. A selection committee named 20 semifinalists after reviewing the best practices, without knowledge of the teacher’s name, address, or school. The 20 semifinalists later participated in an interview process to determine the recipient and the finalists.
The remaining 16 semi-finalists for the 2016 Flame for Learning Award received $100 each. They include:
Kristi Beasley – West View Elementary School
Karin Chmelo – East Clayton Elementary School
Megan Chvatal – Smithfield-Selma High School
Michelle Disney – Glendale-Kenly Elementary School
Heather Earp – West Johnston High School
Sarah Fitzgerald – Micro-Pine Level Elementary School
Heather Gibson – Polenta Elementary School
Jeffrey Henry – Cleveland Elementary School
Robin Hiatt – Powhatan Elementary School
Nancy Kelly – Corinth-Holders Elementary School
Melody Lineberger – West Johnston High School
Jacqueline Mueller – Cleveland Elementary School
Kelly Nolan – Four Oaks Elementary School
Kaye Pearce – Smithfield-Selma High School
Christina Schaffer – Smithfield Middle School
Renee Souza – Corinth Holders High School
Approximately 65 Johnston County businesses, civic organizations, and community members helped to sponsor this year’s award.