Cynthia Hutchings Named 2015 Teacher Of The Year

Cynthia Hutchings Award Winner
Cynthia Hutchings (left), Johnston County’s 2015 Flame for Learning recipient, stands with Johnston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom.

Smithfield-Selma High School’s Cynthia Hutchings is the recipient of the 22nd Annual Flame for Learning Award. 

Hutchings, a 9th grade English 1 teacher, was honored at the annual Flame for Learning Banquet held on Tuesday at the Johnston County Agricultural Center.

Hosted by the county’s Chambers of Commerce, the award comes with the title of Johnston County School District Teacher of the Year. Hutchings’ classroom best practice was “Service Learning.” The practice taught students about the benefits of participating in activities that serve the community. Students were required to develop a service learning project that not only assisted an individual or organization but also helped the students grow academically and personally.

As the Flame for Learning Award winner Hutchings 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 2015.

Three finalists for the award were, Amy Hines, a 5th grade math & science teacher at River Dell Elementary School – Best Practice: Tap Your Feet to the Classroom Beat; Greer Suggs, a 6-8th grade creative writing teacher at Clayton Middle School – Best Practice: Thank You, Veterans; and Helen Westbrook, a special education teacher at North Johnston High School – Best Practice: IMPACT Club, each received $300. The schools of the recipient and finalists each received $250.

three recipient winners
The three finalists for the 2015 Flame for Learning Award are Amy Hines, Greer Suggs and Helen Westbrook.

The three finalists for the 2015 Flame for Learning Award are Amy Hines, Greer Suggs and Helen Westbrook.

The remaining 16 semi-finalists for the 2015 Flame for Learning Award received $100 each and are: Megan Beck – Smithfield-Selma High; Ashley Blevins – Riverwood Elementary; Annah Creech – Clayton Middle; Evan Dempster – Clayton Middle; Sharon Glenn – Smithfield Middle; Kimberly Harkins – Clayton High; Kira Higgins – West Smithfield Elementary; Bethany Jones – Smithfield-Selma High; Janice Peacock – Corinth Holders High; Amanda Pierce – Riverwood Middle; Therese Polito – Smithfield-Selma High; Elizabeth Shepard – Corinth Holders High; Pamela Stich – Cooper Elementary; Malena Thieme – Riverwood Elementary; Valorie Trombley – Riverwood Elementary; and Marisa Wiggins – Meadow School.