For more than 50 years our nation has honored teachers with the National Teacher of the Year Program . The National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by the Voya Financial, Inc., is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Since 1970, North Carolina has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers.
In 2014, the NC Department of Public Instruction announced their partnership with Burroughs Wellcome Fund as the new major sponsor of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program. Burroughs Wellcome Fund was founded in 1955 as the corporate foundation of Burroughs Wellcome Co., the U.S. branch of the Wellcome pharmaceutical enterprise, based in the United Kingdom. In 1993, BWF received a $400 million gift from the Wellcome Trust to become a fully independent foundation. They are dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.
2017 BURROUGHS WELLCOME FUND TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Lisa Godwin, Kindergarten Teacher at Dixon Elementary School in Onslow County Schools is the 2017 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Teacher of the Year
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2017 REGIONAL & DISTRICT TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
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Region I - Northeast Region
Perquimans County Schools
2017 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Teacher of the Year
Region II - Southeast Region
Onslow County Schools
Region III - North Central Region
Wake County Public School System
Region IV - Sandhills/South Central Region
Clinton City Schools
Region V - Piedmont-Triad/Central Region
Asheboro City Schools
Anthony Johnson, Jr.
Region VI - Southwest Region
Region VII - Northwest Region
McDowell County Schools
Region VIII - Western Region
Madison Early College
Madison County Schools
Charter Schools Region
Research Triangle Charter
Research Triangle Park, NC
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In accordance with national guidelines, North Carolina chooses a candidate who is "dedicated and highly skilled, a candidate proven capable of inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn." Because the State Teacher of the Year will be asked to travel, speak on behalf of education and demonstrate master teaching skills, the candidate must be poised, articulate, and energetic in order to meet the demanding responsibilities.
The NC Teacher of the Year is recognized at the school, regional, and statewide levels. First, the teacher is chosen to represent their respective school as Teacher of the Year. Similarly, individual public charter schools nominate a Teacher of the Year who participates in a selection process facilitated by the Office of Charter Schools at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Next, once each school district and the charter school nomination processes are completed, the teacher finalists vie as one of the state’s nine Regional Teachers of the Year. [The state is divided into eight geographical regions and NC Charter Schools are clustered together to form the ninth region of the state. The Charter School Teacher of the Year joins the Regional Teachers of the Year team as a finalist for the state Teacher of the Year]. This selection process is facilitated in each region by Regional Education Facilitators representing the Educator Effectiveness Division at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
After a series of relevant screening activities, the State Teacher of the Year is chosen by a committee consisting of professional educators as well business and community leaders. The state selection committee members are chosen based on their dynamic public record in support of education. The State Teacher of the Year and the other Regional Finalists form a collaborative network to provide ongoing professional development and support throughout the state on critical issues facing public education. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education take pride in celebrating the most innovative and effective public school educators in our state.
Since the inception of the program in North Carolina in 1970, three State Teachers of the Year have become National winners. Four have become National Finalists and one has been inducted into the National Teachers' Hall of Fame. Thirteen North Carolina Teachers of the Year have taught at the elementary school level, eight at the middle or junior high school level and twenty-six at the high school level.
REPRESENTATIVES, FINALISTS AND WINNERS
What are the qualities needed to be a successful school leader? This is the question I set out to answer in a new book for which I interviewed some of the UK's best headteachers.
It started with a challenge: imagine you are cast adrift on a desert island with a school full of children in desperate need of a great headteacher. What eight qualities would you take with you to run your desert island school?
The challenge, based on the long-running BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs, produced a treasure trove of contributions from school leaders. Their insights, stories and experiences confirmed my belief that, while there might well be a common set of qualities that are crucial for successful leadership, there is also scope for different leadership styles.
Far from being clones enslaved by government diktat or professional orthodoxy, the best headteachers run their schools through conviction and often sheer personality. Even so, they do share some vital leadership qualities. So here are eight to take with you to your own desert island.
It's easy to dismiss the concept of "vision" as vague and woolly, but the best school leaders are visionaries with a clear sense of moral purpose. Successful leaders have "great vision – the ability to formulate and shape the future, rather than be shaped by events", says Richard Harman, headmaster of Uppingham School, Rutland.
Successful school leaders show great determination, with the willpower and patience to see things through. They are willing to take risks and are steadfast in challenging under-performance or poor behaviour. "There's a mental courage that you don't waver from," says Madeleine Vigar, principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust in Haverhill, Suffolk.
"We are there for the children and we mustn't ever forget that," says Llyn Codling, executive headteacher of Portswood, St Mary's and Weston Park primary schools, Southampton. Like Codling, successful school leaders are passionate about teaching and learning and show great commitment to children. They take an active interest in their pupils' work – and that of their staff.
4. Emotional intelligence
Successful school leaders are team-builders. They understand the importance of relationships, empower their staff and pupils and show great empathy. "Get the relationships right – open, trusting, humorous – and much else follows naturally," says Kingsbridge Community College principal, Roger Pope. "They feel motivated. They want to follow you."
The best headteachers show great judgment, make the right calls and are wise leaders. Crucially, however, it isn't simply a matter of acting alone. It's about involving the whole school community and taking people forward together.
The business of headship is full-on and, at times, gruelling. Successful school leaders are optimistic and resilient, remain calm in a crisis and are energetic and positive at all times. "It about really knowing yourself and having personal strategies so you are able to steady yourself in stormy waters," says Catherine Paine, primary head and assistant CEO of REAch2 Academy Trust, Waltham Forest.
The best school leaders are confident communicators and storytellers. They are great persuaders and listeners, adept at describing 'the story of their school' to any audience. They are also great motivators. "Getting people to do things and go that extra mile lies at the heart of good leadership," says Kenny Frederick, former headteacher at George Green's School, Tower Hamlets.
Successful school leaders are outward-looking and curious. As Teresa Tunnadine, headteacher at the Compton School in Barnet, states: "Headship is about having at least one foot outside of the school looking at what's going on elsewhere and picking up good ideas." They are excellent networkers and great opportunists, always in touch with events.
Jeremy Sutcliffe is author of 8 Qualities of Successful School Leaders: the desert island challenge, published by Bloomsbury
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