Twenty-three of the Lincoln County School systemâ€™s shining stars were spotlighted Tuesday night as the district celebrated its Teacher of the Year banquet at the First United Methodist Fellowship Hall.
Sponsored by Fatz CafÐ¹, the teachers, their families and Lincoln County Schools staff heard from guest speaker State Superintendent June Atkinson.
â€œAnywhere where at least two or three educators are gathered together, itâ€™s a good place to be,â€ said Atkinson.
A native of Bedford County, Va., Atkinson was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 2004.
Addressing the audience, Atkinson explained to the honorees why she thought they were great teachers.
â€œYou are teachers because you know the power you have as a teacher to help your students develop dreams,â€ she said.
Atkinson gave examples of teachers that had an impact on her own life, from a fourth-grade teacher who inspired her to travel to foreign countries, to a high school speech teacher who found ways to keep the class interested.
â€œGreat teachers propel students to go beyond the expectations students have for themselves,â€ she said.
With continued increasing educational demands from the federal and state government, Atkinson said that caring and passionate teachers are needed more than ever.
Atkinson encouraged the honored educators to continue to inspire and teach.
â€œItâ€™s because of you great teachers that North Carolina has continued to meet the challenge of educating our students,â€ she said.
While the teachers were encouraged to continue their good work in the classroom, Superintendent of Schools Jim Watson issued a challenge to support the entire school system by showing up at the county commissioners May 23 meeting at the James W. Warren Citizens Center in support of the proposed $44.6 million school bond.
As teachers, Watson said everyone present should understand the importance of funding education.
â€œIf everybody here will call or e-mail a commissioner or show up at the Citizens Center, we will show them that this is the most important issue in Lincoln County,â€ he said.
Each honored teacher was recognized with a flower and certificate. They will also receive a Teacher of the Year pottery award created by Fatz CafÐ¹ operating partner Byron Sackettâ€™s brother, David.
The teachers also received $250-worth of supplies from area business sponsors.
One teacher, who will be named as the system-wide Teacher of the Year at a later date will be leased a car for a year courtesy of Buddy Stasneyâ€™s Griffin Pontiac-Buick-GMC.
Lincoln County Schools 2007-08 Teachers of the Year
Mary Beth Avery
East Lincoln High
East Lincoln Middle
G.E. Massey Elementary
Iron Station Elementary
Lincoln County School of Technology
Love Memorial Elementary
Norris S. Childers Elementary
North Brook Elementary
North Lincoln High
Pumpkin Center Elementary
Pumpkin Center Middle
Rock Springs Elementary
S. Ray Lowder Elementary
St. James Elementary
West Lincoln High
West Lincoln Middle
Among those cited at Lincoln County Schoolsâ€™ Teacher of the Year ceremony were (top photo) Shelia Wright, Pumpkin Center Elementary; (middle photo) Cathy Buckner, Lincolnton High School; Brenda Kinney, G.E. Massey Elementary. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by Mary Williams