Teacher of the Year Finalists

WCPS is excited to announce the three finalists in its 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year program.
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With the school year soon coming to a close, Wayne County Public Schools is excited to announce the three finalists in the 2017-2018 WCPS Teacher of the Year (TOY) program.

Emily West
Meadow Lane Elementary
4thGrade Teacher

Paul Casey
Norwayne Middle School
STEM Teacher

Kirsten Thomas
Charles B. Aycock High
English Teacher

The district’s TOY program is part of the national program that has been in place for over 50 years. As part of the program, each of the district’s 32 schools named a TOY to represent it in the coming year. This week, a selection committee interviewed each candidate, and narrowed the field to three finalists — one each from the elementary, middle, and high school level. The WCPS Teacher of the Year will be selected from the three finalists and announced at the annual WCPS Teacher of the Year Banquet to be held at Walnut Creek Country Club on May 4 at 6 p.m.

“A Teacher of the Year represents the best of the teaching profession,” states Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, WCPS Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. “We congratulate each school’s Teacher of the Year for their achievement, and wish our three finalists the very best in the next round of the district’s Teacher of the Year program.”

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 program.

Elementary Finalist
“Ms. West exemplifies all the attributes of a model teacher,” states Wendy Hooks, MLE principal. “Her lifelong desire has been to educate students and change their lives exponentially as an elementary teacher. She has proven extraordinarily effective in her teaching ability shown in students’ growth, standardized test scores, and her own professional development and evaluations.”

Ms. West has 15 years of teaching experience, all at her present school. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is National Board Certified.

Middle Finalist

“Students are excited when they are enrolled in Mr. Casey’s class,” states Lisa Tart, NOR principal. “He creates a welcoming and nurturing classroom environment conducive to learning. He employs a myriad of research-based strategies including but not limited to hands-on-learning, project-based learning, collaboration, problem solving, utilizing technology, and skills development.”

Mr. Casey has 15 years teaching experience, with eight years at his present school. He holds a bachelor’s degree in technology education.

High Finalist
“Academically, Mrs. Thomas challenges each and every student to do their very best,” states Dr. Earl Moore, CBA principal. “She expects each student’s performance to be of the highest quality, regardless of their academic level, and teaches each individual child as if they were her own. Mrs. Thomas is simply an awesome teacher.”

Mrs. Thomas has eight years of teaching experience, all at her present school. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English education 9-12, a bachelor’s degree in Latin, and a master’s degree instructional technology.

The district’s Teacher of the Year will win a $5,000 travel/study stipend, a $1,500 check, and move on to a regional level of the Teacher of the Year program. The two district finalists will receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.

Below is the complete list of the 32 teachers selected to represent their school as a Teacher of the Year in the coming school year.


Teacher of the Year

Area of Instruction

Brogden Middle

Lanelle Sutton

English Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher

Brogden Primary

Robert Smith, III

3rdGrade Teacher

Carver Elementary

Kristin Whiting

1stGrade Teacher

Carver Heights Elementary

Vonder Ashford

3rdGrade Teacher

Charles B. Aycock High

Kirsten Thomas

English Teacher

Dillard Middle

Tomekia Waters

Health/Physical Education Teacher

Eastern Wayne Elementary

Joi Hood

3rdGrade Teacher

Eastern Wayne High

Kelly Rose

Exceptional Children Teacher

Eastern Wayne Middle

Stephanie Davis

English Language Arts

Edgewood Community Developmental School

Scott Littleton

Exceptional Children Teacher

Fremont STARS Elementary

Lauren Wolfe

Exceptional Children Teacher

Goldsboro High

Wendy Dinges

Social Studies Teacher

Grantham Elementary

Ashley Capri

2ndGrade Teacher

Grantham Middle

Jeffery Bradley

Physical Education Teacher

Greenwood Middle

Robin Bryant

Mathematics Teacher

Meadow Lane Elementary

Emily West

4thGrade Teacher

Mount Olive Middle

Tondalayo Clark

Communications Skills Teacher

North Drive Elementary

Shauna Skinner

2ndGrade Teacher

Northeast Elementary

Shari Davis

1stGrade Teacher

Northwest Elementary

Janis Hart

Exceptional Children Teacher

Norwayne Middle

Paul Casey

STEM Teacher

Rosewood Elementary

Diane Seymour

Exceptional Children Teacher

Rosewood High

Teresa Eason

Science Teacher

Rosewood Middle

Josie David

Exceptional Children Teacher

Southern Wayne High

Andrew Norris

Science Teacher

Spring Creek Elementary

Rhea Tan

3rdGrade Teacher

Spring Creek High

Tammy Kennedy

English Teacher

Spring Creek Middle

Verlie Pittman

Mathematics/ Science Teacher

Tommy’s Road Elementary

Michael Holland

Physical Education/Health Teacher

Wayne Early/Middle College High

Angela Mozingo

Science Teacher

Wayne Middle/High Academy

Anita Phillips

Exceptional Children Resource Teacher

Wayne School of Engineering

Laura Taylor

English Teacher



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