Published: May 31, 2008 09:21 AM
Modified: May 31, 2008 09:21 AM
Top teachers receive awards at school banquet
Briana Corke was selected the district teacher of the year
CHAPEL HILL -- Carrboro Elementary School teacher Briana Corke was selected the district teacher of the year for the 2008-09 school year at the district's 26th annual Recognition Banquet Thursday at the Carolina Club.Karen Ga-lassi-Ferrer of East Chapel Hill High School and Kay Lawson-Demery of Chapel Hill High School were named honor teachers.Corke, who teaches the fourth-grade Spanish Dual Language class, was named the Gold Star Teacher by SunTrust and received $1,000 and various gift certificates from local businesses.Galassi-Ferrer, who is a Spanish and AVID teacher at East Chapel Hill High School, and Lawson-Demery, who is a social studies teacher at Chapel Hill High School, were designated as Gold Star Honor Teachers. Each received checks for $500 from SunTrust, as well as gift certificates from area businesses.Corke began her teaching career in 2003 at Carrboro Elementary. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a bachelor's degree in English from UNC.Corke serves on the school's Leadership Committee and has been a mentor teacher for novice teachers since 2005. She organized the school's Hispanic Parent Night in February. She also does home visits for struggling students."In choosing to become a teacher, I wanted to examine how students' resilient attributes could be utilized in making them high achievers instead of at risk for academic failure," she said. "I feel now, as I did when I chose to become a teacher, that all children are capable of academic excellence, regardless of their hardships." The district also had other staff recognitions.Gloria Woods-Weeks of East Chapel Hill High was named assistant principal of the year.The following teaching chairs were named: Patricia Farrington, Phoenix Academy, Carol Ambrosio Award; Sally Merryman, Smith Middle, Elmo's Award for Excellence in Teaching Foreign Language or ESL; Karoline Mathewson, Ephesus Elementary, Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching the Primary Grades; Heather Taxis, Scroggs Elementary, Neil Pedersen Teacher's First Chair for Excellence in Technology; Ann Collins, Culbreth Middle, Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Language Arts; and Michael Irwin, Chapel Hill High, Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School English; Fiona Rae, Culbreth Middle, Glaxo Smith Kline Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Science; Bernadette Woods, Carrboro High, Dean Smith New Teacher Award.Teachers who received awards included Rhonda Hairston Turner, Seawell Elementary, Valeria Daniels-Paddock Support Services Award; Terry Richards, Phillips Middle, Exceptional Children's Award for Outstanding Contributions as a Teacher; and Janice Webster, Smith Middle, Wilson and Edwin Caldwell Jr. Minority Student Achievement Award.
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2008 The Chapel Hill News