To access Quick Links, visit our text-only version.

. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .


NEWS RELEASES 1997-98 :: MAY 5, 1998


Rebecca Hoyle, a K-5 music teacher at Jacksonville Commons Elementary School in Onslow County, was named the 1998-99 North Carolina Teacher of the Year at a luncheon today (May 5) in Raleigh.

State Superintendent Mike Ward named the new North Carolina Teacher of the Year, saying that teachers are the "heart" of schools.

"The heart of a school is not located in the school office or on the athletic field. It isn't in the local school board or in the superintendent," Ward said. "The heart of a school is in the teachers: those women and men who work together to engage children and young people in the most important pursuit of learning."

As state Teacher of the Year, Hoyle will represent North Carolina in the National Teacher of the Year competition. She succeeds Julian L. "Monty" Coggins Jr., a biology teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in Cabarrus.

Three North Carolina teachers have been selected as the National Teacher of the Year since 1970. They were James Rogers, Durham City Schools, in 1972; Ruby Murchison, Fayetteville City Schools, in 1976; and Donna Oliver, Burlington City Schools in 1986. In addition, 1993-94 Teacher of the Year Sarah Pratt from McDowell County was inducted in the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1996. The program is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with Scholastic Inc.

Hoyle has taught more than 25 years, having also worked in Henderson City Schools, Vance County Schools, Ravenscroft Lower School in Raleigh, and McDowell County Schools.

Professionally, she is involved in her school as chairman of the School Improvement Team and past member of the System-Wide Improvement Team. She's worked extensively as a mentor teacher and with student teacher interns. She's been an instructor for Effective Teacher Training and a staff development trainer. She's served as a school recruiter and is a former Bright Ideas Grant winner and participated three years in the NC Teacher Academy and four times at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

A graduate of East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Hoyle is also very active in her local community. She's a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and its choir, teaches piano students after school, serves as vice president of the Onslow Chapter of the NC Symphony Society and is a member of the Onslow Council for the Arts and the Community Concert Series.

A statewide panel selected the Teacher of the Year after interviews with the six finalists, visits to their classrooms and interviews with their colleagues and students.

The state Teacher of the Year spends the school year traveling the state as a spokesperson for the teaching profession, receives a $7,500 stipend, a laptop computer and printer, and a national conference trip. Also, the Teacher of the Year serves a two-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education.

The six Teacher of the Year finalists serve as recruiters for new teachers in North Carolina, as well as in other capacities throughout the year.

The other finalists are:

  • Western Region -- Laurene Carnes, middle school band, computer applications and reading teacher, Bethel Middle School, Haywood County;
  • Northwest Region -- Dianne Minton, science teacher, Wilkes Central High School, Wilkes County;
  • Southwest Region -- Joseph Gaskin III, chemistry and physics teacher, Richmond Senior High School, Richmond County Schools;
  • Central Region -- Ken Stewart, Spanish and student government teacher, Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools;
  • Northeast Region -- Elizabeth Niser, seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher, Bath Elementary School, Beaufort County Schools.
  • Hoyle is also the Southeast Region Teacher of the Year.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.