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NEWS RELEASES 1998-99 :: MAY 4, 1999


Kimberly Hughes, a kindergarten teacher at Fox Road Elementary School in Wake County, was named the 1999 North Carolina Teacher of the Year at a luncheon today in Raleigh.

State Superintendent Mike Ward made the presentation saying that teachers are the key to academic achievement in North Carolina schools. "The significant strides our students have made in the classroom can be attributed to the teachers in the classroom engaging our young people in the important pursuit of learning," Ward said.

As state Teacher of the Year, Hughes will represent North Carolina in the National Teacher of the Year competition. She succeeds Rebecca Hoyle, a K-5 music teacher at Jacksonville Commons Elementary School in Onslow County.

Hughes has taught more than 16 years, having also worked at Wake Technical Community College, and schools in Rochester and Syracuse, New York.

Professionally, she is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has presented at its national conference. Hughes also is a member of the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children and has served on several of its committees. She is an adjunct instructor in Early Childhood Education at Wake Technical Community College and has served as a mentor teacher. She has received numerous awards including Raleigh Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator for 1999, Wake County Teacher of the Year 1998, and Wal-Mart Foundation Teacher of the Year 1998.

A graduate of Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, and the State University of New York/Oswego, in Oswego, NY, Hughes is also very active in her local community. She's been a Brownie Troop Leader, a Mini-Mites Soccer Coach, and Co-Den Leader for a Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Troop. Her latest extracurricular community activity is the 1999 Special Olympics.

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

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

The other finalists were: Northeast Region-William Marshall Matson, a seventh grade English Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at Martin Middle School, Edgecombe County; Northwest Region-Halford Ivester Willis, an 11th and 12th grade Algebra III/Physics teacher at East Forsyth High School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth; Southeast Region Gail White Hickman, a second-fifth grade cross-categorical self-contained teacher at Supply Elementary School, Brunswick County; Southwest Region-Janet S. Ludwig, a kindergarten teacher at Sedgefield Elementary School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg; and Western Region-Regina M. Haynes, a 10th-12th grade Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Tuscola High School, Haywood County.

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.