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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: MARCH 14, 2002


Six regional Teachers of the Year have been selected to vie for the title of 2002 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2001 Teacher of the Year Carmen Wilson, a mathematics teacher at Ashe County High in Ashe County.

The following teachers were selected regional winners:

  • Southeast Region: Elaine Duff, English teacher, Douglas Byrd High, Cumberland County Schools;
  • Northeast Region: Pat Persinger, fifth grade teacher, Grifton Elementary, Pitt County Schools;
  • Central Region: Neal Andrews, fifth grade teacher, Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary, Guilford County Schools;
  • Southwest Region: Kimberly Milner, K-2 Title I Reading teacher, Fred L. Wilson Elementary, Kannapolis City Schools;
  • Northwest Region: Melissa Bartlett, English teacher, Statesville High, Iredell-Statesville Schools; and
  • West Region: Traci Barger, social studies teacher, McDowell High, McDowell County Schools.

"These six teachers give us a glimpse into the quality of instruction North Carolina is so fortunate to have in many of its public school classrooms," State Superintendent Mike Ward. "I appreciate the continued support of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association in helping us recognize the very best public school teachers."

The 2002 Teacher of the Year will be announced April 30 at a banquet to be held at the Embassy Suites, Cary. The winner receives a one-time stipend of $7,500, a personal automobile (thanks to the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association), and a trip to a national conference. In addition to being a full-time ambassador for education, the state Teacher of the Year also serves a two-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education. Regional winners will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000.

The North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the Public Schools of North Carolina and the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.

For more information, please contact Eleanor Goettee, Center for Teacher Recruitment and Retention, DPI, 919.807.3356.

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.