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NEWS RELEASES 2002-03 :: APRIL 29, 2003


RALEIGH, N.C. - A Cumberland County principal has received the state's top honor in the 2003 Wachovia Principal of the Year competition.

Allison Ormond, a seventh-grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Rockingham County Middle School in the Rockingham County School System, was named the 2003-04 North Carolina Teacher of the Year at a formal banquet held tonight in Cary. She succeeds Melissa Bartlett, an English teacher at Statesville High School in the Iredell-Statesville School System.

State Superintendent Mike Ward made the presentation, saying that teachers are the driving force behind North Carolina's significant academic improvement. "Their enthusiasm for learning and their unwavering dedication to their students is why almost half of our schools are performing at the highest achievement levels. Allison is a wonderful example of why our students are doing so well and will continue to reach high goals."

In accepting the award, Ormond said she was both proud and humble. "I am proud that I have the opportunity to represent the finest teachers in North Carolina and humble for being applauded for something that I view as a calling, not merely an occupation."

Thanks to the NC Automobile Dealers Association (NCADA), the state's Teacher of the Year once again received one of the ultimate rewards for a job well done - a brand new 2003 automobile. Under this partnership with the Public Schools of North Carolina, the NCADA also sponsored the night's dinner, activities and awards.

James Barber, chairman of the NC Automobile Dealers Association, said North Carolina's franchised automobile and truck dealers are very proud to be a part of this excellent business and education partnership, and equally proud of the superb work teachers put forth in educating North Carolina's children in the classroom. "Second only to parents, teachers truly hold the future of our state's children in their hands," Barber said.

Ormond has 13 years of teaching experience, three in her current position. Professionally she is a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators, the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association. She has received several awards including Rockingham County Schools 2002-03 Teacher of the Year, Rockingham County Middle School 2002-03 Teacher of the Year, and in 2002 appeared on North Carolina Public Television's NC Now for a segment on Diverse Classroom/Inclusive Teaching.

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Middle Grades Education from North Carolina State University. She also achieved National Board Certification in 2000, Master Classroom Certification in Reading Renaissance in 2001, and Academically Intellectually Gifted Licensure in 2000. In addition, Ormond has been recognized for developing and organizing a reading tutorial program in 2000.

The state's Teacher of the Year spends the school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession. She also receives a one-time $7,500 stipend and a trip to a national conference. In addition, the state Teacher of the Year serves as an advisor to the State Board of Education.

The other regional finalists were: Southeast Region - Cathie Hooks, fifth grade Communication Skills and Social Studies teacher, Tommy's Road Elementary, Wayne County Schools; Northeast Region - Christine Hodges, seventh grade Language Arts teacher, E.B. Aycock Middle, Pitt County Schools; North Central Region - Anitra Williams, third grade teacher, Holt Elementary, Durham Public Schools; South Central Region - Lisa Wishart, fourth grade teacher, Broadway Elementary, Lee County Schools; Southwest Region - Michael Alexander, ninth-12th grade Agriculture teacher, West Stanly High, Stanly County Schools; Northwest Region - Stephanie Heintz-Dennis, ninth-12th grade English teacher, North Iredell High, Iredell-Statesville Schools; and Western Region - Margaret McKinney, seventh grade math and science teacher, East Rutherford Middle, Rutherford County Schools.

For additional information, please contact Dan Holloman, Center for Recruitment and Retention, DPI, 919.807.3375.

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.