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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: FEBRUARY 15, 2005


Eight regional Teachers of the Year have been selected to vie for the title of 2005-06 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2004-05 Teacher of the Year, Lizbeth Alfaro, an English as a Second Language teacher at Lyle Creek Elementary School, Catawba County Schools.

The following teachers were selected regional winners:

  • North Central Region: Jo Anne Honeycutt, business and marketing education, Cleveland Middle, Johnston County Schools;
  • Northeast Region: Caroline Pearce, French teacher, First Flight High, Dare County Schools;
  • Northwest Region: Paula Gambill, 1st grade teacher, W.M. Jenkins Elementary, Hickory City Schools;
  • Southeast Region: Wendy Miller, Kindergarten through 2nd grade teacher, James W. Smith Elementary, Craven County Schools;
  • Southwest Region: Gloria Schwartz, 2nd through 5th grade literacy and mathematics teacher, Matthews Elementary, Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools;
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Kim Brown, 3rd grade teacher, Scotland Accelerated Academy, Scotland County Schools;
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Susan Poindexter, 2nd grade teacher, Jefferson Elementary, Guilford County Schools; and
  • West Region: Sally Hundley, 8th grade math and science teacher, Waynesville Middle, Haywood County Schools.

"As a teacher, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to get students to achieve at higher levels. These eight teachers represent the thousands of quality educators leading our public school classrooms. North Carolina is fortunate to have so many excellent teachers," State Superintendent Tricia Willoughby said. Willoughby also thanked the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association for helping the state recognize its "outstanding teachers and the important role they play in the state's future."

Each of the eight regional winners will receive a one-time award of $5,000 and a trip to a national conference. They also will serve on the 2005-06 Teacher of the Year team, which assists the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction in teacher recruitment activities. The 2005-06 Teacher of the Year will be announced May 3 at a dinner and awards ceremony to be held at the Embassy Suites, Cary.

The Public Schools of North Carolina and the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association sponsor the North Carolina Teacher of the Year program. For more information, please visit or contact Dan Holloman, Center for Recruitment and Retention, DPI, 919.807.3375, or by email,

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.