NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: APRIL 6, 2011


Tyronna Hooker, an exceptional children's teacher at Graham Middle School, Alamance-Burlington Schools, tonight was named the 2011-12 North Carolina Teacher of the Year at a banquet held in Cary. Hooker succeeds Jennifer Facciolini, a social studies teacher at Midway High School, Sampson County Schools.

In making the presentation, State Superintendent June Atkinson said Hooker is a wonderful example of the exceptional teachers leading public school classrooms across the state. "Tyronna brings a unique set of skills to the classroom given her previous work experience in the criminal justice system and social services. She has seen what often happens to children who have not been successful in school," Atkinson said. "This has translated into a 'setbacks are setups for comebacks' philosophy where her students are concerned."

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison also congratulated Hooker on her selection. "Ms. Hooker's pathway to the classroom may not have been traditional but it illustrates that good teachers come to the profession from many different backgrounds. Her students are fortunate that she chose to teach, and they are benefitting from her dedication and perspective."

In accepting the award, Hooker said being North Carolina's Teacher of the Year provides her with additional opportunities to inspire others. "As teachers, we must seek opportunities to motivate, engage and provoke critical thinking amongst not only our students, but ourselves. I can't wait to share teaching experiences with my colleagues across the state," Hooker said.

Hooker has taught for nine years at Graham Middle School. She is a member of the National Education Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators and the Alamance-Burlington Association of Educators.

She is a member of the school's design team, which enables her to work closely with staff members as they design learning experiences for their students. She has participated in Shelter Instruction Observation Protocol (a program to support the learning needs of English language learners), completed training for Corrective Reading© instruction, and is currently training to provide instruction in Literacy First Intensive©. She is a member of the school's Response to Intervention team, an incentive coordinator for the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program and a mentor for new teachers.

Hooker has received a number of awards including Alamance-Burlington School District Teacher of the Year 2010-11, Graham Middle School Teacher of the Year 2010-11, Graham Middle School Outstanding Teacher Award (Sept. 2008), Gold's Gym Teacher of the Month Award (Jan. 2007) and a students' award for The Best All Around award for teaching (June 2006).

She completed her undergraduate studies at North Carolina Central University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice in June 1993. An online learning program offered through North Carolina Central University enabled her to complete the North Carolina Teacher Certification program in Dec. 2005. In Aug. 2009, she earned her Masters of Education with a specialization in Special Education from Elon University.

As North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Hooker will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession. She will receive an automobile to use during the year, an engraved vase, a one-time cash award of $7,500, a trip to the National Teacher of the Year conference, the opportunity to travel abroad through an endowment at the North Carolina Center for International Understanding, and a technology package valued at over $17,000 from SMART Technologies. She also will serve as an advisor to the State Board of Education for two years.

The other regional finalists were:

North Central Region Ferdinand Cooper Weldon STEM High Weldon City Schools
Northeast Region Suzie Sanders River Road Middle Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools
Northwest Region Andy Blevins Fred T. Foard High Catawba County Schools
Southeast Region Callie Smith Bogue Sound Elementary Carteret County Schools
Southwest Region Thomas Plecnik Rhyne Elementary Gaston County Schools
Sandhills/South Central Region Marci Houseman West Pine Middle Moore County Schools
West Region Eric Grant Buncombe County Early College Buncombe County Schools
Charter Schools Regina Johnston Chatham Charter School Chatham County

North Carolina has recognized outstanding teachers through its Teacher of the Year program since 1970. For more information on North Carolina's Teacher of the Year recognition program, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.