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Porter Ridge High teacher is regional Teacher of Year

Porter Ridge High School Spanish teacher, Jessica Garner, center, was notified Friday (January 9, 2009) that she has been chosen as the 2009 Regional Teacher of the Year. Also pictured from left, is Danny Holloman with the NC Department of Pubic Instruction, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis, teacher of the year Jessica Garner, UCPS Board of Education chairman Dean Arp and AT&T regional director Todd Lanham.

A Union County Public School teacher has been chosen as the 2009 Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year.
Jessica Garner, 30, an 11-year-veteran Spanish teacher at Porter Ridge High School, was informed Friday (January 9, 2009) in a surprise reception at her school.  Garner won the regional title after being chosen in April 2008 as the 2008-09 Union County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
The Southwest Region includes the public school systems in Anson, Cleveland, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Gaston, Union, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties, along with Kannapolis City Schools.
Danny Holloman, of the NC Department of Public Instruction, made the announcement in front of the school’s faculty, Garner’s family, and representatives from UCPS Board of Education, Union County Commission, and the UCPS Cabinet staff.
“This award means more than the $5,000 she will receive and the other awards and opportunities,” Holloman said. “To all educators, this award says you’re doing important work. To the community, the award spotlights the good things happening all across this school and this school district. To students, the award says that we value educators.”
Porter Ridge principal Sam Basden said both the staff and students at Porter Ridge High School are very proud of Garner. “This win is as much for them as it is for her,” Basden said. “This win is for all of us and we’re very proud of her. Her students will be very excited next week.”
Garner said she is honored to have been chosen, especially in light of the quality of teachers in Union County and across the state. She said she was very excited to have been chosen and promised to do her best to represent the region in the state competition.
“When you think about all the excellent teachers in Union County, and you think about the excellent teachers in this region of the state, for her to be singled out among all those people speaks volumes about the caliber of teacher that she is,” Davis said. “She’s such a lovely person too, so humble and really appreciative of her colleagues. She represents all the fine qualities that we want in our teachers, not only as classroom practitioners but also as human beings.”
For winning the regional title, Garner will be given $5,000, the opportunity to present at local and state programs, the opportunity to attend a national professional conference with all expenses paid, and to serve on various state and regional committees including the State Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council.
Garner was also given a gift certificate from AT&T for $200 by Todd Lanham, AT&T’s regional director. AT&T sponsors the national competition.
Garner was chosen as the 2008-09 UCPS Teacher of the Year after winning the same title on a school level. After being named the Regional Teacher of the Year, Garner will now go on to compete on the state level, which will be held in Raleigh in May.
If she wins the state competition, Garner would be the North Carolina representative for the national teacher of the year title, which will be held in Washington, DC. In the 39 years that North Carolina has been involved in this competition, three state Teachers of the Year have become national winners.
Holloman said Garner will be one of nine teachers (out of the 97,000 from across North Carolina) contending for the AT&T 2009-2010 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Jan 09, 2009 by Deb Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator

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