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Teachers of the Year for 53 UCPS schools vie for top title

UCPS 2013-14 Teacher of the Year Kerri Sofsian from Kensington Elementary School takes a moment for a quick photo after being named UCPS' top teacher in April of 2013. She serves on one of three committees involved in choosing this year's TOY.

One teacher is chosen each year from each of the Union County Public Schools 53 elementary, middle and high schools to represent that school as its Teacher of the Year.

Celebrations begin on the school level for that teacher, but that’s just the beginning. The first step in the journey toward vying for the county's top teacher title is the completion of a portfolio that includes seven essays.

These essays include questions like “What were the factors that influenced you to become a teacher?” “Identify the major issues that are facing education,” and “What can you do to strengthen and improve the teaching profession?”

A five-person district committee individually reviews and scores the portfolios. The 20 teachers receiving the highest scores are named as semi-finalists.

Each of the 20 semi-finalists is invited to participate in a formal interview with a second district committee that includes the current 2013-14 UCPS Teacher of the Year (Kerri Sofsian - Kensington Elementary), the 2011-12 UCPS Teacher of the Year (Andrew Rosene - Cuthbertson High), the 2014 Southwestern Regional Principal of the Year (Brad Breedlove – Monroe High School) and the 2012-13 UCPS Principal of the Year (Steve Wray – Weddington Middle). UCPS Director of Support Services Dr. Debbie Taylor also serves on the Interview Committee.

In the next phase, 10 teachers with the highest combined scores from the portfolio and interview are recognized as finalists. These 10 individuals are then observed while teaching in their classrooms by a third district committee.

The teacher with the highest combined score from the portfolio, interview and observation is then named as the 2014-2015 Union County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

All teachers of the year will be recognized in April at the UCPS 21st Annual Teacher of the Year Banquet where one teacher will rise above the rest to represent the school system as the 2014-15 UCPS Teacher of the Year.

Below is a list of all UCPS Teachers of the Year for the 2013-2014 school year:
Renee’ Rogers, Antioch
Tracy Norman, Benton Heights
Aimi Gundersen, CATA
Dawn Dillner, Cuthbertson HS
Kelly Collins, Cutherbertson MS
Robin Durham, East
Tabatha Astacio-Arce, East Union
Holli Brown, Fairview
Jennifer Whitley, Forest Hills
Sharon Patrick, Hemby Bridge
Kristi Mason, Indian Trail
Laura Bauer, Kensington
Kristen Mantel, Marshville
Lisa Ann Andrews, Marvin Elementary
Lindsey Arant, Marvin Ridge HS
Lynn Gleason, Marvin Ridge MS
Jaime Tejada Monroe HS
Kamia Norman, Monroe MS
Susan Ulrick, New Salem
Jennifer Privitera, New Town
Mitchell Bryant, Parkwood HS
Daniel Stanford, Parkwood MS
Milton Flow, Piedmont HS
Jeremy Braketa, Piedmont MS
Jessica Cosgrove, Poplin
Rachel Easterling, Porter Ridge ES
Ian Faires, Porter Ridge HS
Angela Monell, Porter Ridge MS
Denise Partlow, Prospect
Michelle Dougherty, Rea View ES
Elaine Showbert, Rock Rest ES
Kristin Brewer, Rocky River ES
Laurie Maddex, Sandy Ridge
Blair Austin, Sardis
Stacey Hea, Shiloh
Amy Thomas, South Providence
Mary Camp, Stallings
Sara Petoskey, Sun Valley ES
Susan Wasco, Sun Valley HS
Carson Bellissimo, Sun Valley MS
Felisha Williams, Union County Early College
Lisa Stephens, Union
Wendy Griffin, Unionville
Lucille Tillman, WBEC
Ashley McLaughlin, Walter Bickett ES
Kimberly Thomas, Waxhaw
Jill Helms, Weddington ES
Tiffany Manley, Wedding HS
Natalie Mead, Weddington MS
Mysti Oakes, Wesley Chapel
Angela Hill, Western Union
Michelle Henry, Wingate
Bethany Riggins, Wolfe

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Mar 19, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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