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Two Union County Public Schools teachers earn Cato Awards

Two UCPS educators, Leslie Craven from Central Academy of Technology & Arts, and Ann Jacob from New Town Elementary, have been named winners of the Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) Cato Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Two Union County Public Schools educators are among six teachers who have been named winners of the Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) Cato Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The annual awards recognize teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching art, science or history, or who have demonstrated creative infusion of arts, science or history into the core academic curriculum.

The awards recognize six educators – two each in the categories of art, science and history.

The winners were recognized recently prior to a screening of the arts advocacy documentary “Spiral Bound” at Fullwood Theater at Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St. East.

The feature-length documentary follows a group of high school students in ASC’s Studio 345 program and education scholars from Davidson College in their search for social justice in the education system.

The two UCPS teachers are:

Leslie Craven, a band director at Central Academy of Technology & Arts, began teaching in UCPS in 2000. She was recognized in the art category.

She was the band director at Sun Valley Middle and High schools for 12 years and then moved to CATA in 2012. This National Board certified educator is also a founding member of Quintessence, a woodwind quintet that performs in the greater Charlotte region.

Ann Jacob, an AIG reading and math teacher at New Town Elementary, is in her 29th year of teaching. She has been at New Town Elementary for the past four years. She won the award in the history category.

Over her teaching career, Ms. Jacob has received 45 grants to incorporate innovative strategies in the classroom. A recent grant gave her students the chance to learn how art can be used to tell stories, communicate ideas and promote understanding of the world and its history

“All of these teachers have proven themselves exceptional in using the arts, science or history to inspire and motivate students to achieve success in the classroom and in life,” said ASC President Robert Bush. “ASC is happy to join with The Cato Corporation to recognize their accomplishments and the positive impact they have in the lives of students throughout the region.”

Each Cato award recipient will receive $1,500 and a sculpture by local artist Greg Scott. All 13 Cato award finalists will be eligible to participate in a professional development program at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation’s Innovation Institute.

The award and the professional development opportunity are made possible through an endowment gift made to ASC from The Cato Corporation.

To be considered eligible for the annual award, individuals had to be a Pre-K through 12th grade teacher working for a public or independent school in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln or Union counties in N.C., or Lancaster or York counties in S.C.

Written by: The Enquirer Journal
Posted: Nov 10, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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