Local school district leaders recently honored the area’s top teachers, handing one standout the keys to a new a car.
During the annual Educator of the Year banquet at Ashley High earlier this week, Christopher Walters of Parsley Elementary was named the 2015-16 Teacher of the Year by the New Hanover County Board of Education and Wells Fargo Foundation.
As the county’s top teacher, Walters gets to drive a Toyota Prius II, courtesy of Hendrick Toyota of Wilmington, for one year. The physical educator teacher will also go on to the regional level of the competition, which culminates each year with the selection of a state winner.
Hoggard High’s Dr. Steven Sullivan, too, will now go up against his peers in the southeastern part of the state after being named the district’s Principal of the Year.
A panel of judges picked Sullivan from among three total nominees. Isaac Bear Early College principal Mary Paul Beall and Amy Oots at Mary C. Williams Elementary were also in the running. Similarly, Walters won out over Jeremy Buie, a seventh grade science teacher at DC Virgo Preparatory Academy and Sandra Cecelski, who heads up Ashley High’s innovative Marine Science Academy. The three Teacher of the Year finalists were selected from among the annual winners at each of the county’s 42 schools.
Among the banquet’s approximately 165 guests were school board members, district administrators, principals, teachers and Wells Fargo and Hendrick staff, who lauded all the winning educators. Each top teacher and principal received an award from Wells Fargo and the board of education.
Other school-level 2016-16 Teachers of the Year are as follows:
- Alderman Elementary–Jessica Williams
- Andersom Elementary–Crystal Jones
- Bellamy Elementary–Elizabeth Keyser
- Blair Elementary–Amy Coderre
- Bradley Creek Elementary–Rebecca Stockard
- Carolina Beach Elementary–Blair Williams
- Castle Hayne Elementary–Michael Jeffreys
- Codington Elementary–Melinda Durant
- College Park Elementary–Kaitlin Purrazzella
- College Road Early Childhood Center–Linda Maxey
- Eaton Elementary–Lora Crowley
- Forest Hills Global Elementary–Caitlin Fischetti
- Freeman Elementary–Ruth Pitstick
- Gregory Elementary–John Pellizzari
- Hoggard High–Christi Lea
- Holly Shelter Middle–Nathanial Culp
- Holly Tree Elementary–Cheryl Toney-Jones
- Howe Pre-K–Dayna Hibbetts
- Isaac Bear Early College–Michael Kelly
- Johnson Elementary–Annah Reese
- Lake Forest Academy–Denise Fowler
- Laney High–Sharon Williams
- Mary C. Williams Elementary–Dawn Silika
- Mosley Career Readiness Academy and Pathways–Paige Voorhees
- Murray Middle–Andrea Newby
- Murrayville Elementary–Brittany Brown
- Myrtle Grove Middle–Lana Latham
- New Hanover High–Kylee Maarschalk
- Noble Middle–William Graham
- Ogden Elementary–Kelly Balcome
- Pine Valley Elementary–Shenicka Smith
- Roland-Grise Middle–Joel Kay
- Snipes Elemetary–David Rutledge
- Sunset Park Elementary–Erin Redmond
- Trask Middle–Diana Woodlock
- Williston Middle–Laura Butler
- Wilmington Early College–Deborah Jones
- Winter Park Elementary–Donna Haucke
- Wrightsboro Elementary–Samantha Keller
- Wrightsville Beach Elementary–Hanna McMurry