Top Principal, Teacher Named
Pinecrest High School Principal Joel County was announced as the 2009-2010 Principal of the Year, while Exceptional Education teacher Jayne Cummings, also of Pinecrest, was named 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Susan Purser praised County's leadership and efforts to unify Pinecrest during his first three years at the school.
"This year's principal exemplifies a strong work ethic and the quality of inspiring leadership," she said. Three years ago he took on the daunting task of leading the largest and most diverse high school in the county. He accepted the challenges that leading a high school of this size would bring and also realized that coming in as a new principal in a new community, setting a new vision and changing perceptions would be a tough job.
"Under the leadership of Joel County, Pinecrest High School has come together as a community, made great strides in student achievement, shaped a vision for continuous improvement, and truly evolved into a premier high school that focuses on the professional growth of the staff, the success of its students and being a focal point of pride for the community."
County received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 1985 and master's degree in education administration from Colorado State University in 2000.
He has served as a math and science teacher, coach and assistant principal, and, prior to coming to Moore County in 2006, he was principal of Northwood High School in Chatham County.
The selection of the Principal of the Year is made by the school system's 22 principals. County will now compete against principals from 11 other counties for Regional Principal of the Year. A State Principal of the Year will then be chosen from the eight Regional Principals of the Year.
Cummings has been teaching for 29 years and has spent her entire career at Pinecrest High School.
"I was offered the job of starting the first high school self-contained class at Pinecrest," she said. "That was in the fall of 1979 The program, of course, has changed over the years."
She received her bachelor's degree in special education in 1979 from East Carolina University and returned to her alma mater recently to complete her master's degree in special education, which she received in 2008.
"Teaching is not a career but a passion for me," she said. "I continue to thrive on developing lessons and activities to keep the students motivated, teaching the lessons and watching the students grow as individuals."
Cummings has been active in the community as a Cub Scout leader, working with Relay for Life, the Moore Chapter of the Association of Retarded Citizens, as a cheerleading coach, as music director for a church summer Bible school program, as organist at her church for 30 years and more.
Through a grant, Cummings was able to implement a new project this year for her students -- a school garden.
"The students have expanded their knowledge of not only the importance of eating healthy, but have increased their vocabulary, gardening knowledge, math skills and interest in reading," she said. "They are even willing to taste new foods that they have grown! New and innovative ideas keep the students interested and motivated to learn."
Purser commended all of the schools' Teachers of the Year for their commitment to providing the best possible educational experience for all students.
Cummings will now compete for one of the eight regional Teachers of the Year in North Carolina. Judging at this level includes a portfolio, interviews, a formal speech and a group activity. These eight winners will compete for State Teacher of the Year, which is announced next spring.
The state winner is given a year off from the classroom serving as an ambassador for public schools and the teaching profession and serves in an advisory capacity to the State Board of Education.
Selected as the Alternate Teacher of the Year was Julie Cencer, an English teacher at Union Pines High School. Cencer is a graduate of Central Michigan University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and has six years of experience in the classroom.
"Good teachers challenge their students by exposing them to rigorous work, cutting-edge technology and the world around them," she said, "and they are always standing nearby to catch their students if they fall."
Along with Cummings and Cencer, individual school Teachers of the Year were also recognized at the school system's annual Teacher of the Year Banquet. They are Jane McInnis, Aberdeen Elementary; Margo Brown, Aberdeen Primary, Adrienne Noll, Academy Heights Elementary; Dawn Lanier, Cameron Elementary; Summer Thomas, Carthage Elementary; Crystal Vaughn, Elise Middle; Angie Corrado, Highfalls Elementary;
Michelle Bennett, New Century Middle; Brandon Reynolds, North Moore High; Olen Kelly, Pinckney Academy; Meg DeMolet, Pinehurst Elementary; Deborah Marley, Robbins Elementary; David Jackson, Sandhills Farm Life Elementary; Andrea Burton, Southern Middle; Cathy Johnson, Southern Pines Elementary; Jennifer Beck, Southern Pines Primary; Kim Rubio, Vass-Lakeview Elementary; Kelly Cook, West End Elementary; Neil McCrimmon, West Pine Middle; and Debbie Garner, Westmoore Elementary.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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