GCS Names Principal and Teacher of the Year

Balloons and confetti showered Karyn Dickerson, English teacher at Grimsley High, as Guilford County Schools (GCS) named her the 2012 Teacher of the Year. Eric Hines, principal at The Middle College at N.C. A&T, was named Principal of the Year.

Both educators won awards totaling $1,500 at the 12th annual Celebrating Excellence in Education event, which is sponsored by Businesses for Excellence in Education.

Teacher of the Year

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Karyn Dickerson is the 2012 GCS Teacher of the Year.

Dickerson joined GCS through lateral entry after discovering her passion for teaching while helping with middle-school reading remediation. A National Board Certified Teacher, she has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in philosophy and also teaches English Methods at Guilford College.

"I believe that I give students the most important tools for today's world: the ability to think for themselves, to question the world around them, to empathize with divergent cultures, to read carefully, to write effectively, to speak with clarity and to interact efficiently and sympathetically with others," she said. "I want students to leave my classroom feeling as if they have learned a great deal but will also want to continue learning for the rest of their lives."

Along with district-wide Teacher of the Year honors, Dickerson was also named the High School Teacher of the Year. Other winners included Pilot Elementary teacher Paula Williams, the Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Welborn Academy of Science and Technology teacher Kristina Wheat, the Middle School Teacher of the Year. Sara Davis from Sternberger Elementary and Sabrina Peacock from Oak Hill Elementary were the remaining finalists.

Principal of the Year

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Eric Hines is the 2012 GCS Principal of the Year.

Hines became principal of The Middle College at N.C. A&T in 2008, when only 32.5 percent of students were proficient on End-of-Course testing. Today, the school has become an Honor School of Excellence with a 100 percent graduation rate, thanks to Hines' leadership. He established the Essential 10, a set of character traits that are taught and reinforced daily, and a caring environment that shows staff and students they are part of a valued team.

"Through my experiences, I have come to recognize the importance of empowerment," he said. "If I expect for change to occur and a vision to evolve, I will need to empower students, faculty and staff to recognize their full potential. This will only happen if I help to promote a nurturing school climate and culture of academic excellence and high expectations."

Hines was also named the Secondary Principal of the Year. Johnson Street Global Studies Principal Trent Vernon was named the Elementary Principal of the Year. The remaining finalists were Esther Coble from The Middle College at Bennett, Denise Francisco from Oak Ridge Elementary and Jake Henry from Jones Elementary.

Most Improved Schools

GCS also recognized the 16 most improved schools in the district during the event. Each school received an award of $9,625 to continue the academic progress of their students.

Nine elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools and one middle college were selected for the awards based on their state ABCs performance composite gain from one year to the next.

The following schools were recognized:

  • Elementary: Claxton Elementary, Colfax Elementary, Falkener Elementary, General Greene Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Lindley Elementary, McLeansville Elementary, Montlieu Academy of Technology, Wiley Elementary
  • Middle School: Mendenhall Middle, Northern Middle, Southern Middle
  • High School: Smith High, Southeast High, Western High
  • Middle College/Academy: The Middle College at GTCC-High Point